When Dutchess County leaders learned about a well contamination in the county-owned Hudson Valley Regional Airport, they agreed to work with the DEC by entering a consent order.
"That consent order defines at least the first steps of the process for us," said Dutchess County DPW Commissioner Bob Balkind, "which are an assemblage of records to determine what may have been on the airport property, what products may have been used, and then the other part of that is to create a work plan of how we're going to move forward to futher identify, classify and quantify where this material is in the ground water."
The Department of Health tested businesses and homes around the airport, and found some had low levels of the contaminants PFOS and PFOA. But the state says that does not mean there is a health risk.
"There were not any observed levels of contamination observed over that health advisory level," said DEC spokesperson Sean Mahar.
County officials tell Spectrum News the only place that did test above federal guidelines for PFOS or PFOA is at the airport site, the business AAG, which leases a building here. But county officials say that for every place that had some levels, they plan to take an abundance of caution -- like at the nearby New Hackensack Nursery School, where county officials will install a carbon filtration system to remove the contaminants.
"We're sort of taking it upon ourselves at the county to put that system in, because there are a lot of users of that water. And although it wasn't at that threshold level, we think it's probably a good idea to put a filtration system in," said Balkind.
"During this process, we will be as open and up-front as possible in order to ensure the public trust throughout the water line extension, filtration system installation, and any further actions necessary as we learn more about these emerging containments," said Dutchess County Legislature Chairman Gregg Pulver.
Dutchess leaders say the source of the contamination is not confirmed but think firefighting foam used at the airport is a cause.
"We suspect that some aspect of this may be from our use or testing of the fire truck, but there are other potential sources that are not on the airport property," said Balkind.
The chairman says the Dutchess County legislature is scheduled to vote on approval for a bond next month to build a new water line that would connect some businesses and homeowners nearby so people would not be using local groundwater.