Drinking Water Quality Council meets, no word on MCLs

October 17, 2018 10:36 PM

ALBANY - When people expect something from their government and they don't get it, they're not happy.

"You don't know what it feels like to get a letter saying you can't drink your water," one man told New York State's Drinking Water Quality Council Wednesday morning. "I'm angry as hell."


People aren't just angry, they're fed up because they're not comfortable drinking up any water from their own faucets.

"Please do the right thing," a Petersburgh resident told the Council. "Peoples' lives depend on it."

The 12-member Board, which met Wednesday morning in Albany and New York via teleconferencing, can make a lot of people feel better. They've been charged with setting maximum contaminant levels for PFOA, PFOs, and 1,4 Dioxane, all of which are toxic chemicals that have been detected in municipal drinking water supplies across the state, including Hoosick Falls.

"The inaction of this Council makes no sense to me considering the risk that these chemicals pose to our families, children, and the unborn," said Frank Natale, representing Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 7 at the public hearing.

The state promised those standards by October 2, but missed their deadline.

"The process of setting a drinking water standard in New York with such a rapidly growing field of science makes it challenging and complicated," said Brad Hutton, Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health. "I think the Drinking Water Council got some good presentations today on that evolving science."

With more than 90,000 chemicals currently in use by U.S. industry, Hutton says it makes sense to be thorough.

"I don't think anyone should be happy today," said Liz Moran, of Environmental Advocates of New York. "This is a pattern at this point, delay, delay, delay. It seems to be a repeat thing with this administration."

It should be pointed out, members of the American Chemistry Council attended, and spoke at Wednesday's meeting. There are people who believe they are intent on downplaying the health impact of many of the chemicals found in drinking water.

Meanwhile, Hutton points out Governor Cuomo announced $200 million in funding recently so that municipal drinking water systems can be treated for emerging contaminants.

The next meeting is scheduled for next month.


Dan Levy

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