News Feature | January 24, 2018

Hoosick Falls Brings PFC Fight To State Capital

Peter Chawaga - editor

By Peter Chawaga, Associate Editor, Water Online

hoosick.reg

One of the first communities to raise a red flag around perfluorinated compound (PFC) contamination took another step in its fight for clean water this month.

“More than two years after the discovery of PFOA [perfluorooctanoic acid] in the village’s water supply, Hoosick Falls residents and area organizations joined together in the state capital … to demand a new source of clean drinking water for the village,” according to the Troy Record. “For several years now, village officials have blamed the PFOA contamination issue of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International.”

Members of the small town in New York gathered together to sign a letter prompting the U.S. EPA and the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to hasten action to get them a safe drinking water source.

“Over 100 residents and organization who signed the letter urged the EPA and DEC, as the two agencies leading on the Hoosick Falls Superfund site, to approve a clean, PFOA-free, surface water source to serve as the drinking water supply for town and village residents,” the Troy Record reported.

Shortly before gathering for the demonstration, officials from Hoosick Falls voted to sue Honeywell and Saint-Gobain for their roles in the contamination.

“[V]illage officials voted to sue two companies for costs related to the tainted drinking water,” the Times Union reported. “State and federal regulators are holding the companies responsible for PFOA contamination of public and private drinking water sources.”

Shortly after the demonstration, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos indicated that the concerns had reached his attention. In a news conference, he listed the steps necessary to establish a permanent solution.

“What we intend to do is as follows: we need to get a meeting scheduled, we’re working with [Mayor Rob Allen] and have been now for many months, we’re going to share the results [of the feasibility study] with the mayor and then get a public meeting set imminently,” Seggos said, per the Troy Record. “We [will] walk the community through our findings — the findings of the feasibility study and also some of what options exist on the water supply.”

To read more about PFC issues visit Water Online’s Source Water Contamination Solutions Center.

Image credit: "John Street, Hoosick Falls," Deborah Esrick © 2010, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/