NY Sues 6 Makers of Hazardous Firefighting Foams That Contaminated Drinking Water

In May, after the EPA changed its recommended limit for a chemical called PFOS, Newburgh declared an emergency and shifted to a new water source

What to Know

  • New York state officials have offered blood tests to all Newburgh residents after a cancer-causing chemical was found in their tap water
  • PFOS, the chemical found in the water, has been linked to cancer, thyroid problems and other serious health issues
  • PFOS can be found in firefighting foam, which is used at Newburgh's military air base

New York state is suing six companies that made firefighting foam containing chemicals that have contaminated drinking water in two upstate communities and groundwater in a Long Island community.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said Wednesday the companies manufactured foam containing PFOS and/or PFOA, which can pose adverse health effects.

The lawsuit contends the companies knew or should've known the chemicals could pose a threat to public health and the environment.

PFOA has contaminated drinking water in Hoosick Falls in Rensselaer County, while PFOS has contaminated drinking water around an Air National Guard base in Newburgh and groundwater near another base in Southampton, Long Island.

More than $38 million in state funds have been spent to investigate and clean up contamination linked to the chemicals.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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