You are on page 1of 2

May 14, 2019

Howard A. Zucker, M.D., J.D.


Commissioner
New York State Department of Health
Corning Tower Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12237

Re: Maximum Contaminant Levels for PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4-dioxane

Dear Commissioner Zucker,

I write today to once again urge the Department of Health to immediately move forward with
developing Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4-dioxane. New Yorkers
cannot wait any longer to have their drinking water protected from these dangerous chemicals.

The state’s Drinking Water Quality Council issued recommendations for MCLs in December of last year.
Although the recommended levels were not as low as I and many others had advocated, the way is
now clear for the Department to move forward with the rulemaking process. I was assured by your
staff in November that that process would be well underway by the beginning of this year, but that is
clearly not the case.

There is no reason for further delay. The science is clear on the threat that PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4-
dioxane pose to drinking water and public health. New Yorkers need to know that their water is being
tested for these chemicals, and that action will be taken if dangerous levels are discovered. The longer
New York waits, the greater the chance that people will get sick.

I continue to urge the Department to consider lower MCLs than were recommended by the Council, of
at most 4 parts per trillion for PFOA and PFOS, and 0.3 parts per billion for 1,4-dioxane. In addition, I
urge the Department to establish a combined MCL for PFOA and PFOS. Though the Council proposed
separate MCLs, numerous studies have recommended a combined MCL given that PFOA and PFOS
share similar toxicological effects and can be present together in drinking water sources. Vermont is
currently poised to adopt a combined MCL for multiple PFAS chemicals, including PFOA and PFOS. The
Department’s final regulations should adopt this approach to fully protect human health.
Finally, the Department must establish statewide testing of emerging contaminants. In 2017, the
Legislature instructed the Department to create a list of chemicals of concern for testing in all
communities, regardless of size. Yet New Yorkers still lack this critical drinking water protection. More
than three years after the water crisis in Hoosick Falls, New Yorkers should not still be in the dark as to
what is in their water. The Department must immediately create New York’s emerging contaminants
list, beginning with the chemicals listed in EPA’s Third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule
(UCMR).

Thank you for consideration.

Sincerely,

Liz Krueger
State Senator