HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — After nine years, the Board of Trustees approved a long-awaited new water source Wednesday night in Hoosick Falls.
Attorney David Engel, Esq. has been helping the village with these efforts from the beginning. In 2014, Engel was litigating against General Electric for dumping PCBs in the Hudson River on behalf of the Town of Halfmoon. His work caught the attention of the group Healthy Hoosick Water.
“Which was a group founded by Dr. Marcus Martinez and his brother Jim Martinez, who really made heroic efforts to bring this problem to light,” he said.
Michael Hickey was also a part of that group when he tested the water for a year after his father died from cancer. The water test came back showing high levels of PFOA. But for Hickey, it’s not so much of a victory since Dr. Martinez is now also fighting his own cancer battle.
“That takes a little bit of the happiness away… as you know that these issues still are here,” he said. “But the goal is to prevent these from happening in the future, and I feel that’s what we’ve done.”
Engel says he is very happy the deal is done with the companies responsible for the contamination since this will bring new infrastructure to the village at no cost. Engel says that “it will finally address the village’s needs on a long-term basis.” But Hickey says that he is proud of all the effort made by everyone involved.
“We’ve come a long way; we accomplished what we really set out to do from the beginning,” he said. “And I think that the community is going to be healthier and safer for years to come.”
Officials hope the new water source will be completed by the end of 2024.