Pictured above from "Jaws": Residents of Amity Island gather to discuss an action plan to deal with a giant problem that cannot be ignored any longer.

Long Island PFAS Update

At the risk of having some fun with a serious subject… the recent town hall style meeting hosted at the Nassau County Bar Association reminded me of the movie “Jaws” when Amity residents and politicians finally admitted they have a problem. New information regarding the Island’s high level of drinking water contamination from the emerging contaminants PFAS and 1,4-dioxane continues to be made available on a weekly basis. The level of concern and desire for action by Long Island residents has clearly elevated to new levels.

Forever Solutions Flyer

Attending many of these meetings ourselves over the last few years, it is clear that residents, public advocates, regulators and government are beginning to work together more closely and uniting efforts.

A big kudos to Nick Rigano and Howard Tollin for pulling off such an interesting and informative panel discussion last night!

Click here for more from the NYSBA Environmental Law Section.

Dr. Kenneth Spaeth, Chief of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Northwell Health
Dr. Kenneth Spaeth, Northwell Health

When Dr. Kenneth Spaeth, chief of occupational and environmental medicine at Northwell Health, explained to the audience in a very clear and “understandable” manner the key factors in assessing the risks associated with exposure to Forever Chemicals reminded me of when Matt Hooper (played by Richard Dreyfuss) was called in to help provide an evidence-based expert perspective to dealing with the giant problem facing Islanders.

Based on his passion and experience, we can expect (and hope) to be hearing more from Dr. Spaeth as he continues to comb through NHANES data to develop appropriate models.

The meeting’s focus on alternative drinking water options to cleaning the Long island aquifer sources, such as working with NYC to share its less-affected water supply was a unifying and rationale discussion by lawmakers on the panel.  Studies to identify the costs for building an expansion and the potential aftermath of leaving Long Island’s aquifers unpumped are underway.

Adrienne Esposito’s work at Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment was also nicely presented.  Below is an interesting analyses they did of common household products containing 1,4 dioxane.  Legislation to limit manufacturing of these products is beginning to gain steam as she has a long list of supporters backing her effort.

CEC Dirty Dozen

CEC Green Fifteen

In case you missed it, York also participated in an Emerging Contaminants town hall discussion hosted by Save The Great South Bay and featured in Episode 5 of their Podcast series.

With a new office in Hauppauge and the area’s first Emerging Contaminants laboratory in NYC, York remains laser focused on staying at the forefront of analyses of Forever Chemicals.

About Michael Beckerich

Michael leads a best-in-class team of senior environmental professionals at York Analytical Labs. Before joining York, he held senior communications positions at pharmaceutical giants Johnson & Johnson, Warner Lambert and Amgen, where he was responsible for crisis management at the highest level and also served as a media spokesperson.

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