Lawsuit Moved to Federal Court

Putnam Valley blames firms for chemicals at school 

The Putnam Valley school district’s lawsuit over the contamination of the well that supplies drinking water to its elementary school was transferred on Feb. 3 to federal court. 

Filed Dec. 21 in state court in Carmel, the lawsuit names 3M, DuPont and other firms that manufactured products containing polyfluoroalkyl substances. This class of chemicals is used in nonstick and stain- and water-resistant coatings, and in foams used by firefighters to suppress blazes caused by liquids like jet fuel. The materials have been associated with illnesses such as kidney and testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis and high cholesterol.

The lawsuit traces the source of the contamination to the use of firefighting foams at the Putnam Valley Fire Department’s firehouses — one 4,600 feet from the school’s property on Oscawana Lake Road and the other 4.6 miles away. 

One thought on “Lawsuit Moved to Federal Court

  1. Thanks to The Current for your coverage of Putnam Valley and the contamination issues.

    As you reported, the fire department has filed a lawsuit against a contractor whom it claims is responsible for dumping thousands of yards of contaminated fill on itsproperty.
    What nobody seems to be doing, including the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) or the Putnam County Health Department, is investigating whether the toxins and chemicals found at the fire department site on Oscawana Lake Road have also been found in the elementary school water.

    The Putnam Valley fire department has two locations: one on Canopus Hollow Road, where it has its current firehouse, and the other on Oscawana Lake Road, closer to the school, where it is building its new fire station.

    During the years that the fire department conducted the remediation on the Oscawana Lake Road site, the water, air and soil were monitored and analyzed to make sure that the toxic chemicals were removed to the satisfaction of the DEC. The latest and final certification report for the DEC was submitted in November.

    As it stands now, and due to the reporting in local media, residents who live in the area have become concerned about whether their wells are tainted.

    The DEC and Putnam Health Department are well-funded by taxpayers and are supposed to be watching out for the health of the citizens and the environment of our town. Where are our Town Board members, county legislators or the county execu-tive, Kevin Byrne? Why aren’t they demanding some accountability from these agencies? It’s long past time for the residential wells in the area to be tested, and it should not be the responsibility of the homeowners to do so. We pay enough for the “privilege” of living in one of the most expensive places in New York.

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