Erin Brockovich Tours Hoosick Falls Amid DEC Investigation
Environmental advocate Erin Brockovich addressed a community meeting about the water contamination in Hoosick Falls.
"It's beautiful, and yet at the same time I feel a sense of sadness," said Brockovich.
It's hard for anyone, even famed environmental activist Erin Brockovich, to visit with Hoosick Falls residents and not feel their pain.
"Four of them in five months died, and I lost one two months prior to that," said Lori Stewart, Hoosick Falls resident.
Lori Stewart has lost her cats, Elaine Harwood lost her health.
"I was told it was in my head, I was given Valium pills to calm me down," said Harwood.
It's the loss felt by hundreds in the village that drew the attention of Brockovich and her legal team.
"She seemed to respond faster than the officials do," said Stewart.
Brockovich toured the area Saturday, just a few days after Governor Cuomo declared it a superfund site. In front of a packed house, Brockovich addressed potentially dangerous levels of the chemical PFOA that has been found leaking into the ground and water supply.
PFOA is found in non-stick cookware, electrical insulation, and other products, and has been known to cause various cancers and other illnesses.
"For fear or greed, somebody conceals something and then years later a community finds out 'oh my gosh, I've been drinking poison,'" said Brockovich.
It's more than just drinking water residents have to fear, they have even been warned about bathing.
"Do you tuck your lips in? Do you plug your nose? Do you close your eyes?"
But, in spite of the alarm that it can bring, Brockovich says truth is power, and now that the dangers are out in the open, residents must work together to demand a solution.
"We don't want to become a ghost town. We can all walk away from our mortgage and say we're done but is that what we want?" said Harwood.
"It's daunting, it's overwhelming, but now that we know, now this community knows, now they're here, now they have a chance," said Brockovich.