EPA Proposes Adding Saint-Gobain Site in Hoosick to Federal Superfund List

The EPA announced its proposal today to add the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics site in Hoosick Falls, N.Y. to its Superfund National Priorities List of the country’s most hazardous waste sites.

The Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics facility is located at 14 McCaffrey Street and its groundwater has been contaminated with Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Trichloroethylene. The village’s public water supply has also been found to be contaminated with PFOA.

“By placing this site on the federal Superfund list, the EPA will continue to work hard to address the contamination at the source, and hold the polluters accountable for the full cost of cleanup,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator.

  • In January 2016, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation added the Saint-Gobain site to the state’s Superfund list and nominated the site for inclusion in the federal Superfund list.
  • In April 2016, the EPA installed groundwater monitoring wells near the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics facility.
  • In early May 2016, the EPA conducted groundwater sampling at and around the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics facility.
  • In mid-May, the EPA conducted drinking water sampling at drinking water wells used by the Village of Hoosick Falls.
  • After testing in Hoosick Falls, the EPA determined that inclusion in the federal Superfund program was an effective course of action to address the contamination.

After this proposal of inclusion to the National Priorities List, a 60-day comment period will begin in which the EPA will accept public comments until November 10th.

Following the comment period, designation to the National Priorities List will make the site eligible for funds to conduct long-term cleanup.

The Superfund program allows the EPA to search for the polluters legally responsible for contaminating a site and holds them accountable for cleanup costs, rather than pushing costs onto taxpayers.

Read the EPA’s complete news release here.


No Easy Answers for Hoosick Falls Water Problem

In December, more than a year after government officials knew that toxic levels of PFOA had tainted the Village water supplies, Hoosick Falls residents learned that their drinking water was contaminated. Since then, residents have grappled with the knowledge that they have been exposed to a toxic chemical capable of causing multiple health problems.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has confirmed that PFOA is toxic. It poses potential adverse effects to human health and because it does not break down easily, is persistent in the environment.

At a meeting on Thursday, January 14 at the Central School, organized in response to the concerns of the Hoosick Falls community, the EPA, Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Conservation presented information about the PFOA contaminated water and answered questions from residents. The health and environmental agencies advised residents:

  • Do not drink, brush your teeth, or use the water from the Hoosick Falls public water supply for cooking;
  • Children and people with skin conditions or abrasions should not expose their skin to the water;
  • Minimize inhalation of water from showering or bathing;
  • Do not use the water for humidifiers; and
  • If you have a private well, contact the NY State Dept of Health to have it tested. Contact Albert DeMarco at 518 402-7860 or e-mail beei@health.ny.gov

Some important questions, such as how long residents have been exposed, and how long they will be without an untainted water supply, went unanswered.

For more information on testing, your legal rights, potential claims and more, fill out this questionnaire and request for information and “print to PDF” and save to file to send via email to:

gwilliams@wcblegal.com

or print to send by U.S. Mail to:

Williams Cuker Berezofsky

1515 Market Street, Suite 1300

Philadelphia, PA 19102

Hoosick Falls Resident Questionnaire – Contact Form.

The Department of Health is planning blood testing for exposed residents and a community meeting to discuss this will be announced soon. “Like” the Williams Cuker Berezofsky Facebook page to stay informed about testing, meetings, and more.