Emotional testimony from those affected by PFOA fill state hearing

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HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The people of Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh finally got what they’ve been asking for – a legislative hearing.

Tuesday was the first of several state hearings that will be held in the coming weeks regarding the PFOA contamination crisis. It was a long day inside the Hoosick Falls High School auditorium. The hearing started at 10:30 a.m. and lasted nearly 10 hours.

The beginning of the day was filled with testimony from state officials and health experts, but the day ended with emotional stories from the people who have been hardest hit by the contamination.

“We’ve been violated,” Emily Marpe, of Petersburgh, said. “We are the victims.”

Marpe’s story has been told before, but for some listening on stage Tuesday, it was the first time they learned of the levels of PFOA in her drinking water.

“It was 2,100 parts per trillion,” she said. “What do you do with that information? I’m higher than the entire town of Hoosick Falls.”

Her daughter tested at 207 ppt for PFOA.

“My children are your guinea pigs,” she said. “I’m your guinea pig.”

Another familiar face at the hearing was Loreen Hackett. At times, she was unable to conceal her disgust with how the crisis was handled. At one point, she directed her anger at NYS Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.

“This comes right from the heart of our town,” she said. “Mr. Zucker, you are the devil.”

Hackett said things need to be done to ensure a contamination doesn’t happen again.

“We should have done better,” she said. “We can do better. We need to do better.”

Sen. Kathy Marchione, who sat intently and listened for 10 hours, echoed that concern.

“How do we go forward?” she positioned. “What happened? How can we do better?”

And Marpe is willing to do anything it takes.

“I’ll donate my body to science,” she said. “They can have it when I’m dead and gone because they need to learn more.”

Another hearing is scheduled for the beginning of September in Albany. Marchione said she is continuing to push for a task force and has some legislation coming to the table.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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