Town of Hempstead sues companies for allegedly discharging chemicals into water

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The Town of Hempstead is suing some major chemical companies, claiming they discharged cancer-causing chemicals near drinking wells and contaminated the water supply.

Town Supervisor Laura Gillen says the companies knowingly and willfully made, promoted and sold products with 1,4-dioxane -- a chemical the CDC says may cause cancer.

Gillen says the town's 29 active public wells are either contaminated or threatened by 1,4-dioxane.

Among some of the demands in the lawsuit, the town wants the companies to cover the cost of building and operating new water treatment facilities that can remove 1,4-dioxane; seeks punitive damages to punish the alleged polluters; and money for a fund to pay possible future claims.

Gillen says they are in the design phase to figure out exactly what kind of filter they are going to put on most of the wells that supply water to the town's residents.

In a statement, Dow Chemical took issue with the suit, saying in part, "There are no human studies showing that dioxane causes harm at the low levels at issue in these lawsuits."

Vulcan Materials said, in part, "There has been no evidence presented to support these allegations, and we believe they are completely without merit."

News 12 also reached out to the Ferro Corporation, the third company named in the lawsuit, but have not heard back.

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