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.

Help for Hoosick Falls Residents With Housing Matters

The Hoosick Falls water supply is contaminated with toxic levels of PFOA poses.  This not only puts the  health of residents at risk, but also poses many challenges, such as damage to property values.

A diminished home value can put residents already are struggling with their mortgage payments at increased risk of foreclosure because the loss of value makes finding refinancing options more difficult.

We have heard from Hoosick Falls residents saying that their property value has dropped sharply since discovery of the contamination of the town’s water supply.

An important resource for Hoosick Falls residents struggling with your mortgage or facing foreclosure is the Troy Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (TRIP), Inc.  TRIP has a Default/Foreclosure Prevention Counseling program that may be able to provide important information and assistance in saving your home from foreclosure.

The loss of property value may be a recoverable item of damages in a lawsuit.  If you believe that your property is losing value because of the PFOA contamination in your water supply, you should contact us to discuss your legal rights.