Water worries for Long Island

A gasoline additive could be a threat to the water
February 23, 2008 9:51:12 AM PST
State environmental regulators say a gasoline additive banned statewide since 2004 over health and environmental concerns still threatens to taint Long Island's drinking water.A new state Department of Environmental Conservation report says the chemical, known as MTBE, was found at levels above the state drinking-water standard in 40 percent of 52 test wells at Long Island gasoline stations between 2002 and 2006.

The report says eight wells had more than 500 times as much MTBE as the drinking-water standard allows. They have been or are being cleaned up.

The department is calling for further monitoring.

More than 2.7 million residents of Nassau and Suffolk counties depend on groundwater for drinking water.

MTBE was first added to gasoline from 1979. Its use has declined amid bans in New York and some other states.