DEC: High PFOA levels found at Hoosick Falls dump

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The DEC outlined their investigation into the sources of PFOA contamination in Hoosick Falls to NEWS10 ABC on Tuesday.

DEC Officials say one water sample at monitoring wells at the former Hoosick Falls Municipal landfill came back at 21,000 ppt of PFOA, 300 times the higher than the EPA advisory level.

“Hoping that a lot of the younger people I guess I feel will have better luck,” Janice Tate, of Hoosick Falls, said.

Tate wants a safer future for the next generation in her village, one free of water poisoned with the toxic chemical PFOA.

Officials have also sampled illegal dumping sites, farming, and other industrial sites.

2016 PFOA Sample Results Near Landfill in Hoosick Falls

The DEC says it does not believe that PFOA at the landfill is impacting municipal drinking water or private wells. They believe the main source of contamination is the McCaffrey Street site that is now owned by Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics.

Tate says she worked there for eight years when it was by Oak Mitsui.

One man who did not want to go on camera says he worked at the site in the 1970s and recalls dumping the hazardous chemical down the floor drains.

“Through the ongoing investigation, the state and responsible parties will be looking at all past practices at these facilities,” NYS DEC Chief of Staff Peter Walke said.

A spokesperson for Saint-Gobain sent the following in an e-mail to NEWS10 ABC:

Following the approval by the NYS DEC, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics will implement a Site Characterization Work Plan at the Liberty Street site which is scheduled to begin on or about July 18th.  The work is part of the investigation into the source or sources of groundwater contamination. The Liberty Street site is one of two sites in Hoosick Falls owned by Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics.  We understand that other sites not owned by Saint-Gobain where fluoropolymers materials were processed within Hoosick Falls are also going to be investigated.  We will continue to cooperate with local, state, and federal officials as we have since first learning of the situation so that the residents of Hoosick Falls can continue to access clean drinking water.

The DEC sent the following statement:

Through DEC’s ongoing Superfund investigation into PFOA contamination in the Hoosick Falls area, DEC has undertaken extensive sampling of the Hoosic River, the now closed Hoosick Falls Municipal landfill and other locations throughout the town including tips of illegal dumping sites, farms and other industrial sites. The attached map includes sampling results of the Landfill and Hoosic River in the vicinity of the landfill, and shows elevated readings of PFOA in landfill monitoring wells including one high sample of 21,000 ppt.The initial sample results of river water up and down stream of the landfill do not indicate that PFOA from the landfill is impacting water quality in the Hoosic River or wells feeding the municipal water supply or private homes. DEC is refining and focusing our investigation based on these sampling results, to determine how the elevated contamination levels observed at the landfill monitoring wells are impacting the surrounding area, and identify those responsible for this contamination.

DEC is now examining historical records of surrounding companies that may have disposed industrial wastes in the landfill and will aggressively pursue those responsible for this pollution.  DEC will require any responsible parties identified to undertake a full investigation of the landfill and determine the full nature and extent of the contamination as they develop the appropriate remediation plan to clean up their mess. DEC will ensure that as we make those responsible for the contamination pay for the remediation there is no additional contamination in the public water system, which is regularly tested, from this area of contamination