QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – There are two landfills on Jenkinsville Road, near its intersection with Route 9L.
One is active, part of Queensbury Transfer Station’s dump. The other is inactive, and the state of New York says it’s affecting drinking water for some of the homes around it.
The New York Department of Health detected high PFOA and 1,4-dioxane levels at the closed landfill as part of a series of looks into brownfield and superfund sites across the state to find areas of high toxicity. The effort is intended to look out for toxic elements coming from consumer products discarded over the last 50 years.
Samples were taken last summer from wells surrounding the landfill, and so far, the levels have been found at five wells belonging to homes within the general vicinity. Jenkinsville Road, located at the northeastern end of Queensbury, contains a park and several neighborhood streets.
Now, those five homes are being told that drinking the water from those wells won’t cause any health risk in the short term, but are being provided bottled water out of caution as the state examines ways to reduce levels in the long-term.
Around 20 home wells have been tested so far in the surrounding area, and the other 15 have been cleared.
The PFOAs are dangerous, but not above the threshold for what the state Department of Health considers safe, officials said in a phone call on Friday.
The 1,4-dioxane is a different story. The state puts the threshold at 1 part per trillion for drinking water to be safe.
1,4-dioxane has been found in laboratory studies to lead to liver cancer, and is considered a likely human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency.
That said, the state says the water can still be used for things like showering, that don’t involve direct ingestion.
The state DEC is currently looking at more wells in the surrounding areas for evidence of further contaminants.
See news10.com for more on this story in coming days.