POESTENKILL, N.Y. (NEWS 10)—When it comes to their drinking water, neighbors in Poestenkill are terrified of the harm PFOAS or PFAS, contaminates can cause.
Since the discovery of contaminates in Algonquin Middle School’s water, everyday tasks are now causing anxiety for community members. At this point, it’s unclear where the contamination source is.
New York State Department of Health, Department of Environmental Conservation, and Rensselaer County are working to conduct an investigation. While not every residence in Poestenkill has been asked if their water could be tested, The DEC does encourage people to test their wells.
“The Poestenkill area, if anyone else is taking their own sampling, we encourage them to share that data with DEC, Rensselaer County DOH, and NYS DOH, so we can evaluate that as a part of our ongoing investigation,” said Sean Mahar, Chief of Staff for NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
Through the town of Poestenkill, residents have the option of having their water tested for a reduced price of $350. Town legislation to make this testing free for the community did not pass during Thursday night’s heated board meeting. The accuracy of the testing was called into question by the town supervisor.
Keith Hammond SOT: “These basically aren’t much better than a Walgreens COVID test. They give peace of mind to people, and they are right most of the time, but they aren’t the most accurate tests,” stated Keith Hammond, Poestenkill Town Supervisor.
Judith Enck, a Former Regional EPA Administrator lives in Poestenkill and said she was surprised to hear this response as one of the reasons why the legislation didn’t pass.
“Having the town supervisor question the accuracy of a lab that the town itself lined up for people to use, was a little strange,” explained Enck. “The lab has a good reputation. It’s approved by the state health department. I questioned the town supervisor where he got that information from and he vaguely said from the state.”
New York State certified labs can be found on the department of health’s website. News 10 contacted the local laboratory for a response and is waiting to hear back.