Comprehensive soil sampling initiative for Norlite-area communities launches

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COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation along with Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler announced the start of their joint initiative to find out if contaminants are present in communities near the Norlite Hazardous Waste Facility. There have been many concerns raised by community members over past practices at the facility.

“Soil and water testing is an essential step in getting our community answers they want and deserve about the health and environmental impacts of incinerating hazardous materials, including AFFF firefighting foam containing PFAS chemicals, at Norlite,” Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler said. “We appreciate the time and energy Commissioner Seggos, DEC staff, and DOH staff have invested responding to our concerns, launching this testing initiative, and engaging in a comprehensive permit review.”

DEC experts will review samples they collect to see if there are any environmental impacts in the area. The results will then determine if any additional investigations need to be made.

“DEC is committed to providing Mayor Keeler and the entire Cohoes community with the information they want and need by fully investigating the potential impacts of Norlite’s past incineration of firefighting foam. We want to be sure DEC has the best available data to guide our continued actions and oversight of this facility,” Commissioner Basil Seggos said. 

A virtual public information session will be held on Oct. 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. to discuss the efforts taken to prevent potential PFAS contamination, upcoming sampling of soil and groundwater in surrounding areas, previous drinking water testing conducted by DEC and DOH, and DEC’s ongoing enhanced Norlite permit review process.

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