Private well near East Hampton Airport tests positive for toxic chemicals

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WAINSCOTT -

The water from a private well near the East Hampton Airport has tested positive for PFCs – toxic chemicals found in the firefighting foam that used to be stored at the facility and was once used to battle aircraft fires.

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell says the focus now is on testing many more wells in the area adjacent to the airport to figure out exactly how widespread the problem might be.

"If you have a contaminated well with this chemical, you should not drink the water," Cantwell told News 12 Long Island

The Suffolk Health Department is hoping to test about 175 private wells in homes near the airport.  So far, they've tested about 25 and just the one has tested positive.

Adrienne Esposito, the executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, pointed out that PFCs were found in wells last year in Westhampton Beach and earlier this year in Yaphank. She says the new positive test in East Hampton is a serious cause for concern.

"Unfortunately it builds up in people and it's scientifically known to cause cancer and damage to the immune system," she says. 

The Town of East Hampton has begun providing bottled water for residents in the area being tested near the airport.

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