Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions



For immediate release:
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
For more information contact:
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, 516-390-7150, 631-384-1378 (mobile), aesposito@citizenscampaign.org


CCE Releases Online Interactive Map Showing a Potential 287 Sites that May be Contaminated with toxic PFCs

Farmingdale, NY—Citizens Campaign for the Environment released a four point action plan to address per-fluorinated chemicals (PFCs) on Long Island. In conjunction with the plan, CCE released an online interactive map showing a potential 287 Long Island sites that could have PFC contamination. There are 4 confirmed sites where PFCs contaminated private drinking water wells. The potential 287 sites are identified as locations where PFC-containing fire suppressant foam could have been used for fire training purposes. NYS needs to work with local counties to thoroughly assess these 287 sites to determine if PFC foam was used and conduct monitoring to assess if PFCs are present in groundwater.

“PFCs are serious contaminants that threaten drinking water, our environment, and our health. Potential long-term exposure effects can include decreased birth weight, and cancers within the renal and thyroid. Due to Long Island’s vulnerable aquifer system we need agencies to more expeditiously to continue to identify contaminated sites and ensure the public is not drinking contaminated water,” stated Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director.

CCE commends DEC’s work to date including mailing fire departments throughout Long Island a survey about their use and storage of PFC fire fighting foam. DEC sent a survey to 174 Fire Departments across Nassau and Suffolk Counties. 84 districts (48%) did not respond, 90 districts (52%) responded. Here are the results of those that responded:

• Is any Class B fire suppression foam currently stored and/or used at the facility?
     o 71 yes = 79% of those responding
• Has any Class B fire suppression foam ever been stored or used at the facility?
     o 60 yes = 66%
     o 9 unknown = 10%
• Has Class B fire suppression foam ever been used for training purposes at the facility?
     o 23 yes = 25%
     o 14 unknown = 15%
• Has Class B fire suppression foam ever been used for firefighting or other emergency response purposes at the facility?
     o 12 yes = 13%
     o 14 unknown = 15%
• Has the facility even experienced a spill or leak of Class B fire suppression foam?
     o 1 yes
     o 6 unknown
• Has your facility even been responsible for the use of Class B fire suppression foam at a location other than the facility?
     o 47 yes = 52%
     o 10 unknown = 9 %

“The preliminary results of this important DEC survey illustrates there is a great potential for additional contaminated sites that may be impacting our groundwater. Unfortunately, the more we look for PFC contamination, the more we will find it,” stated Esposito.
CCE is advocating for a four point action plan to address the threat of PFC’s:

1. NYS DEC should continue to work in conjunction with Nassau and Suffolk County to accurately identify all fire training facilities, fire departments, and airports that used or stored fire suppressant foam containing PFC’s. The survey is a great step forward but we need follow up on the 48% that have not yet responded.
2. CCE is pleased that the DEC is rapidly working to install wells down gradient of identified contamination. NYS DEC needs to continue to work with local health departments to install and evaluate monitoring wells down gradient from facilities discovered to be the source of PFC contamination; or known to have used or stored PFC containing fire suppressant foam.

3. NYS needs to provide funding in the 2018 budget for Suffolk County Department of Health Services to upgrade their laboratory to include testing equipment for PFCs. Currently, all Long Island samples for PFCs are sent to the Wadsworth Facility in the Capital Region for testing, causing a back log and delay in results. The NYS budget also needs to ensure DEC has adequate staff and funding to address monitoring wells, water testing and remediation for this emerging contamination.

4. NY needs to establish a health based drinking water standard for PFCs as quickly as possible.

CCE interactive map is a compilation of Fire Departments, Fire Training sites and air ports. CCE’s interactive map and full report can be viewed https://www.citizenscampaign.org/campaigns/pfc.asp


Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) empowers communities and advocates solutions for our shared environment and public health and is supported by over 80,000 members throughout New York State and Connecticut. www.citizenscampaign.org

updated by jchristensen  12/5/17