Sep 18, 2020

Fire Training Center Alleged Cause of PFAS Water Contamination

The Dutchess County Fire Training Center has been placed on the State’s Superfund site due to water contamination from PFAS.

water contamination

The Dutchess County, New York Fire Training Center has been placed on the State’s Superfund site. 

This is due to water contamination from poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, (PFAS), reported Mid-Hudson News. According to the state, the site is a threat to public health and/or the environment.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) sampled on-site groundwater and soil, surface water, and sediment of the Fall Kill Creek and nearby drinking water wells. According to the DEC, an additional investigation is needed to determine the nature and extent of contamination and determine appropriate remediation actions.

Dutchess County officials said that the DEC has been conducting testing at fire training sites throughout the state related to possible PFAS contamination. 

This testing follows a 2016 survey conducted by the DEC asking about the use of Aqueous Film-Forming Foam Concentrates (AFFF) at fire training centers. According to Mid-Hudson News, the only documented use of AFFF at the Dutchess County fire training center was during Firefighter II courses coordinated and run by officials from the NYS Office of Fire Prevention & Control.

“We are pleased the DEC is taking these steps to investigate and understand the full extent of any possible contamination,” said Dutchess County Commissioner of Public Works Robert Balkind. “We will continue to follow DEC guidance, including the recommendation to close off culverts that lead to the FallKill Creek. However, at this time, DEC has not advised of any other restrictions or concerns, which is reassuring for those utilizing or working on-site or who live in the area.”

The DEC maintains a list of these sites in the Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites. 

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