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NYSDEC Determines State of Hastings Waterfront Pollution

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Safety and potential pollution of waterfront areas like Kinnally Cove is a top concern of many local residents.  George Heitzman of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) said Kinnally Cove was determined safe by the village when it was acquired so there’s no need to worry about the safety of the water.

“The village definitely checked that out before they acquired Kinnally Cove,” Heitzman said.

The Hastings waterfront is a site located on 28 acres down by the Hudson River over the train tracks where several factories used to operate.  The physical landmass was built in the early 1900s by placement of fill material into the Hudson, according to the fact sheet on the village website.

The waterfront contamination has been caused by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), which are used as insulators for high voltage cables and these contaminates can be found in the water in the form of liquid, semi-solid and traces.  This pollution was a byproduct of a cable company and other factories that operated at the old Harbor on Hastings site.

“Ten years ago we had no idea we were dealing with this kind of stuff,” Heitzman said.

While water in the Hudson River may contain PCB contaminates, NYSDEC public health specialist Nathan Walz reminded residents that local drinking water is provided by private companies.

“You never have been and never will be drinking contaminated water from the Hudson River,” Walz said.

In response to residents worried about coming into contact with any contamination that’s already in the ground on the waterfront, Walz said it would be extremely difficult for this to occur.

“It’s really impossible for anyone to get 25 to 30 feet down to come into contact with the sediments,” Walz said about sediments found further down under ground.

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