POESTENKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A community meeting will be September 27 at 7 p.m. in Poestenkill to discuss PFOA found in the drinking water at a local school and nearby homes. PFOA is a toxic chemical which can cause serious health problems.

PFOA was found in drinking wells at Algonquin Middle School in Poestenkill and in nearby residential wells. The school has shut off water fountains since learning of the drinking water problem.

It was standing room only Monday night at the Poestenskill VFW where residents shared their concerns to members of the Poestenskill Town Board, the Rensselaer County Health Department, the NYS Department of Health and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

The Poestenkill Town Board says they are in the early stages and no major decisions have been made yet.

Residents say they want to get forever chemicals out of their water. Poestenkill Town Board Member Eric Wohlleber says action needs to be taken.

“They need to be doing free testing in Poestenskill and they need to be doing free testing in Poestenkill tomorrow,” said he.

The town is working the state on addressing frequent testing, as well as finding the source.

“We need to know what the source is, we need to know where the plume is and we need to know where the plume is not,” said Wohlleber.

The town says they have long term goals put in place such as Troy water connection or getting EPA grants such as the Clean Water Act.

Residents say they just want some answers.

“We need more testing in local areas, they need to put the filters on the wells that need them and let us know that we are safe or not safe, so I can go on living my life,” said Evan, a resident in Poestenkill. 

This chemical was also found in drinking water in Hoosick Falls and Petersburg, also in Rensselaer County.

Speakers include:

  • Bob Brunet, Poestenkill Public Health Coordinator
  • NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
  • NYS Department of Health
  • Rensselaer County Health Department (invited)
  • Judith Enck, former EPA Regional Administrator and resident of Poestenkill
  • Michele Baker, NY Water Project and resident of Hoosick Falls

The meeting will also be available on Zoom. Participants on Zoom can enter comments or questions in the chat portion of the meeting.

The NYS DOH will be holding a drinking water quality council meeting on October 5, 1:30 – 4 PM.

Due to current COVID-19 precautions, the meeting will be held via live Webcasting only at the following link.

The public may write and submit comments during the meeting through a portal on the live webcast. The comments will then be read into the public record.