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For Release: Thursday, October 17, 2019

DEC Announces Hoosick Falls Drinking Water Source Study Available for Comment

Public Input Sought on Report issued by Saint-Gobain and Honeywell to Identify Long-Term Source to Provide Clean and Reliable Drinking Water

DEC to Host Availability Sessions Oct. 23

Comments on Study Accepted until Nov. 18

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that Saint-Gobain and Honeywell have completed a study required by the state to evaluate potential options for a clean and reliable drinking water source for the Hoosick Falls Water District. The Municipal Water Supply Study (MWSS) produced by the companies has been thoroughly reviewed by DEC experts to ensure it met the specific requirements directed by the state and is now available for public comment through Nov. 18, 2019. The study, which is available at DEC's website, includes five options for public consideration and review as part of the state's ongoing efforts to ensure area residents have access to clean drinking water.

Commissioner Seggos said, "I encourage all community members to review the companies' report and provide DEC feedback on the options identified so that we can incorporate this into cleanup plans under development. Today's release of the water supply study prepared by the companies is another milestone in the progress being made under DEC's aggressive oversight to ensure the Hoosick Falls community continues on the road to recovery."

Following the discovery of Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contamination in the village of Hoosick Falls' drinking water supply, DEC and the State Department of Health (DOH) worked to secure clean water for the community and hold those responsible for the pollution accountable. Through these efforts, the state secured a legally binding Consent Order with Saint-Gobain and Honeywell, the parties responsible for the contamination, detailing the specific actions they must take to address the contamination found in the community and provide clean water. The state's first priority was to eliminate the community's exposure to the contamination, and a granular activated carbon (GAC) treatment system was installed in the village water treatment plant to filter the PFOA and other per- and poly-fluorinated substances (PFAS) from the drinking water supply. This filtration system is routinely monitored and maintained, and continues to effectively treat the contaminants and provide clean water to the community.

In addition, under the enforcement action, DEC directed the responsible parties to conduct an exhaustive study that evaluated potential drinking water sources beyond the existing public supply wells. The study identifies five options, including:

  • New groundwater source via the LaCroix and Wysocki wells: In 2017, DEC installed a test water supply well that indicated insufficient water production rates could be attained from this well. Given other favorable geologic conditions in this area of the Hoosick River Valley, DEC directed the responsible parties to install a second well in 2018, and evaluate water volume and quality. Test results confirmed that sufficient volumes of water could be generated from the second well to supply existing needs, and that the two wells together could supply anticipated future needs.
  • New surface water source via the Tomhannock Reservoir: A recent safe yield study was conducted and determined the reservoir has sufficient capacity to service the Hoosick Falls area with installation of a new transmission line from the reservoir to the Hoosick Falls Water Treatment Plant for appropriate treatment.
  • New Connection with a municipal source via the City of Troy water supply: The Companies were also required to evaluate an interconnection with a municipal supply, and it was determined that a connection to the city of Troy's existing public water supply was also a feasible option.

DEC will join the Town of Hoosick, Village of Hoosick Falls, and the Hoosick Falls Community Participation Work Group at their upcoming meeting at 6 p.m. on Oct. 23, 2019, at the Hoosick High School and host two availability sessions at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. that same day to collect comments on the water supply study and answer questions from the public that may arise upon review of the document. DEC officials will be available to discuss the details of the water supply options evaluated and presented in the study and explain the process and requirements of the responsible parties in conducting their study. Comments on the report will also be accepted until Nov. 18, 2019, by email to: HoosickWaterSupply@dec.ny.gov or by mail to: DEC Project Engineer, Ian Beilby, P.E., Chief, Section C, Remedial Bureau D, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233.

DEC will then evaluate the input received on the study's options, provide additional technical comments as necessary, and finalize the report. The recommended supply may be one of the options presented in the MWSS report or an alternative that combines and/or enhances some elements of the options in the report. The public will have additional opportunities to provide input on the water source recommendation before a final selection of an option that will be implemented to provide clean drinking water.

In addition to DEC's ongoing assessment of a municipal drinking water supply, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) completed a biomonitoring program to assess and monitor levels of per- and poly-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in the blood of Hoosick area residents. DOH will present the Round 2 biomonitoring results for groups of participants from the Hoosick and Petersburgh areas during the Oct. 23 meeting. The presentation will include group-level PFAS blood level results from Round 2. Comparisons between Round 2 and Round 1 PFOA level results will be presented to show the pace of PFOA blood level reductions. DOH will also provide a brief overview of the Multi-site Health Study recently funded by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

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