For decades, residents of the City of Newburgh have been cut out of conversations that define our lives. Whether it's the safety of our water, how we are supported by law enforcement, or the breathability of our air, too often the very people who bear the burden are left out of the decision-making process.
Luisa Fuentes joins us with an update on police accountability in Orange County, and Mark Sanchez-Potter lets us know how to testify in the upcoming hearings on the Danskammer power plant, which will dictate the the breathability of our air for decades to come.
Join new Co-Chair Ed Lawson and the Restoration Advisory Committee as we set the tone for 2021. Is this the year our watershed gets cleaned up for a PFAS-free future in Newburgh? Register today for the first RAC meeting in 2021. The stage has been set for meaningful progress this year. Let's make sure the Department of Defense and the Air National Guard know we're watching! We will be updated on the progress of the last 3 months, and public comments will be heard at the end of the meeting. Ed Lawson will be stepping in to the Co-Chair position, and he'll be demanding a timeline for progress.
Make your voice heard. Newburgh's health depends on it.
Jan. 27, 2021 — Water Session: Coming Up For Air
Navigating the Layers of Environmental Injustice. Food insecurity. Rising housing costs. Toxic water. Polluted air. A global pandemic. Sometimes, it all feels like too much to handle. And anyway, what can we do about it? Join Angela Shapiro on soundbowl, Newburgh Mutual Aid leader Michele McKeon, Dr. Erin Bell on the correlation between Covid-19 and PFAS, Ed Lawson from the Restoration Advisory Committee, and Gabrielle Hill, with news about our lead lawsuit against the EPA, as they guide us through the often treacherous paths of modern life in an Environmental Justice community like Newburgh. We'll be talking about how to get help, how to get involved, and how to take action, for ourselves and our community.
Nov. 2020 — We're Grateful for You
You Are Integral to This Movement. While we're not holding a water session this month due to the holiday, we do want to take this moment to say Thank You! We are grateful for all the ways you've supported and informed our work. Your contributions help hold polluters accountable for real clean up, secure long-term access to clean drinking water, restore our watershed, and create a healthier community.
A special shout-out to these Clean Water Allies…
Oct. 28, 2020 — RAC Meeting #4: Add Your Voice for Environmental Justice!
Join us online for the last Restoration Advisory Committee (RAC) Meeting of 2020, Wednesday, Oct. 28th, 6-8pm. Add your voice during the public comment session starting at 7:40 PM. Here's what we're calling for:
1. A working interim filtration system in 2021 that stems the PFAS flow from the Stewart Air National Guard (SANG) base into Rec Pond, Silver Stream and Washington Lake, (our original drinking water supply). The engineering firm, Wood PLC, won awards for their innovative and rapid cleanup of PEASE Air Force Base in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. *Not so, here*. The regulatory agency, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), environmental allies, as well as U.S. Senator Schumer’s office all note the company's sloppy science. 2 years of work on top of an 2 year initial delay—and still no real progress.
2. A more comprehensive investigation process that truly considers the toxins' migration paths and our potential exposure. These investigation findings will help determine whether we are eligible or not for limited federal clean-up funding under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP).
3. A commitment to clean-up to New York State's new PFAS drinking water standards. Pressured by environmental and public health groups, Governor Cuomo has enacted new PFAS standards, setting maximum contaminant level (MCLs) for PFOS and PFOA at 10 parts per trillion (ppt) each, as well as 1 part per billion for 1,4 Dioxane. SANG needs to clean up to these measures, at the very least. The National Resource Defense Council’s research recommends no more than 2 ppt combined PFAS exposure. Due to nearly 3 decades of contamination from 1990 to 2016, our community already has PFAS exposure well above the national average, and is dealing with the debilitating health effects. No more poisoning!
If you're interested in becoming a member of the Restoration Advisory Committee to hold SANG accontable for real cleanup, apply now! Fill out this application form (English) (Español) by Oct. 23rd.
We know when we raise our collective voice, we win.
Sept. 23, 2020 — Water Session: Protecting the Health of Our Children & Community in the Face of Lead & PFAS
Calling all Moms, Nurses, Health Advocates & Students Interested in Public Health & Environmental Justice
For nearly 3 decades—up until 2016—Newburgh was exposed to toxic PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in their drinking water. "These "forever" chemicals—found in the firefighting foams used by Stewart Air National Guard and Stewart Airport that poisoned our watershed and community—are linked to cancers, thyroid disease, immune deficiencies, as well pregnancy and child development issues. While we currently get clean drinking water from NYC's Catskill Aqueduct, this source is temporary and not guaranteed. Meanwhile, the city is working to replace old lead services pipes in historic (pre-1940s) buildings where families may have been exposed.
For our September Water Session, we want to hear from you - your concerns, questions and health stories. We're bringing together Dr. Erin Bell of SUNY Albany School of Public Health, (co-lead on the Newburgh & Hoosick Falls PFAS Health Study), health advocates, nurses, mothers, and students to learn more about how PFAS can affect us—particularly our children, how to prevent further exposure, and to share local health resources while we fight for comprehensive care and cleanup.
