February 11, 2020
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Potential Source of New Paltz Contamination Identified

Governor Cuomo Announces Potential Source of New Paltz Contamination Identified

Governor Deploys Over 40,000 Gallons of Fresh Water to New Paltz Following Do Not Drink Advisory

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that a potential source of New Paltz contamination has been identified. The Governor also deployed over 40,000 gallons of fresh water to support residents and students in New Paltz following a do not drink advisory from the New York State Department of Health and Ulster County Department of Health.

"Protecting public health and safety is our top priority and with the potential source of this contamination now identified, our work to restore New Paltz's water system and put an end to this situation continues," Governor Cuomo said. "As this happens, we will ensure residents continue to have access to clean water and the community has the support and access to resources that it needs."

DEC and Village officials have isolated the likely cause of the sheen observed on Reservoir #4 to a compromised underground fuel line for the village's water treatment plant heating system. DEC Spill Response experts are overseeing development and implementation of a cleanup plan to address this spill. The village has bypassed this reservoir while investigations of the drinking water supply continue and sampling results are analyzed.

After receiving notification of the reports, state and local officials immediately began to investigate the cause and make both bottled and potable water available to impacted residents until further notice. DOH, DEC and Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services staff are on site at the command center actively monitoring the situation. In addition to sampling conducted by the Village, DOH is collecting samples for a variety of analysis based upon the types of odors. DOH is working with local officials to implement a plan to conduct a comprehensive flushing of the water in the village's distribution system so the do not drink advisory can be safely and effectively lifted.

Earlier today, the Village's water treatment plant operator discovered a sheen on one of the Village's reservoirs and promptly reported it to the Department of Environmental Conservation. DEC immediately responded to the scene and is currently investigating. As a precaution, absorbent booms and pads have been placed in the reservoir and DEC Spill Responders will continue to remain on site to ensure public health and the environment are protected. More information will be provided once available.

SUNY New Paltz

· SUNY New Paltz cancelled all classes effective 3:30 p.m. today out of an abundance of caution and directed resident students to leave campus by noon tomorrow. International students will remain on campus.

· Two 6,700 gallon water tankers on site

· One 500 gallon water buffalo on site

· 24 pallets of bottled water on site

· 12 pallets of water to be delivered tomorrow

New Paltz Central School District (K-12)

· Schools are scheduled to be open Wednesday and Thursday this week

· Schools are scheduled to be closed on Friday and Monday for the holiday weekend

· Two days of water have been provided to New Paltz schools:

· Five pallets to New Paltz High School

· Three pallets to New Paltz Middle School

· Three pallets to Duzine Elementary School

· A second elementary school is on well water

Village of New Paltz

· One 6,700 gallon water tanker on site

· Three 500 gallon water buffaloes on site

· 25 pallets of bottled water being distributed

· Two light towers for use on water tanks

· Water distribution for the general public is 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Water refills

· DEC contractor will be conducting daily checks of water levels of all water buffalos and filling as appropriate to ensure continued water supplies for all residents


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