PETERSBURGH, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York State DEC and Department of Health answered questions about PFOA at a town meeting in Petersburgh Tuesday night.
People who had carbon filters installed will have to get them replaced after the state recommended a different type because of what happened in Hoosick Falls. Reinstallation is set to begin by the end of next week.
Many are worried the problem will only continue to grow.
“If PFOA contamination is as bad as it seems to be, then many, many generations have been affected by it, and people are afraid,” Dr. Alannah Fitzgerald said.
Dr. Fitzgerald is a retired professor who has lived in Petersburgh her whole life. At the question and answer session with state officials, she asked why no one notified the town when Taconic Plastics reported PFOA contamination to the Department of Environmental Conservation in 2005.
“Not good enough for them to say we didn’t know back then what the toxic level was because that’s not an answer,” she said.
Now, Rensselaer County health officials are expanding their well sampling after 25 private wells showed levels above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guideline of 100 ppt. The town’s water supply showed levels below the EPA’s guideline, but the town supervisor said they are working with an engineering firm to find a new water source.
But another chemical called PFOS has appeared in Mary Cownie’s well. She said the DEC hasn’t given her much information.
In 2009, the EPA set a provisional health advisory for PFOS at 200 ppt. According to Taconic Plastics, they’ve never used the chemical.
“I wonder who do we turn to rectify the situation because it didn’t just come from nowhere,” she said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Fitzgerald is one of many people worried about bottled water that has only been made available twice a week.
The county said 66 water samples are pending and 297 are on the waiting list. The NYSDOH will also offer biomonitoring for people in Petersburgh at the Armory in Hoosick Falls.