Sen. Schumer calls for hearings in the Hoosick Falls water crisis

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer has joined the list of state officials to call for federal hearings in the Hoosick Falls water crisis.

Schumer answered questions about the hearings during an unrelated press conference on Monday. People in Hoosick Falls said they were happy the senator has come out in support of the hearings, which would find exactly who knew what and when.

Loreen Hackett is behind the growing PFOA Project and the Twitter page pfoaprojectny1. She said she’s not done pushing for support from policy makers.

When she opened her blood test results, Hackett was shocked to find her number was more than 260. She was even more surprised when her grandchildren’s numbers came back.

“The numbers kick started the adrenaline,” she said. “The numbers of my grandchildren started me on fire.”

That’s when she started the PFOA Project and began putting pressure on local politicians to hold the hearings.

“The point is we’re human beings down here,” she said. “If this was your kid, wouldn’t you want answers? How far would you push to find out why your kid was poisoned?”

But now she’s getting some of the questions answered with the support of Sen. Schumer.

“We can’t just shrug our shoulders and say oh bad stuff happened,” he said. “We have an obligation to these people. So a hearing is a good thing to find out what happened.”

But Schumer also said it shouldn’t stop there.

“But we have to do a lot more than that because the water has to be cleaned up, the water has to be tested, and whatever remediation occurs has to be done.”

Hackett agrees. Even though her water is being filtered, she won’t drink it. And without testing results back, she doesn’t feel safe digging a garden, either.

“I haven’t seen any soil reports to see if I can plant vegetables in my garden,” she said.

This year, she planted her tomatoes in buckets with dirt she bought from the store.

Despite his support, Hackett is unsure if she wants Schumer to visit Hoosick Falls. She said the last thing the residents need is a politician looking for a photo opportunity.

“When Governor Cuomo did come, everybody here was so insulted by his behavior,” she said.

Hackett would rather have her voice heard at one of the hearings she’s been pushing for.

“It’s really hard to say if anybody would be pleased about them coming here versus giving us our hearings and going there and let us ask some questions,” she said.

Hackett said getting Schumer’s support is a step forward, but she’s not done, yet. She posted a tweet on Monday calling on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to follow suit. Hackett said she won’t give up until she gets the answers she’s looking for.

Meanwhile, Schumer maintains that Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International should pay for damages in Hoosick Falls and neighboring Petersburgh.

Last week, residents demanded legislative hearings over PFOA contamination.

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