Hoosick Falls board votes to table settlement in PFOA crisis

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Hoosick Falls board voted to table the $850,000 settlement agreement during a special meeting Thursday night.

The six-page draft settlement was between Hoosick Falls, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell for the PFOA contamination in the village. The agreement states $850,000 would be reimbursed to the village.

Once paid, it would free the companies from future liabilities.

Thursday night’s meeting began with public comment. Everyone said the decision to vote was too rushed and more information is needed.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future,” Hoosick Falls resident Desirey Rice said. “There’s so much more to be done. We are so much further behind than Vermont even.”

Many people feel that if the village signs the settlement, it lets the companies off the hook.

“There seems to be common sense question of releasing them from responsibility,” resident Loreen Hackett said.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: HOOSICK FALLS WATER CONTAMINATION CRISIS

A permanent GAC filter is in place on the village water supply. Because of the filter, the settlement states the village can’t sue the companies for any PFOA found in the wells. However, if another contaminant is found, that’s a whole new ball game.

The state’s consent order already requires the companies to maintain the GAC filter and cover the added electricity costs.

Sen. Kathy Marchione attended the meeting. She backed Mayor David Borge and said he is not the one who let people drink contaminated water for 18 months. However, she empathized with the public to table the agreement.

“Some of the things that I’ve heard here give me a little bit of pause,” she said. “I would say that if I were sitting in the mayor’s seat, I probably would not make the decision this evening.”

Board members spoke strongly on the hard work they put into the issue, but they decided to hear the public’s comments and concerns.

“$850,000 out of $3.4 million is about a quarter, so that’s a big chunk,” Borge. “Where does that money come from? We have to be concerned about it.”

Borge said the next meeting regarding the settlement will take place on February 3. If the board makes a decision early, it’s possible a special meeting could be held before then.

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