POESTENKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) continue to work with the Rensselaer County Department of Health to share progress on its ongoing investigation into potential sources of PFAS/PFOAs detected in Poestenkill. In Rensselaer County, the health department oversees sampling private wells to provide alternate water sources if PFOA levels are detected above public drinking water standards.

PFOAs are a group of chemicals used to make fluoropolymer coatings and products that resist heat, oil grease, and even water. On December 8, DEC, DOH, and RCDOH held two public meetings at the Middle School for local residents to engage in conversations with State and County staff to ask questions directly.

Officials said efforts began immediately after public water supply samples at the Algonquin Middle School found emerging contaminants of (PFAS), specifically (PFOA) found to be at 10 parts per trillion (ppt). Levels they said are slightly above New York State’s level of acceptable standards known to cause potential health risks.

Officials installed a granular activated carbon (GAC) system at the Algonquin Middle School in December 2021, to provide effective long-term treatment of the contaminants to ensure safe drinking water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exposure to PFOAs can affect reproduction, growth, development, and damage the liver.

Agencies are ensuring that all area residents have access to clean drinking water. Officials are investigating nearby commercial properties considered to be potential sources of PFAS due to the nature of their operations, migrating onto the school’s property. The DEC has launched a web page into its investigations that includes maps showing potential sources for the contamination of some properties tested for PFOAs.

Officials said samples of various properties were tested for multiple PFAS chemicals using a certified laboratory for analyses and did not result as potential sources. These include Poestenkill Landfill and the Waste Management Transfer Station.

DEC’s ongoing efforts have assessed facilities that have or may have used PFAS/PFOAs. They said groundwater samples were taken at two local manufacturing plants (Dynamic Systems Inc. and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics) and analyzed for PFAS and 1,4-dioxane.

Final analytical results can be found by visiting the DECs webpage. DEC said the final results are still pending validation of samples taken from Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics.

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