Local governors write letter to EPA demanding a regulatory PFOA level

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – There is an advisory level for PFOA. It’s 400 PPT for the federal level except in an EPA region to where it was lowered to 100 PPT. There is still no regulatory level and officials want that to change.

“I think it’s probably going to be probably more like six months,” said Carolyn Weatherwax of Hoosick Falls.

Carolyn Weatherwax said she wasn’t surprised to learn Thursday that it will be at the least two more weeks before testing is completed to determine if the temporary filtration system in Hoosick Falls is working to reduce the level of PFOA contamination in water.

She said she does not have trust in local or state officials after emails showed officials knew of contamination before people were told by the EPA not to drink the water.

“Why weren’t you disclosing it? That’s your public duty, “said Weatherwax.

The Rensselaer County Health Department said there’s a reason. They said a lack of regulatory standard from state or the federal government made it extremely difficult to determine how to achieve safe water and how to advise people to reduce potential health effects.

In an email in October of 2014 that discussed Hoosick Falls PFOA results, an employee of the Rensselaer County Health Department said to an employee of the State Health Department quote “From talking with the mayor this may become a very public issue once they release these and since they are above the only guidance we have (even though it is not regulated) it may get messy”.

“Oh it’s going to get messy. It’s going to get messy,” said Weatherwax.

Thursday in a letter to the EPA from Governor Cuomo, Vermont Governor Shumlin, and New Hampshire Governor Hassan it reads quote:

“We urge the EPA, under your leadership, to expeditiously review the best available science on this contaminant, and provide uniform guidance to states that our health and environmental officials can use in assessing the safety of our drinking water”.

“If you don’t have the information you can’t make an informed decision and that’s not anybody else’s right to take that away from you,” said Weatherwax.

This is the letter from Governors Cuomo, Shumlin, and Hassan r to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy:

“It is clear that PFOA contamination is not a state problem or a regional problem. It’s a national problem that requires federal guidelines and a consistent, science-based approach”.

Here is the EPA’s response to the letter:

“The EPA has received and will review and respond to the letter appropriately”.