State sets aside $200M to battle water pollution, contamination

Posted: Updated:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has set aside $200 million in state aid to fight water pollution and contamination.

Much of those funds will soon be flowing into Long Island communities to clean contaminants in drinking water supplies.

Gov. Cuomo said the money will pay for water treatment system upgrades to combat toxic chemicals – including PFOA, PFOS and 1,4-dioxane, which has been linked to cancer and other ailments.

The Bethpage Water District, South Huntington Water District and Suffolk County Water Authority will benefit from the grants.

Suffolk County Water Authority Chairman James Gaughran says the money will help complete the Wainscott water main project and its efforts to address PFOS chemicals in the water.

The announcement of the grant funds comes days after environmental activists called on the governor to do more to protect Long Island’s drinking water. Environmentalists say it’s a step in the right direction, but it's not enough.

“We are still waiting for the state to define a drinking water standard for these toxic chemicals,” says Adrienne Esposito, of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “The real cleanup needs to happen after we determine a health-based drinking water standard.”

News 12 reported last week that the state's Drinking Water Quality Council has yet to make recommendations to set limits on what would be acceptable levels of some toxic chemicals. The council hasn't met since March.

Gov. Cuomo says the council's next meeting is Oct. 17.

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