After 6 rounds of PFOA testing, Rensselaer County still doesn’t have a source for the contamination

Rensselaer County
Water

Water from a sink (Photo Illustration by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

POESTENKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) — After six rounds of PFOA testing in Poestenkill, Rensselaer County has not found the source for the contamination. The sixth round of testing did find any new properties with PFOA levels about state-permitted levels.

“We are obviously happy to see no new cases for PFOA in Poestenkill following the sixth round of testing, but recognize no source has been determined. We continue to work with the state to find the source or sources for the PFOA contamination and to get more answers,” said county Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas.

The county and state have been investigating the possibility of multiple, unrelated sources for the contamination. The state has expanded testing around Algonquin Middle School, where evidence of PFOA was found during annual testing.

Twenty properties were sampled during the sixth round of testing, with eight showing non-detect and 12 detections of PFOA/PFOS below the state maximum contaminant level standards for public drinking water.

During the fifth round of testing, two properties were found to have PFOA contamination above state-permitted levels. Overall, 10 wells have been found to have detections of PFOA above drinking water standards.

The county has collected samples for 77 private wells and there are five samples still pending. Officials said the 10 wells with high levels will likely be resampled in the near future.

Rensselaer County officials are continuing on additional properties in Poestenkill on a voluntary basis. The lack of a source has restricted the county’s ability for wide-spread testing.

The Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Health and Rensselaer County Department of Health are holding two public sessions on December 8 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Algonquin Middle School Cafeteria. The meetings are to discuss aspects of the investigation and agency response on PFOA in Poestenkill.

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