PFOA crusader: EPA beyond woefully inadequate

February 14, 2019 07:22 PM

HOOSICK FALLS - Even though the federal EPA says they've come up with a "groundbreaking action plan" to combat the PFOA crisis that haunts many communities across the country, some residents of Hoosick Falls are saying the agency's plan seems more like "in-action."

"We were looking for concrete responses today," said Loreen Hackett, a long time Hoosick Falls resident, who has become a community crusader for PFOA justice.

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Hackett is disappointed and livid. The relief she and others in Hoosick Falls were hoping to hear from EPA never materialized.

"For those of us in exposed communities, this is beyond woefully inadequate," Hackett asserted.

Hackett says she's been diagnosed with at least five illnesses -- including cancer, that she can link to the PFOA that's been poisoning her drinking water for decades. It’s toxic contamination that she believes has sickened three generations of her family.

"It's bizarre and it's frustrating," she said.

Hackett and others in the community want to see EPA placing immediate limits on drinking water contamination. She'd also like to see maximum contamination levels (MCLs) set, which is the same things Michael Hickey wants to see.

"It's a frustrating process," Hickey acknowledged. "The science is out there. It's evident for any normal person to read as well so it seems that they (EPA) hide behind science."

Hickey is thought of as a local folk hero in Hoosick Falls. After his father died of kidney cancer in 2013, he noticed a higher-than-normal cancer rate in the community. Because of the research he conducted, Hickey was able to discover PFOA's in the drinking water, and so he alerted village officials.

Hickey believes what the EPA announced on Thursday is insignificant.

"It seems the states are going to have to play a bigger role," he said.

"Until you know EPA does something worthwhile that we think at least will protect people, (we'll be disappointed)," Hackett added.

EPA officials say it'll take many more months before things will be in place to regulate chemicals in drinking water. However, if you've been waiting for justice for more than four years, that seems like a drop in the bucket.


Dan Levy

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