Carolyn FortinoSep 19, 2016, 9:56 pmSep 19, 2016, 10:30 pm

Officials offer medical screenings to Newburgh residents following water crisis

Residents who have exposed to toxins for years air their concerns during meeting

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During a meeting at Mount Saint Mary College, the Department of Health joined the Environmental Protection Agency and local city officials to detail a plan for Newburgh residents who have been drinking contaminated water for years.

The meeting comes months after a state of emergency was declared on Newburgh’s primary reservoir, Lake Washington, for containing a toxic chemical called PFOS. Thousands of residents have been exposed to the harmful chemical for years, which is believed to have been leaked from the Stewart Air National Guard Base.

Now, residents are demanding answers and accountability for the fallout

"We need to bring this to light. We need to make sure there is proper water testing and that there is blood testing because we don't even know yet the damage that has been done," Antonella Pechtel said.

Locals fear that even though the city switched to a clean water source, there may be detrimental effects to their health from years of exposure. In response to this concern, the Department of Health has launched a program that will provide comprehensive blood tests and other health screenings.

"I have lupus and polycystic ovary syndrome, it’s an endocrine disorder. I'm only 27-years-old and I can't work. This isn't right to me," Beatrice Harris said.

The Department of Health’s goal is to open up the blood testing program to all residents of the City of Newburgh. Those who want to participate in the testing can sign up for the program by contacting the Department of Health.

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