Town legislation to pay for PFOA testing in Poestenkill does not pass

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POESTENKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10)– After contaminates called PFOS or PFOAs, were found in Algonquin Middle School’s water, those who live in Town of Poestenkill have become very concerned about their own drinking water. Rensselaer County has been working with the DEC to test some wells in the area. Tonight, a Poestenkill town board meeting was held.

A resolution to allow the Town of Poestenkill to pay for the testing of PFOS contaminates in resident’s drinking water did not pass in a vote of 3 to 2. Some members of the board wanted the legislation to be more specific, especially when it comes to the radius of the testing area. Adding that at this point, it’s unclear if the state would reimburse the town for sending money on testing.

“It was extremely disappointing,” said Susan Gibbons, who lives in Poestenkill. “Very, very disappointing.”

Many voiced their concerns in this heated meeting.

Several community members made it known that they are in favor of the free testing and feel as though the investigation being conducted by the DEC and Rensselaer County is not moving fast enough. When News 10 abc’s Jamie DeLine asked the DEC about the speed of the investigation, Sean Mahar, chief of staff for NYS Department of Environmental conservation sharing this response.

“Well, it’s happening in the right way to really give us the scientific information we need to potentially build a case against a potential polluter or really evaluate whether this is an isolated incident or is more wide spread,” said Mahar. “But we need the science and the data to do that. And you need to do that in a very stepwise approach and it’s very much underway in Poestenkill right now, and it’s moving in the right way scientifically.”

Currently, it’s unclear were the contamination is coming from and some water samples have tested higher than others. There are residents who have paid for water testing on their own, and as a precaution, have been drinking bottled water instead. 

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