Community Member

Newburgh Clean Water Project

Newburgh, New York

Newburgh Clean Water Project (NCWP) is a grassroots group of Newburgh, NY, residents whose mission is to protect the city’s access to clean drinking water and engage the local and regional community in watershed protection and restoration. The City of Newburgh has not used Washington Lake, its primary drinking water source, since 2016, when toxic PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) was discovered. The main source of the contamination is the Stewart Air National Guard (SANG) Base, where firefighting foams containing PFAS were used and spilled. Known as “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down naturally, PFAS was widely used for decades in many products despite chemical manufacturers being aware of their health hazards, ranging from high blood pressure to cancer. Since 2016, Newburgh residents have been fluctuating between temporary drinking water sources while fighting to hold the polluters accountable for the clean-up and seeking a long-term source of clean drinking water.

Jennifer Rawlison of the Newburgh Clean Water Project (at the microphone) joins advocates at the New York State Capitol in February 2024 to renew calls for legislation to control harmful PFAS chemicals. Photo: Jennifer Rawlison

NCWP engages the community in advocating for Newburgh’s long-term access to clean drinking water, comprehensive health resources for those affected by PFAS and lead, and the restoration of its watershed. In addition to the years-long fight to get SANG to speed up the cleanup of the town’s main drinking water source, the group has been battling other threats to its watershed to include additional pollutants, overdevelopment, lack of enforcement and poor planning. NCWP works with a coalition of advocates that includes local and regional nonprofit organizations on the forefront of watershed protection and restoration for the city of Newburgh. They include but are not limited to the Quassaick Creek Watershed Alliance, Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson, and Clearwater. Alongside NCWP, these staunch allies have been alerting city and state officials about potential threats, educating the public, and helping to mitigate and plan for a better environmentally just future for Newburgh residents.

For more information:

New York legislators are renewing calls to stop the use of PFAS in everyday products – WAME Northeast Public Radio, February 2024

Dorothy Terry

Dorothy Terry

Dorothy Terry is a journalist by profession, having worked as a daily newspaper reporter on both coasts and a contributing writer for several national magazines. She is a former Congressional press secretary and has worked as a communications manager and consultant for corporations and nonprofits.


Jennifer Rawlison


Social Media

Climate Impacts


Environmental Justice Concerns

Fighting Development/Destruction of Wildlife/Extinction of Species, Fracking/Oil and Gas Development/Pipelines, Groundwater Contamination, Lead Contamination, PFAS/PFOS, Superfund Sites


Community Organizing and Education, Legal/permit challenges to development, contamination, pollution, etc, Political activism, including protests, petitions, and lobbying

501c3 Tax Deductible


Accepting Donations