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Mar 1, 2019 2:35 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays Fire Department Added To New York Superfund List For Contamination

The Hampton Bays Fire Department on Montauk Highway was added to the state's Superfund registry on Wednesday, February 28. PRESS FILE
Mar 4, 2019 9:33 AM

The Hampton Bays Fire Department was added to the state’s registry of Superfund sites—any land in the state that has been contaminated by hazardous waste and poses risks to human health or the environment—on Wednesday, February 27, according to the State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The DEC became interested in the Montauk Highway site after routine testing of three drinking water wells, used by the hamlet’s municipal water system, found traces of two hazardous chemicals in 2014. The Hampton Bays Fire District’s investigation of the 2-acre site will include testing soil and groundwater samples to identify the source and extent of the contamination. The DEC, as well as the state’s Department of Health, will oversee the investigation.

The Hampton Bays Water District shut off three of the district’s 11 wells—located along Ponquogue Avenue, between 100 and 150 yards from the fire department’s main firehouse—in 2016 and 2017 after subsequent water testing revealed that the water contained 82 parts per trillion, or ppt, of perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, and perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. The Environmental Protection Agency’s limit is 70 ppt for the two perfluorinated compounds.

Further investigation of the fire department site, conducted last year by the fire district, revealed PFOS levels of up to 2,400 ppt. The site was then identified as a “Class 2 site,” in the State Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Sites, which, according to the press release, “presents a significant threat to public health and the environment.”

In its Technical Fact Sheet released in November 2017, the EPA states that exposure to the compounds may cause testicular and kidney cancers, thyroid diseases, and developmental effects to fetuses and infants.

The DEC suggested this week that the contamination likely will be traced back to firefighting foam used during training exercises at the firehouse. In January 2018, fire suppression foam was found within the fire department’s maintenance building and was collected for disposal through a state-funded firefighting foam collection program. To date, the DEC has disposed of nearly 32,000 gallons of foam statewide, according to DEC officials.

However, the Hampton Bays Fire District’s attorney, Stanley Orzechowski, said on Friday that the department never used fire suppression foam for training purposes on site. “We haven’t used it on site—we just don’t do that,” he said.

At a Hampton Bays Civic Association meeting in November 2017, Brian Jankauskas, an environmental engineer with the DEC, said the Hampton Bays Fire Department was the only site to be investigated. DEC officials, who declined to be identified by name, confirmed Mr. Jankauskas’s statement on Friday.

Mr. Orzechowski attributed the investigation’s delay to independent lab testing and a longer-than-anticipated approval process.

Hampton Bays Water District Superintendent Robert King, who also serves as a commissioner of the Hampton Bays Fire District, referred all questions to Mr. Orzechowski.

Following the investigation, the hamlet’s fire district is required to conduct a “feasibility study” of what it would take to remediate the effects of the contamination.

DEC officials said one option is to install a carbon filtration system at the fire department, similar to the $1 million system installed at the water district last year. The Hampton Bays Fire District will be responsible for all costs associated with the remediation of the site; however, DEC officials could not estimate those costs on Friday.

The DEC said that the fire district has submitted a work plan to perform the comprehensive study and expects the remedial investigation to begin in March.

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The groundwater at the fire house is poisoned with 2,400 ppt of PFOS and PFOA. This is 240 times over the new limit in NYS of 10 ppt. 240 times over the limit is deadly. Robert King is our Water Superintendent and also the person most responsible for the contamination of our water supply by the Fire Dept. And yet he won't talk, and is hiding behind an attorney?
By Bayman (56), Hampton Bays on Mar 1, 19 3:58 PM
1 member liked this comment
previous stories from 27east:
Aug 26, 2015 9:49 AM
A quick-moving fire destroyed a two-story home in Hampton Bays owned by Hampton Bays Fire District Commissioner Rob King.

Dec 18, 2015 12:26 PM
Warren Booth III, 51, a lifelong resident of Hampton Bays and a longtime volunteer with the Hampton Bays Fire Department, removed approximately $55,000 from the Arthur J. Jones Scholarship Fund over several years while serving as administrator of the account, according to accusatory ...more
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Mar 1, 19 10:19 PM
2 members liked this comment
Bayman, dont stop printing the truth. SOme day the people of HB will listen,,,,or the government will have to step in and take charge...to protest the well being of the people!
By Red Flag (51), Southampton on Mar 2, 19 8:49 PM
1 member liked this comment
The ‘’locals’’ are not taking care of their neighbors.They first pour hazardous chemicals into our ground water and then it’s pumps it into our homes.This is not a deliberate chain of events but it does point out the danger of allowing poorly prepared people to run our fire and water departments.Our first responsible is to hand over our water management to the professionals at the Suffolk Water Authority and the State DEC to clean up chemical mess at the Fire Dept.A ...more
By watchdog1 (543), Southampton on Mar 1, 19 5:28 PM
Wife of Fire Commissioner on the payroll at double the usual compensation. Wife of Lars Clemenson, superintendent of the Hampton Bays School District is on the payroll for $200k annnual compensation. Why are Hampton Bays property taxes so high and why is our drinking water poison?
Previously from 27east:

"Within two years of being appointed, the treasurer of the Hampton Bays Fire District saw her salary nearly double to more than $57,000, making her one of the more handsomely paid ...more
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Mar 3, 19 6:02 PM
2 members liked this comment
What can be done to control this? When can audit be done? We need to have better services for our hard earned tax dollars.

