Hoosick Falls community demands answers after state releases cancer study

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A community meeting was held in Hoosick Falls on Wednesday so anyone with questions about the recently released cancer study could get answers.

The study was conducted by the New York State Department of Health and has been public for about 24 hours. A lot of people in the areas affected by the PFOA contamination were unhappy by the scope of the study. On Wednesday, they gathered at the Hoosick Falls Armory to demand answers.

Barbara Burch lives in Petersburg, but before that, she and her family lived in the village of Hoosick Falls.

“I’m very frustrated,” she said. “Nobody is being held accountable. Nobody has even apologized for dumping toxins in the water.”

She said her family has been drinking PFOA contaminated water for more than 20 years, and she has seen the effects first hand.

“My husband died; my husband is gone,” she said. “And nobody contacted me about his results or what happened to him.”

Burch said she’s frustrated about the study and feels her husband’s results were left out.

“He was a healthy man, but he was diagnosed with cancer, and it spread throughout his entire body,” she said.

RELATED: Hoosick Falls water contamination crisis

Mayor Rob Allen said people like Burch have every right to be upset.

“This is a community, who I think really wants to see that they’re really being represented, and they’re being looked into on a personal level,” he said.

But Allen also wants the community to know the DOH is accessible to answer any questions.

“I think this is a preliminary first step into the investigation,” he said.

DOH Deputy Commissioner for Public Health Brad Hutton said it was important to explain to people the limitations of the study.

“We spent a lot of time explaining what our study didn’t do,” he said. “Our study does not dismiss or diminish the very valid concerns that residents have.”

He said he hopes it was helpful for the people who came to ask questions.

“Honestly, if we satisfied even one resident here tonight, and we answered their questions, then it was a success,” he said.

But Burch left upset. She said her questions weren’t answered and she still hasn’t gotten the one thing she’s been asking for all along.

“I’d like an apology,” she said. “I don’t even want their money. I just want an apology.”

The DOH will have more meetings in Hoosick Falls next week for anyone who still has questions.

 

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