HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – After losing his father to kidney cancer at the age of 68, Michael Hickey made it his mission to find out why so many people in his hometown of Hoosick Falls were getting sick.
“When you put together where the wells are comparison to the factory and the illnesses in the village, it really wasn’t that complicated,” Hickey said.
The factory his father worked in for more than 30 years used PFOA, a chemical believed to be a carcinogen, to manufacture high performance plastics. New York State classifies it as an “unspecified organic contaminant” and doesn’t require testing for it, so Hickey took matters into his own hands.
“I think there was really just a lack of knowledge on the topic and really kind of a slow process of wanting to move it forward,” Hickey explained.
Our Capital Hero has been honored by the EPA and the plastics company has agreed to install a $2 million carbon filtration system at the village’s water treatment plant.