Gillibrand highlights contaminated water in New Hampshire

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., left, shakes hands as she arrives at a campaign meet-and-greet at To Share Brewing, Friday, March 15, 2019, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., high-fives a foosball opponent as partner Casey Leach of Manchester, N.H., laughs at a campaign meet-and-greet, Friday, March 15, 2019, at To Share Brewing in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., plays foosball alongside Casey Leach of Manchester, N.H. at a campaign meet-and-greet, Friday, March 15, 2019, at To Share Brewing in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

MERRIMACK, N.H. — Democratic presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand is trying to connect with voters' important issues on the ground — or, in some cases, underground.

The U.S. senator from New York held two roundtable discussions Friday in New Hampshire communities struggling with contaminated water. The second was in Merrimack, where hundreds of private wells in the town near a plastics factory have been contaminated with suspected carcinogens, and the state has closed two of the town's public wells.

The same company has caused contamination woes in New York, and Gillibrand highlighted her efforts to help affected residents there. But she also broadened the conversation, arguing that similar incidents across the country point to larger problems of racial injustice and income inequality because it often hurts residents who can't afford water testing, health monitoring or new homes when their wells are polluted.

"This goes to the much bigger problem. There's a growing divide in this country where the wealthy have access to every politician, access to every decisionmaker, and get to set the stage for America. The rest of the country gets no say," she said. "If you are in a low-income community or a community of color, a lot of this environmental degradation follows you. It's where polluters pollute. It's where you have less power because you don't have the money."

Gillibrand was joined by several local activists and freshman state lawmakers who were spurred by the contamination issue to run for office and dubbed themselves "Water Warriors."

Democratic Rep. Kathy Stack of Merrimack said she learned her well was contaminated about two years ago, and she is frightened every day remembering how her children drank the water as they were growing up. Now that they've grown and left home, she's stuck in a house that is too large because no one will buy it.

"A purchaser can't get a mortgage on a contaminated well," she said. "I wait, and I struggle."

Gillibrand's first discussion Friday was in Portsmouth, where decades of use of a toxic firefighting foam at a former military base contaminated wells later used by businesses and a day care facility. She said she will continue to elevate the issue.

"I think that's what running for president is all about. I'd like to serve this country, and to serve this country well, I need to hear directly from the people I will represent," she told reporters. "For any family, there is no more crippling issue than to know that their water is polluted, to know their child might be at risk or their own health might be at risk because of legacy pollution."

Must Read

China plans panda preserve 3 times size of...

Mar 31, 2017

China plans a preserve for giant pandas that will be three times the size of Yellowstone National...

'Silk Road' plan stirs unease over China's...

May 11, 2017

China's plan to build a "new Silk Road" of ports, railways and roads to expand trade across Asia...

China, Japan extract combustible ice from seafloor

May 19, 2017

Commercial development of the globe's vast reserves of a frozen fossil fuel known as "combustible...

China's Xi says willing to help end rift with...

May 19, 2017

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said he's willing to help ties with South Korea return to a...

Computer wins 2nd game against Chinese go champion

May 25, 2017

A computer that plays go has won a second game against China's top player in a match authorities...

About Us

RedShiftDaily was started out of fascination with mankind discoveries through peering out into the cosmos. Our team of enthusiasts are going to deliver only the best and latest progress in space technology and discovery so you too can share in the excitement.

Contact us: sales[at]redshiftdaily.com