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Hoosick Falls meeting addressing 'shocking' new report on contaminated water

June 19, 2017 11:43 PM

HOOSICK FALLS - "It's shocking the numbers are high," said Hoosick Falls resident Silvia Potter. "It seems to be one of the worst environmental catastrophes in the state."

Former Region 2 EPA Administrator Judith Enck said tests results of a PFOA investigation in Hoosick Falls could reveal some of the highest levels of PFOA contamination in the nation.

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"This is widespread contamination," Enck said. "This is a toxic legacy that's a lot for this small community to endure."

"We're asking our governor for answers," said Hoosick Falls resident Michele Baker. "And to come here to Hoosick Falls, meet with the families and talk to all of us."

Saint-Gobain and Honeywell International tested four sites as part of a consent order.

"To hold the responsible parties accountable we need to remediate some of the contamination on the sources of former manufacturing," said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos.

Tests discussed during a meeting at Hoosick Falls High School Monday evening 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.

The EPA recommends less than 70 parts per trillion in drinking water.

There is no limit for groundwater but some say groundwater contamination is just as bad as drinking water contamination.

"We have to be smart about this and this," Enck said. "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."

The NYS DEC said Saint-Gobain's Liberty Street site as well as Honeywell International’s John St. site is a source of contamination in those areas and they are moving closer to making both a Superfund site, which would allow a cleanup process to begin.

"So I think you've seen some big numbers here but it doesn't change the fact that ultimately what we're trying to do is to make the town of Hoosick whole," said Saint-Gobain Vice President of Communications, Carmen Ferrigno. "We want to make sure that this is remediated so people do not worry about that. And that's the intention."

"We'll see what happens," Potter said.

Despite carbon filters keeping the water safe to drink, Enck says an alternate water source is needed.

"It's essential that the village look at tapping into that Tomhannock Reservoir in Troy, which we know is a clean drinking water source."

"Its clean water, we know it's clean water," Potter said.

The last of the four sites that was tested is on River Road but the DEC said that site is not the source of contamination in that area.

The DEC has begun testing the Hoosick Falls Landfill and plans to test sites on First and Mechanic Streets.

Credits

WNYT Staff

Copyright 2017 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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