Petersburgh's air and water still in flux but improving

February 22, 2017 12:32 AM

PETERSBURGH – Both the NYS Department of Health and Environmental Conservation, along with Rensselaer County and town officials held a meeting on what progress was happening to a room of only a couple dozen at the Veterans’ Memorial building.

“Based on these results, these controls are very effective in removing the PFOAs from the air stream,” said Thomas Gentile with DEC who conducted the smoke stack testing with Taconic.

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“The air coming out, we’ve only got very, very trace levels of PFOA in the stack and it’s not impacting the environment or public health,” said Rick Mustico from DEC.

The plant and landfill remain key concerns for the residents and what is still in the groundwater and how far the PFOA may have traveled.

“Everybody has their own concerns,” said Alan Webster, Petersburgh Town Supervisor, “the health of everyone is the primary concern and there are multiple other issues involved as well, a lot of jobs, Taconic employs a lot of people.”

Taconic Plastics stopped using PFOA with the coating process in 2013 but the state wants additional testing done.

“I guess we’ll see, we’ll wait and see,” said Mandy Niegoda, who remains skeptical. Bob Marani put it more bluntly.

“I think they’re throwing baloney up there,” Marani said. “I think they’re trying to get by, slide by, thinking that it’s going to work out more for them than it is for us.”

Taconic has agreed to reimburse Petersburgh $35,356.47 for costs arising from PFOA in the town water and private wells, Webster said. The Town Board said costs during 2016 include time employees spent dealing with the problem including clerical, legal and even office supply expenses. It should officially be signed on Tuesday, February 28.

FULL DEC PRESS RELEASE: Tuesday, February 21

DEC investigation finds air pollution controls are effectively removing PFOA emissions from plant
State continues to hold Taconic Plastics accountable in Petersburgh

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that results of stack emissions testing from the Taconic Plastics facility in Petersburgh have confirmed the company's pollution controls are effectively removing PFOA, as well as 12 other substances, from stack emissions to the air.  DEC ordered Taconic Plastics to conduct this comprehensive testing in December 2016 and this evening shared results with the community at a town board meeting in Petersburgh.

The stack emissions testing results showed only trace concentrations of PFOA are being emitted at a rate of less than four grams per year.  These trace emissions will not cause any adverse impacts on public health or the environment.

As the company ceased using PFOA in its coating process in 2013, DEC is requiring Taconic Plastics to conduct additional testing to investigate the potential sources of these trace amounts of PFOA.  Routine tests will be conducted with strict DEC oversight and future results will also be shared with the public. DEC continues to oversee the investigation and is working with town of Petersburgh officials to ensure public health and the environment are protected.

To view stack test results and for more information on DEC's investigation of Taconic Plastics, please contact 518-357-2045.


WNYT Staff

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