LTE: NY Can Be An Example For Protecting Water

This letter to the editor was published in the Times Union on June 5, 2018.

NY Can Be An Example For Protecting Water

When President Donald Trump's Environmental Protection Agency fails, New York must step up. Every New Yorker has a right to clean and safe drinking water. Unfortunately, Trump's EPA doesn't seem interested in protecting that right. The recent editorial, "Politically toxic PFOA," May 23, described how the agency is hiding new evidence from the public about toxic chemicals in their water, especially the chemicals PFOA and PFOS.

This report confirms what many advocates have been arguing for years: that PFOA and PFOS are dangerous to human health at levels far below what the EPA currently allows in our water supplies. But Trump's EPA doesn't want anyone to know that. Their shocking abuse of power demonstrates that we can't count on the federal government to solve this issue.

In the absence of federal leadership, the Cuomo administration must follow through on its commitment to protect drinking water and public health. The state needs to make sure we don't have more drinking water contamination crises — like what happened in Hoosick Falls, Newburgh and Petersburgh — by setting a strong enforceable drinking water standard for PFOA and PFOS.

In order to ensure the safety of our water, New York's Department of Health must set a maximum contaminant level for PFOA and PFOS at 4 ppt.

When New York leads, others follow. Let's make our drinking water protections a model for the nation.

Robert Hayes 

Clean Water Associate

Environmental Advocates of New York