City of Newburgh performs test run on new water filtration system

Posted: Updated:
NEWBURGH -

The city of Newburgh has a new multimillion-dollar water filtration system it is testing nearly two years after its drinking water was found to be toxic, but local officials say there is now a new dilemma.

Newburgh City Manager Michael Ciaravino says the federal government hasn't taken responsibility for the PFOS contamination, which was traced to firefighting foam used at Stewart Air National Guard Base.

This means that the cash-strapped city is technically using its new system - paid for by the state - on already clean water from the Catskill Aqueduct, which the city has also been getting for free at the state's expense.

Officials say the problem is that at some point, the state will likely stop footing the bill now that the new system is online. The city will have to choose between selling filtered toxic water to its customers or passing along a $2 million price tag to keep things as is.

It's not currently clear when the state could pull the city's funding, but local officials say it's something for which they need to be prepared.

News 12 reached out to the state Department of Environmental Conservation for more information, but requests for comment have not yet been returned.

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