People of Hoosick Falls deliver report card on Gov. Cuomo’s PFOA response

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It’s been about one year since people in Hoosick Falls were told by the EPA to stop drinking PFOA-contaminated water, but some still aren’t happy with where things stand on Monday.

Environmental groups and some in Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh say they’re still not satisfied giving Governor Cuomo an F.

“These programs are essential to the children. Essential to the future of taking care of the crisis that has happened,” Laura Peabody, of Hoosick Falls, said.

Peabody fought back tears at a rally at the Capitol on Monday. She says Governor Cuomo gets an incomplete on his one year checkup on the PFOA contamination progress. She says he has failed to put in place a long-term bio and medical monitoring program for kids like her daughter Ashlynn who have been exposed to the contaminated drinking water.

In a joint statement from the DEC and State Department of Health officials, said:

“The state has conducted an extensive biomonitoring program to help thousands of residents better understand their exposure to PFOA, as well as working with local health care providers for follow-up care.”

Environmental Advocates of New York and some residents of Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh gave Cuomo and F rating in regards to the lack of a new water source. In March, the state said PFOA levels were non-detect in the village municipal water supply.

“We’ve already had at least two situations that I know of where our filtration system was not up and running and it took a huge effort to try to get the word out to the community,” Michelle O’Leary, of Hoosick Falls, said.

Within the same statement, DEC and DOH officials said:

“DEC is conducting a feasibility study of potential alternative water supply sources to serve the Village of Hoosick Falls, and is preparing to have a large-diameter production well installed in order to conduct a 72-hour pump test.”

Connie Plouffe demands the state set an advisory level for PFOA rather than go by the EPA’s level of 70 ppt.

“I’d like to see the advisory levels go back to zero,” Plouffe said. “I mean if you had a choice would you want poison in your water?”

In response, the state said it feels the federal government should set a nationwide regulation for PFOA.

Michael Hickey’s statement on the progress of the water contamination issue:

“We all know this is a very complex topic that is taking place across the country now.  Although the state’s response isn’t what we had originally hoped.  We do feel like we have made significant progress in the last year.  We have been receiving bottled water at no cost to the citizens, a temporary filtration system has been operational for the past six months and the permanent system will be online by the end of December.  Our residents have been blood tested and made aware of the chemical levels in their blood.   Many residents have now obtained legal representation to seek personal injury damages against the polluters.  They did not have this option a year ago.  Although the process has not been perfect,  it is progress.  Many areas throughout the country are not as lucky as us to have these options.  We will continue to work with our elected officials to achieve all of our goals.”

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