Who can help?
By Red Flag (51), Southampton on Mar 4, 19 10:20 PM
Watchdog , your words are worth repeating....

Readers: clip and paste these words on your Facebook pages

The ‘’locals’’ are not taking care of their neighbors.They first pour hazardous chemicals into our ground water and then it’s pumps it into our homes.This is not a deliberate chain of events but it does point out the danger of allowing poorly prepared people to run our fire and water departments.Our first responsible is to hand over our water management ...more
By Red Flag (51), Southampton on Mar 4, 19 10:22 PM
Why are these hazardous materials even being able to be made? Where the hell else do you think the fire foam is going to go if used. I hope all Fire districts on LI get checked out. Especially EQ they have serious pfos pfas issues over. I live in a town that has these issues and my water bill is around 375 every 3 months.
By watchoutnow968 (56), Southampton on Mar 5, 19 7:58 AM
Just proves that public water can be just as contaminated/dangerous as well water.
By 2329702 (67), East Quogue on Mar 8, 19 8:38 AM
Thanks Red Flag.
By watchdog1 (543), Southampton on Mar 5, 19 10:28 AM
Will the Hampton Bays Fired Department pay for my bottled water or the installation of a water filtration system to clear out the posionous chemicals from my drinking water? Should be easy deal to make since the Fired Department and the Poison Water Department share many of the same executives.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Mar 5, 19 5:35 PM
1 member liked this comment
Your comments about the Fire Dept & Water District are like a one trick pony. Boy, you seem to really have a grudge.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 5, 19 9:11 PM
"...the EPA states that exposure to the compounds may cause testicular and kidney cancers, thyroid diseases, and developmental effects to fetuses and infants. "
Why should anyone have a "grudge"?
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Mar 6, 19 9:31 AM
You left out a few: "health effects, including developmental effects to fetuses during pregnancy or to breastfed infants (e.g., low birth weight, accelerated puberty, skeletal variations), cancer (e.g., testicular, kidney), liver effects (e.g., tissue damage), immune effects (e.g., antibody production and immunity), thyroid effects and other effects (e.g., cholesterol changes)"

https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/drinking-water-health-advisories-pfoa-and-pfos
By Moneybogue (37), Westhampton Beach on Mar 6, 19 10:25 AM
1 member liked this comment
FIND YOUR SENATOR

The Laws Of New York Consolidated Laws TownArticle 11: Fire, Fire Alarm And Fire Protection Districts
SECTION 175-C
SECTION 176-A
Section 176
Powers and duties of fire district commissioners
Town (TWN)
Subject to law and the provisions of this chapter, the fire district commissioners of every fire district shall constitute and be known as the board of fire commissioners of such fire district. Such board of fire commissioners

1. Shall ...more
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Mar 6, 19 9:47 AM
Can someone double check my math, based on this SC WHB sampling report it seems their threshold for PFOS is .04 ug/l (microgram per liter) which is 40,000 ppt (parts per trillion).... 4,000 times the "safe" 10 ppt level

https://suffolkcountyny.gov/Portals/0/FormsDocs/health/EnvironmentalQuality/Website_SCDHS_Gabreski_Airport_PFC_Groundwater_Investigation.pdf
By Moneybogue (37), Westhampton Beach on Mar 6, 19 10:23 AM
Money,

0.04 micrograms/liter (ppb) is equal to 40 nanograms/liter (ppt), which is a relatively high detection limit for this analysis, which is typically 2 ppt. However, when the analytical laboratory is analyzing samples with high levels of PFAS the detection limits go up (instrument interference) so in this situation 40 ppt detection limit is not unreasonable.
By weaver (18), southampton on Mar 9, 19 8:09 AM
Fire and water managed by the same person. Fire property a Superfund site. Water complaints, PFOAS. The Town Board is, ultimately, responsible for our water. But, who cares...the Board has more important things to do...like forge ahead with development of high end seasonal resorts on tiny pieces of sensitive land. BellAir anyone?
By Marrrmin (17), Hampton bays on Mar 6, 19 2:28 PM
2 members liked this comment
"However, the Hampton Bays Fire District’s attorney, Stanley Orzechowski, said on Friday that the department never used fire suppression foam for training purposes on site. “We haven’t used it on site—we just don’t do that,” he said. "
Then how did it get into the wells across the street?
"Hampton Bays Water District Superintendent Robert King, who also serves as a commissioner of the Hampton Bays Fire District, referred all questions to Mr. Orzechowski. ...more
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Mar 11, 19 6:19 PM
When is the next election for the Hampton Bays Fire Department? Can we do it in November along with every other election? And let's have the Hampton Bays School District election be on the same day as well.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Mar 13, 19 9:39 AM