Jerry Gretzinger & WNYT Staff
Created: March 23, 2021 06:03 PM
More alarms were sounded Tuesday about potential contamination from the Norlite plant in Cohoes.
Until a year ago, the plant was burning firefighting foam that had been disposed of by the federal government.
Bennington College Environmental Professor David Bond worked with a team of students to determine how real the danger may still be, and if the feds knew the risks to public health.
Bond says he was approached a year ago by residents of a Saratoga public housing complex about concerns over the Norlite plant. Along with a team of students, he sought answers that had eluded just about everyone.
Bond says his research shows the Department of Defense had a stockpile of AFFFs or Aqueous Film-Forming Foams. Firefighting foam that's a known causer of cancer and a host of other health issues.
Bond claims the U.S. military was in a rush to dispose of it all, and risked public safety.
He says there is nothing anywhere that suggests burning AFFFs is safe or even effective. Despite that, the material was sent to incinerators around the country.
That includes the Norlite plant, with no instructions, no required burn parameters, emission monitoring, or even a certificate of destruction.
Bond and his team tested soil collected around Norlite's incinerator and claims the results were worrisome. It's not just because of the chemicals.
Learn about how the proximity of the chemicals to poor and working class neighborhoods worries Bond by watching the video of Jerry Gretzinger's story.
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