Advocates at the NY Capitol call for clean water

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It’s now been 500 days since the people of Hoosick Falls learned their drinking water contained unsafe contaminants in their water supply.

Environmental advocates and neighbors still have questions about their future.

“We’ll be leaving here today and one of the first things I have to do is pick up more water because I’m actually out at my house,” Jennifer Plouffe, Hoosick Falls Homeowner, said.

For the past 500 days, Plouffe’s idea of normal is relying on water from a plastic gallon jug.

“You use it for coffee, for cooking, for drinking, for pets.”

Plouffe carried her empty jug alongside her village of Hoosick Falls neighbors to the Capitol.

“We are ground zero for water contamination due to PFOA, yet there is not ten cents earmarked for Hoosick Falls in that budget,” Michele Baker, Hoosick Falls Homeowner, said.

Plouffe and these neighbors want to know why the state’s recently passed budget doesn’t include a single nickel of help specifically for them.

“Our water may be filtered, but it’s still polluted and we would like the governor to make good on his promise,” Plouffe said.

The homeowners argue lawmakers should have access to $500 million within the Clean Water Infrastructure Act and it should be used for a new water source in their community.

“We’ve done everything we can to ensure that health is protected, that the environment is protected and if there is anything more we can do, we certainly will be,” Basil Seggos, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, said.

Seggos says the state’s spent $25 million in Hoosick Falls, they test the filtered supply regularly and continue to look in the valley for other quality clean drinking water.

“It’s premature at this point to add any more.”

Seggos says they’re waiting to hear back from a study, due out this summer, that could include recommendations for a new water supply.

“Perfect, well that’s new information to me. If they would just take the time to come to our community, schedule special information sessions so people knew exactly what they were doing, they wouldn’t find themselves in this predicament,” Plouffe said.

The Department of Environmental Conservation says it’s held numerous meetings addressing the water situation in Hoosick Falls and are open to hearing concerns from residents.

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