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Tarrytown Water Testing Revealed No Violations since 2014

by Rick Pezzullo

Tarrytown Village Administrator Michael Blau emphasized this week that since the village increased its water testing sites in 2014 there have been no violations regarding the lead threshold included in the federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

Blau made a detailed statement at the August 15 Board of Trustees meeting in response to an August 11 news release issued by the EPA entitled, “EPA Takes Action to Address Lead in Drinking Water Problems in Tarrytown, New York.”

In the release, the EPA stated that a recent investigation revealed Tarrytown had violated numerous provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act’s Lead and Copper Rule, including failing to properly evaluate the village’s water distribution system before establishing tap sampling locations and failing to meet requirements for properly identifying tap monitoring locations.

“Providing clean drinking water is one of the most important functions of government,” said Judith Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “It is essential that the Village of Tarrytown fully comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act so the health of residents is protected.”

The EPA stated in April of this year that the EPA conducted an audit at Tarrytown’s Water Supply’s offices to review Lead and Copper Rule data and also conducted a site visit of treatment facilities used by the village. The EPA further stated Tarrytown was inspected because recent sampling results by the village showed “action level exceedances for lead in drinking water,” adding that, out of 31 samples, four exceeded the EPA’s action level for lead.

However, Blau pointed out the four samples referenced by the EPA were taken in 2013. Due to that violation, Blau said Tarrytown increased its testing from 30 sites once annually to 60 test sites twice per year. Since taking that step, the village has not been in violation of the EPA regulations.

During the last testing of 62 sites covering January 1, 2016 through June 30, only one testing location exceeded the lead limit. To be in violation, at least seven water samples would have had to be over the threshold.

“The village takes very seriously the violations included in the Administrative Order from the EPA and will be taking action on all violations to assure compliance in the future and to meet the demands of the request for information,” Blau stated.

Tarrytown received the Administrative Order from the EPA on August 8 and has 15 days to send results to homeowners whose taps were sampled for lead and copper from 2013 to 2015. The village must also submit public education material to the EPA, the New York State Department of Health and Westchester County Department of Health within 15 days, and comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act’s public education delivery requirements for the materials within 30 days.

Blau stated the village intends to fully comply with all of the requirements in the administrative order.

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