Editorial

Bring In The Water

It was an angry group, and with good reason.

Wainscott residents are scared and worried. They are learning what folks in Westhampton and Hampton Bays and numerous other places around the country are also finding out.

PFCs, contaminants related to fire retardant materials and fire-fighting foam, and related products, are in our drinking water. The government has been soft-soaping the dangers for decades, duped by 3M and the other companies that manufactured the chemicals and/or used them in their product.

East Hampton Town Board members are being accused of dragging their feet since the contaminants were discovered in Wainscott drinking wells six months ago. They sent over plastic bottles of drinking water, but the gesture offers little consolation to those who are living with this stuff, bathing in it, and giving it to their kids and grandchildren.

Jeff Bragman, who was elected to the East Hampton Town Board last November and took office in January, revealed that he started urging the town to pay for county water to be piped in back in March and to provide intricate filtration systems until that can be accomplished. These things take time, we get that.

But something more sinister may be taking place. As we reported several weeks ago, the town knew about the contamination in January 2017, a year earlier than it let on. And there is anecdotal evidence that the town was told in 2016, during the previous administration, and didn’t even bother to take well samples. The 3M company recently agreed to pay Minnesota $850 million to settle a similar suit; in this case, the town owns the land (the airport) where the pollution is concerned and might well share the liability.

All of this is conjecture. What needs to happen, now, is to bring the filtration systems and county water in, even if the town has to reimburse every individual in Wainscott who opts to bring it in. In fact, this is a rich community; the town could opt to put up all the money immediately and fill in the paperwork later.

Has your community been tested? Has your municipality begun to understand that a cover-up went on, a massive effort to convince all concerned that this stuff wasn’t dangerous? Find out.