Read the full article by Paul LaRocco (Newsday)

“New York has adopted the nation’s first drinking water standard for the emerging contaminant 1,4-dioxane, a likely carcinogen found in more than two-thirds of public supply wells on Long Island.

The state Department of Health’s Public Health and Health Planning Council on Thursday unanimously approved setting maximum contaminant levels of 1 part per billion for 1,4-dioxane, an industrial solvent also present in some household products, as well as 10 parts per trillion each for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), found in firefighting foams, and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), used in nonstick and stain-resistant products.

They are the first chemicals to be newly regulated by New York since 2000. The action caps a five-year process that generated thousands of public comments and forced local water districts to initiate construction of complex new treatment systems estimated to cost a total of nearly a billion dollars…

PFOA and PFOS standards already have been set by several other states, though New York’s is among the strictest. The state is also the first to finalize a standard for 1,4-dioxane, officials said. The federal government has no standards for any of the three.

‘I think we’re a little part of history here today,’ said Jeffrey Kraut, chair of the Public Health and Health Planning Council, adding that the decision would benefit Long Islanders ‘who are very, very concerned about our aquifer.’

On Long Island, PFOS and PFOA have been found at high levels at select wells, including near the Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach and a fire training academy in Yaphank. But 1,4-dioxane is far more prevalent, with 70% of wells found to have at least trace amounts of the solvent, and several — such as in Bethpage and Hicksville — with many times above the new state standard of 1 ppb…”