DEC shares past PFOA numbers at Taconic Plastics with NEWS10 ABC

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PETERSBURGH, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Department of Environmental Conservation sent NEWS10 ABC results regarding past PFOA contamination at Taconic Plastics.

The DEC said it received past test results from Taconic Plastics in February.

Three wells were tested at Taconic in November 2004. The results are well over the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s advisory level for PFOA at 100 ppt.

Well #1 – 152,000 ppt

Well #2 – 117,000 ppt

Well #3 – 2,300 ppt

The following results are from January 2006. It shows the levels started to decline.

Well #1 – 18,000 ppt

Well #2 – 25,000 ppt

Well #3 – 1,480 ppt

All wells were tested at Taconic Plastics after a carbon filtration system was put in and after filtration.

Well #1 – 725 ppt

Well #2 – 2,190 ppt

Well #3 – 73.8 ppt

People in the town of Petersburgh were not aware of the contamination issue until 2016 when Taconic contacted the Dec and told them about their history with PFOA.

The DEC said it was notified of the contamination by Taconic in 2005, but the agency did not take any other action because PFOA was unregulated at the time. There was also not an advisory level set by the EPA until 2009, which was at 400 ppt. It was recently lowered to 100 ppt.RELATED:Taconic Plastics PFOA test results

“We just wish this didn’t happen to us,” Petersburgh resident Ron Alund said. “We live in the mountains here. We love our water. I’m concerned about my well. My neighbors are concerned about their wells. We’re on the waiting list to be tested.”

Petersburgh Town Supervisor Peter Schaaphok said he’s frustrated with recent test results at Taconic done by the company and the state.

“Taconic was way up there right under the plant, but I’m not really clear because the numbers that the state came back with don’t jive with what Taconic has,” he said. “So we’re waiting to get more solid information and that’s sort of been the frustrating thing that we just don’t know what the numbers are now.”

Schaaphok said he wasn’t aware of the old test results.

“No, we had no reason to be aware of them,” he said. “There was nothing either from the federal government or New York State that told us we had to be concerned about this.”

The current level of PFOA found in the town of Petersburgh water is 95 parts per trillion. The results from private wells are not back, yet.

“It’s something we’re going to have to get through, and I’m actually very surprised how a small town like this has been able to organize so quickly,” Alund said.

The DEC sent the following statement to NEWS10 ABC:

“The company alerted DEC about PFOA groundwater contamination on Jan. 29. On Feb. 10, DEC and DOH met with company officials when the company shared historical testing data that showed elevated levels of PFOA. (See attached). Within days, the State Department of Health performed additional testing at the Taconic facility and in Petersburgh. As soon as those results were known, the state secured bottled water for residents. (See link to news release here: http://www.health.ny.gov/press/releases/2016/2016-02-20_doh_confirms_pfoa_in_petersburgh.htm)

The company previously and continues to provide bottled water at its facility.” 

Water distribution tickets are available for residents from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at town hall on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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