Update of PFOAS August 26, 2022


Deferral Issued for PFOA and PFOS for the Nyack Village Water Supply, August 26, 2022.

Why are you receiving this notice/information?

You are receiving this notice because testing of our public water system found the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in your drinking water at 11 parts per trillion (ppt). This is above New York State’s maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 10 ppt for PFOA in public drinking water systems. Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) was found in your drinking water at less than the MCL of 10 ppt. The MCL is set well below levels known or estimated to cause health effects and below the EPA’s Health Advisory Level of 70 ppt. Consuming drinking water with PFOA at or somewhat above the MCL does not pose a significant health risk. Your water continues to be acceptable for all uses.

The Village of Nyack has submitted, and the New York State Department of Health (Department) has issued, a deferral to the Village of Nyack for PFOA and PFOS. When a public water system is issued a deferral, the water system agrees to a schedule for corrective action and compliance with the new MCLs. In exchange, the Department agrees to defer enforcement actions, such as assessing fines, if the water system is meeting the established deadlines. We are required to update the Department and the Rockland County Department of Health each calendar quarter on the status of our projects. If we do not meet the agreed upon deadlines, the Department can resume enforcement. 

On Thursday, August 25, 2022 the Nyack Village Board voted to bond $5,000,000 and apply for NYS funding to cover the costs of removing these newly regulated contaminants. Project updates will be posted to the website.

What are the health effects of PFOA?

The available information on the health effects associated with PFOA, like many chemicals, comes from studies of high-level exposure in animals or humans. Less is known about the chances of health effects occurring from lower levels of exposure, such as those that might occur in drinking water. As a result, finding lower levels of chemicals in drinking water prompts water suppliers and regulators to take precautions that include notifying consumers and steps to reduce exposure. PFOA has caused a wide range of health effects when studied in animals that were exposed to high levels. Additional studies of high-level exposures of PFOA in people provide evidence that some of the health effects seen in animals may also occur in humans. The most consistent findings in animals were effects on the liver and immune system and impaired fetal growth and development. The United States Environmental Protection Agency considers PFOA as having suggestive evidence for causing cancer based on studies of animals exposed to high levels of this chemical over their entire lifetimes. At the level of PFOA detected in your water, exposure from drinking water and food preparation is well below PFOA exposures associated with health effects.

What is New York State doing about PFOA in public drinking water? The New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) has adopted a drinking water regulation that requires all public water systems to test for PFOA. If found above the MCL, the water supplier must take steps to lower the level to meet the standard. Exceedances of the MCL signal that steps should be taken by the water system to reduce contaminant levels.

What is being done to remove these contaminants? The Nyack Water Department is working with the Rockland County Health Department on a compliance schedule that includes steps to reduce levels of PFOA. The Nyack Water Treatment Plant is to be upgraded to include a system which will remove PFOA. Additional information will be shared as further testing and progress occurs. This process is similar for any chemical detected in public drinking water that requires mitigation. The compliance timetable will ensure that your drinking water will meet the MCL as rapidly as possible. The deferral is effective until August 25, 2023.

Where can I get more information?

For more information, please contact Thomas Lynch at (845) 358-0641 or 9 N. Broadway Nyack, NY 10960. You can also contact the Rockland County Department of Health at (845) 364-2595. If you have additional questions about these contaminants and your health, talk to your health care provider who is most familiar with your health history and can provide advice and assistance about understanding how drinking water may affect your personal health. 

Public Water System ID# 4303666

Date: August 26, 2022