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10 water districts on Long Island have excessive PFAS chemicals

Nithin PA

Ten Long Island water districts have an excessive amount of two toxic PFAS chemicals in their drinking water, according to the advocacy group Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

The group released an interactive map, which shows where PFAS chemicals, also called forever chemicals, break down slowly in the environment and can cause health issues.

The 10 districts provide water for 570,000 Long Island residents. According to data compiled from over 50 local districts by the group, the water provided exceeds the state health regulation of 10 parts per trillion for the chemicals, PFOA and PFOS.

“PFAS chemicals are an insidious, toxic group of chemicals that have been found across the nation,” said Adrienne Esposito, the group’s executive director. “But Long Island has become a microcosm of that problem.”

PFOA and PFOS are the most common types of PFAS chemicals. Another 16 districts had twice as much from a larger, less common group of PFAS chemicals.

Esposito wants four additional PFAS chemicals to be included in stricter regulations proposed for the state. The other half of water districts were under this proposed 2 parts per trillion limit.

Suffolk County Water Authority chair Patrick Halpin refuted the map on Facebook, saying its districts remove all PFAS chemicals from its water supply.

“The Suffolk County Water Authority and all water providers in New York State remove PFAS chemicals from the public water supply,” Halpin said. “Furthermore, the water that people get from the tap is constantly tested and the water that we drink has no PFAS.”

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.