PFOA/PFOS testing to begin across N.Y. beginning in August

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Drinking water across New York will soon have to be tested for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and, 1,4-dioxane. The new regulations mandate all water systems in the state to be tested beginning August 5, when the State Register is updated.

There are more than 2,000 small water systems that have not been tested throughout the state for PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4-dioxane. The systems serve approximately two million New Yorkers, according to the Environmental Advocates of New York.

“The people of Hoosick Falls fought for these drinking water protections every step of this process. Because of the persistence of our community, fewer New Yorkers will have to worry about toxins in their water when they turn on the faucet,” said Hoosick Falls resident and member of the New York Water Project, Michele Baker.

“This is an important and necessary first step to removing harmful chemicals from our drinking water. These emerging contaminants all present unacceptable risks to human health and need to be removed,” Chair of the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee, Steve Englebright.

“While the federal government continues to leave emerging contaminants like 1,4-Dioxane, PFOA and PFOS unregulated, New York is leading the way by setting new national standards that help ensure drinking water quality and safeguard New Yorker’s health from these chemicals,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “The environmental movement was founded in this great state and we will continue to move forward to protect our most precious resources for generations to come.”

The new regulations would set the maximum contaminant level for PFOA, PFOS at 10 parts per trillion, and one part per billion for 1,4-dioxane. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) current standard for PFOA and PFOS is 70 parts per trillion. There is no threshold for 1,4-dioxane levels from the EPA, according to Governor Cuomo’s office.

PFOA and PFOS were found locally in the drinking water of Hoosick Falls and Petersburg during 2015. After community testing, it was discovered thousands of residents in these two towns had elevated levels of the chemicals in their blood. Residents in Newburgh also had elevated levels of PFOA/PFOS. Many public wells in Long Island are contaminated by 1,4-dioxane, said Environmental Advocates.

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