HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It’s been six years since Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was found in the drinking water of the Village of Hoosick Falls. Since 2014 it’s been an arduous legal process for the village, state government, and state agencies as they all worked to make the village’s water safe for residents while holding companies Saint Gobain and Honeywell responsible for the contamination.
Part of that process was to add water filters in village homes to remove PFOA. In the coming months, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will decide on an alternative water source for the village.
The DEC released a report detailing options for alternative water sources for Hoosick Falls including finding a new groundwater location, surface water source, and connecting with the City of Troy water system.
“This final report is what the DEC is going to use to move forward in the superfund process to pick the final option for clean water for the village,” said DEC Chief of Staff, Sean Mahar. Early next year, the DEC will decide which option is the best for the village. The decision will then be open for a public comment period, he said.
“Listening to what the community wants, needs and long-term desires are were critical and that’s why we really wanted to spend the time that we did and oversee the companies as effectively as we did—really evaluating all the different options that exist, because this community is obviously deserving of the best available science. And that’s what we’ve made sure has been brought to the analysis,” Mahar said.
“It feels rewarding,” said Hoosick Falls resident Michael Hickey, who first raised the alarm on PFOA in the village’s water after his father died from cancer. He thinks his father would be proud of the continued work that’s being done.
“I truly feel as a whole, as a community, I think that we’ve accomplished a lot of great things: the DEC, the Department of Health, our new mayor, the lawyers we have now. It’s taken a lot of time and effort to get where we’re at,” he said.
The estimated cost of alternative water projects ranges from $7.7 to $49 million. Connecting the Hoosick Falls water system to the city of Troy is the most costly of the projects, at $49 million. A new groundwater source is estimated to cost between $7.7 million and $9.7 million.
Hickey said he trusts the DEC to make the best decision for village residents. “Everybody has been so invested in this project that I have confidence that the DEC will make the right decision for us, as a whole, as they have been over the past couple of years.”
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