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Oct 2, 2018 4:40 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

State Gives East Hampton $9.7 Million To Address Water Contamination

Suffolk County Water Authority crews have been installing water mains throughout Wainscott, a $24 million bill that East Hampton Town is picking up and that New York State announced this week would get $9 million in grant support. Kyril Bromley
Oct 2, 2018 4:40 PM

New York State has awarded the Suffolk County Water Authority and East Hampton Town a $9.7 million grant to help pay to connect more than 400 homes in Wainscott to water mains to protect residents from groundwater contaminated with chemical compounds believed to be hazardous.

The main installations have already begun with funding from East Hampton Town, which will tax residents to recoup the costs of connecting their individual properties to the mains. The grant funding announced this week would offset most of the amount the town had expected to have to pay in full.

“This is a big plus for East Hampton taxpayers,” Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said on Tuesday. “That is help that we welcome as a small town confronted with water quality issues. It’s the right thing to do for the state to step in.”

The grant is part of $200 million in aid that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office announced on Tuesday would be available to communities statewide for addressing drinking water containing several “emerging contaminants” that have only relatively recently been discovered to be present in drinking water supplies and posing a potential health hazard.

The exact health effects of the contaminants, PFOS, PFOA and 1,4 dioxane, have not yet been determined, but they have been found in increasing amounts and are feared to have long-term impacts.

Water samples from 230 wells in southern Wainscott have been found to contain at least trace amounts of PFOS and PFOA, chemicals that were commonly used in fire-retardant foams for decades and have been found in water supplies surrounding airports around the nation. The chemicals have also been found in wells in Southampton Town and elsewhere on Long Island and around the state. The state grant program has already awarded another $5 million to other municipalities that are moving ahead with remediation projects like the one in Wainscott.

The town has been supplying bottled water to Wainscott homeowners since last fall, has paid for some to install charcoal filtration systems, and has pledged to front the estimated $24 million cost of installing water mains to all homes south of East Hampton Airport. The town will recoup the cost of connecting each individual home to the mains, amortized over 10 years, through town tax bills. The town will be offering the amortized payment for connections until 2020, after which time a property owner would have to arrange for the hook-up and payment with SCWA directly.

Mr. Van Scoyoc lamented on Tuesday that even though the contamination and water testing has been widely publicized, there are still 91 property owners who have not had their wells tested for contamination.

“If you live in Wainscott south of the airport, you really should have your water tested,” he said.

The State Department of Environmental Conservation is conducting an investigation of possible sources of the contaminants and is expected to release a report on its finding later this month.

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OK Southampton Town—-where is the NY money to pay for the Hampton Bays POFA and PFOA contaminants from the Evacuation foam used for fire fighting practices???
By Red Flag (51), HamptonBays on Oct 4, 18 1:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
How about a little money for Agawam Lake, worst in the state...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Oct 4, 18 1:31 PM
Houses around Arawak have septic tanks!! They need answer system!!
By Red Flag (51), HamptonBays on Oct 4, 18 9:45 PM