Good News/Bad News in Hoosick Falls
Residents of Hoosick Falls, New York dealing with the crisis caused by the contamination of their water supply with the dangerous chemical PFOA have recently received some important news.
First, the good news is that on January 13, 2016, the State of New York formally requested the EPA add the Village to its National Priorities List, designating it a Federal “superfund site”. Two weeks later, Governor Cuomo designated PFOA a “hazardous substance” and named Hoosick Falls a state superfund site. These actions are good news, in that government agencies are finally acknowledging the dangers of PFOA, and they will eventually result in the government doing what it should have been done a long time ago: investigate all the sources of PFOA, and document its effects on citizens. These actions should eventually lead to a comprehensive biomonitoring program and a scientific study of PFOA’s health effects in the Village over recent decades.
However, “superfund” designations can be bad news too: they bring “stigma” to property, as well as a reduction in value. Indeed, two banks have already suspended issuing mortgages and refinancing in Hoosick Falls. A superfund site is also disruptive of community life, and puts demands on citizens as they work together to find long-range solutions.
While the government may answer the many questions facing Hoosick Falls, it cannot remedy or compensate for the harm and damages residents have suffered and continue to suffer. Those remedies, most likely, will only be found in a courtroom. Williams Cuker Berezofsky and Faraci & Lange continue to investigate bringing a lawsuit to seek those remedies.
In the meantime, we continue to advise:
- make your voice heard in decisions the government makes about its investigation;
- get your blood tested as soon as the Department of Health makes the test for PFOA available;
- if you have a private well, get it tested now; and
- contact us with any questions you have regarding your rights.