Residents Impacted by PFOA Contamination Remind Lawmakers One Year Later
December marks one year since PFOA was discovered in Hoosick Falls, and Rensselaer County residents traveled to Albany Monday, making sure local leaders didn't forget.
Residents from both Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh spent the afternoon at the state capitol, continuing calls for state leaders to do a better job responding to water crises around New York.
In Hoosick Falls, local manufacturer Saint-Gobain is being held responsible for contaminating the water with PFOA, a chemical that has been linked to cancer and thyroid disease. And earlier this month, it was announced Taconic will pay for a new water filtration system in Petersburgh.
"We have not seen any results," said Laura Peabody. "We need results. We need a new clean water source. We need bio and medical monitoring. We need to make sure that our children are protected for the future."
Peabody's 10-year-old daughter Ashlynn Sagendorf also attended the rally.
"I don’t like having to worry about all this at 10 years old, and I wonder if my health is going to change when I grow up," said Sagendorf.
"It breaks my heart, because when she gets old, if she wants to be a mom, we don’t know what the health issues will be," said Spencer.
While no elected officials were present, residents are hopeful that when session begins again in the new year, some bills will be passed, and others will be introduced as well.
The Department of Health and the DEC released a joint statement. It read:
"New York State has taken unprecedented action and spared no expense to secure clean drinking water for Hoosick Falls. The Village of Hoosick Falls public water supply has been free of PFOA since installation of a temporary water treatment system early this year and the permanent treatment system in on track for completion by the end of December. The state has installed nearly one thousand state-of-the-art Point of Entry Treatment (POET) filtration systems on private wells at homes, businesses, and schools throughout the area. In addition, the state has conducted an extensive biomonitoring program to help thousands of residents better understand their exposure to PFOA, as well as working with local healthcare providers for follow up care. As we continue our efforts in Hoosick Falls, we will do everything in our power to hold corporate polluters responsible for the industrial pollution impacting Hoosick Falls. Through the work of the Governor’s Water Quality Rapid Response Team, the state will continue to address drinking water contamination across the state, and to call upon the U.S. EPA to implement uniform, nationwide regulations for PFOA and other unregulated contaminants."