Laura Gillen - water presser

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

LI Officials Seek Cuomo's Help In Suing Companies Over Polluted Waters

June 26, 2019 - 12:46 pm

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — A new study estimates it will cost millions to clean up the contaminant in the Town of Hempstead’s water supply and one Long Island lawmaker is demanding those responsible for the pollution pay for the cleanup.

Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen was joined by Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment Adrienne Esposito on Wednesday to call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill that makes it easier for municipalities and water providers to sue polluters for the cleanup costs.

“Currently law dictates that an action to be filed in this regard must be filed within three years of any contamination occurring. However, while I water was being polluted, we did not yet know the potentially fatal effects that these emerging contaminants possessed,” Gillen told reporters.

A recent study shows the Town of Hempstead’s water supply has some of the highest amount of contaminants compared to any other water district in the entire state.

Officials estimate it will cost $40 million to install the proper equipment to clean up the known carcinogens called PFOA’s, PFOS’ and 1,4-dioxane – which is found in laundry detergent, shampoos, and other cleaning products – that have turned up in 185 drinking water wells on Long Island.

Gillen wants to sue the companies responsible for polluting the water with the cancer causing chemicals.

Meanwhile, she and other lawmakers have called on the Environmental Protection Agency for help. They are also asking the federal government to set new stricter standards for the levels of chemicals allowed in drinking water.