Hoosick Falls worried chemical may be in drinking water

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – People packed a village meeting in Hoosick Falls Tuesday night after receiving a notice their water might be contaminated.

Manufacturing plant Saint Gobain announced on Tuesday that water samples near its site tested positive for a chemical called PFOA. It is unknown how widespread the contamination is, but people living in the village are worried their well water is also contaminated.

“It’s very concerning,” Kevin Allard said.

Allard doesn’t want tap water to become a luxury, but he isn’t sure if his well water is completely safe.

While PFOA isn’t regulated, some studies have linked it to serious health concerns.

“If that plume goes outside the village limits, I mean how far is that?” Allard wondered.

The American Cancer Society reports that too much exposure to PFOA is linked to thyroid disease, testicular cancer and other serious health risks.

“There’s a fairly robust body of literature out here that addresses various health effects,” attorney David Engel said.

But other agencies said more research and evidence is needed.

“We’re caught in a Catch 22, if you will, because this is a non-regulated contaminant,” Hoosick Falls Mayor David Borge said. “There are no rules.”

Due to the findings, Saint Gobain said they will pay an estimated $2 million for a water filtration system in the village and provide bottled water to people who are worried about contamination.

Allard said it’s a great first step, but it shouldn’t be the only step.

“Full disclosure builds trust with the community,” he said. “And that’s what we need right now is trust.”

Bottled water will be handed out soon and more testing is set to take place.

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