HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – After a 5 year fight, $65 million settlement was filed in Village of Hoosick Falls for the PFOA water contamination. Many residents are calling this a historic moment.
For years residents have fought for clean water for themselves and to keep anyone else from going through this. With this large settlement they believe they can help the community for years to come.
“This community stood up and took on some of the biggest companies in the planet and we won its a David vs. Goliath story,” said resident, Michele Baker.
Baker was one of thee many whose water was polluted with PFOA. She hopes that all the families that have been affected find some hope and peace in the settlement that has been reached.
“I think Hoosick Falls showed all of New York state that we are a tough bunch and when people are wronged you find a way to make it right,” said she.
Three of the companies, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International and 3M have agreed to settle a federal lawsuit. This would secure thousands of residents with medical monitoring as well as reimburse them for lost property value.
“The goal was never to push the companies out of the community as a whole. It was to just make sure that the business practices are correct and that we are providing good health for our community as a whole,” said resident, Michael Hickey.
Michael Hickey has been on the forefront of the clean water fight. His father, John who worked at the nearby Saint-Gobain factory for 32 years, died at 68 from kidney cancer. His discovery of PFOA in the villages water set that motion.
He says for years he has been working to fight for justice for his dad and others.
“I talked about my dad as a bus driver and the importance of protecting the community as a whole. What he cared about most was the kids on the bus,” said he.
Baker believe this situation is an example for other communities to have a roadmap to hold other companies accountable.
“If a little town in Upstate New York can be ground zero for a situation like this, well hopefully that’s a wake up call for the rest of the country” said she.
The preliminary settlement is waiting to be approved and signed by a federal judge.