News Feature | July 4, 2017

New Tests Reveal Shocking PFOA Levels In Hoosick Falls

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome
@sarmje

hoosickfalls1 reg new.jpg

A probe into perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) levels in Hoosick Falls, NY, groundwater uncovered shockingly high levels of contamination.

“Tests discussed during a meeting at Hoosick Falls High School [in June] showed Saint-Gobain's McCaffrey Street plant, which is the only state Superfund site in Hoosick Falls, contains PFOA groundwater levels of up to 130,000 parts per trillion,” WNYT reported.

That result is “seven times higher than [what was] reported nearly three years ago at 18,000 parts per trillion,” the Times Union reported.

The U.S. EPA recommends that PFOA should be below 70 parts per trillion in drinking water. The results renewed concerns about PFOA contamination of water in the region.

"This is widespread contamination," former region 2 EPA Administrator Judith Enck said, per WNYT. "This is a toxic legacy that's a lot for this small community to endure."

"We have to be smart about this," Enck added. "The source of drinking water is groundwater so we don't ever want to see groundwater close to anything close to more than 70 parts per trillion."

Saint-Gobain and Honeywell International tested four sites to fulfill a consent order, according to the report.

The results were not the only concerning news Hoosick Falls residents have received in recent weeks.

“These results followed the release of a controversial cancer study by the state, which found no increased rate of cancer among the Rensselaer County village’s 3,400 residents. The results infuriated residents and was questioned by some experts who said the analysis was misleading and too limited to accurately show any link between rare forms of the disease in residents who drank contaminated water,” the Times Union reported.

The EPA issued a health advisory last year about exposure to perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) as various towns wage high-profile battles against the pollutants. PFCs are industrial contaminants, and research has tied them to cancer.

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

Image credit: "Hoosick Falls, New York," Doug Kerr © 2011, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/