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New York city alleges water supply contamination caused by airport, Air National Guard base

By Jenie Mallari-Torres | Aug 16, 2018

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) – A New York city alleges that discharges from New York Stewart International Airport and Stewart Air National Guard Base caused contamination of its water supply.

The city of Newburgh filed a complaint on Aug. 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against United States of America, United States Department of Defense, the state of New York, et al. citing the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and other counts.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff's primary water supply is the Washington Lake Reservoir and alleges that discharges of hazardous substances, including per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS), from the New York Stewart International Airport and Stewart Air National Guard Base are causing contamination of the watershed supplying Washington Lake. The city alleges that since 2016, it has provided residents water from the Catskill Aqueduct because of the contamination.

The plaintiff holds United States of America, United States Department of Defense, the state of New York, et al. responsible because the defendants allegedly have led to the contamination and have failed to adequately investigate and remediate the contamination at Washington Lake. The plaintiff seeks an injunction requiring that the defendants halt disposal of PFAS and pay for continued use of an alternative clean water supply and costs until remediation is complete.

The plaintiff seeks judgment against defendant for damages, costs, attorneys’ fees, expert witness fees, punitive damages, interest and further relief as the court deems just. It is represented by Alan J. Knauf of Knauf Shaw LLP in Rochester, New York; George A. Rodenhausen of Rodenhausen Chale LLP in Rhinebeck, New York; and John J. Walsh of Hodges, Walsh, Messemer & Burke LLP in White Plains, New York.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York case number 7:18-cv-07057

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