The Defense Department has agreed to install an interim filtration system to prevent contaminated water flowing off of Stewart Air National Guard Base, N.Y., to Washington Lake, which had been the primary drinking water source for the city of Newburgh until elevated levels of PFOS and PFOA were discovered there in 2016. The Army Corps of Engineers is expected to finish installing a stormwater filtration system within three to six months, reported WAMC. The project is estimated to cost between $2 million to $3 million and will be funded by the Air National Guard. The December announcement followed a visit to Newburgh by Robert McMahon, assistant secretary of defense for sustainment, and John Henderson, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy.
Testing in May 2016 at one of the outfalls at the base discharging stormwater into Recreation Pond, where the treatment system will be installed, revealed a PFOS level of 5,900 parts per trillion, almost 85 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory limit of 70 parts per trillion.
Air Force photo by Breanne Humphreys