We'll discuss the formation of a Community Advisory Panel to advise the PFAS health study, mentoring and job opportunities for high school and community college students interested in public health, and how we can work together for universal health coverage for all New Yorkers. And, back by popular demand, Reverend Lewis of Calvary Presbyterian Church will open the evening with song. Don't miss this great opportunity to build our collective power and demand clean water and health care for all.
Aug. 26, 2020 — Water Session: Legislative & Advocacy Teach-in With EarthJustice & Riverkeeper
The Power to Demand Change: Working our Legal Tools
The Stewart Air National Guard polluted our waters with toxic PFAS chemicals - will our water ever be cleaned up? What are the legal tools and avenues we can use to demand a meaningful cleanup of the Air Base? Who do we need to petition at the Federal level and what is the State's responsibility in all of this?
For our August Water Session, we're bringing in our incredible allies at EARTHJUSTICE and Riverkeeper for some real talk about what's going on on the legal front and what each of us can do to advocate more effectively and powerfully for full clean up of our water.
Don't miss this incredible opportunity to educate and empower yourself! Our speakers will help us understand the laws on our side, what's happening at the National level with this issue, what's changed since the contamination was discovered over three years ago, and where we need to focus our energy at this point in the process.
Highlighting the evening will be special opening remarks by our J.E.D.I. in Chief, Genesis Ramos! Genesis is Chief Equity Officer for the City of Newburgh, advising the City on matters of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.
July 22, 2020 — Water Session: Taking Back the Narrative
Reclaiming Our Stolen Waters: Actions to Take Now. Join us for a conversation with Community Members of the Stewart Air National Guard (SANG) Restoration Advisory Committee (RAC) on Wednesday, July 22nd. We'll be taking a deep dive into the Interim Filtration System at Rec Pond which was built to prevent more toxic PFAS chemicals from flowing into our watershed (spoiler alert - it's not working); legal advocacy to ensure these chemicals don't get into our water in the future; and exciting virtual adventures to train the next generation of Newburgh waterkeepers.
When will the DOD restore our watershed, clean up their act and make things right? Together we'll strategize on taking back the narrative and holding the Department of Defense accountable for real and timely cleanup.
Special opening remarks will be shared by veteran, social justice advocate, and City of Newburgh resident: Michael Mannion.
June 24, 2020 — Water Session: What's Up With Our Health?
Join us for a conversation about the health effects of PFAS with Dr. Erin Bell, co-lead of the upcoming Newburgh & Hoosick Falls PFAS Health Study, and Associate Professor, Michael Bloom of SUNY Albany School of Public Health. They’ll present their work and host a Q&A session. Find out what the study means for you, your family and our community!
Special opening by Reverend Lewis of Calvary Presbyterian Church and closing reflections by Anusha Mehar of PANJA Culture + Wellness Studio
Feeling disconnected from your community, your environment, yourself? We want to hear from you! Newburgh Clean Water Project is pleased to welcome Gabrielle Hill from The Restorative Center to help us thoughtfully reconnect with the elements that really matter to you now. We'll start our session with a Native American poem to reconnect with our ancestors. Tamsin Hollo and Ophra Wolf of Newburgh Clean Water Project will update on national and local events…and then it's your turn! What are your concerns now? What do you fear? How can we act for positive change? What do our solutions look like in these changed times? We're here to listen as we move forward towards a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable Newburgh—together.
May 14, 2020 — Restoration Advisory Committee (RAC) Meeting #2 Debrief
Dear RAC Members, Thanks to everyone who participated in the last RAC Meeting! Please join us this coming Thursday, May 14th from 6-7 pm on Zoom (or use the call-in #). Bring your questions and concerns. Together we'll discuss how to make the RAC meetings and process more transparent, effective, and community-focused.
April 30, 2020 - Restoration Advisory Committee (RAC) Meeting #2
URGENT: Join Us Tomorrow, Thursday April 30, at 6 PM! We fought to make this meeting open to the public so you can help us hold the Stewart ANG to a full clean up of toxic PFAS in our water! Tomorrow is the 2nd meeting of the Stewart Air National Guard Restoration Advisory Committee (RAC) and we fought to make it public - it wasn't until this morning that the ANG agreed to let us in. Read the letter we sent, but first and most importantly, REGISTER to join!
Jan. 2020 — Farewell 2019. Here's to 2020!
Thanks for being a part of the NCWP. We wish you health & happiness in the New Year. From landmark state and federal PFAS regulations, battles to preserve our watershed, new health partners, and a newly formed Restoration Advisory Committee, 2019 has been a roller coaster of heart-wrenching defeats and soaring victories. Through it all, the strength, wit and wisdom of this exceptional community has sustained our work – to remediate, preserve and protect our water for the health of future generations.
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