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For Release: Friday, December 3, 2021

DEC Releases Final Plan to Provide New Permanent Clean Drinking Water Source for Hoosick Falls

State Continues to Hold Responsible Parties Accountable for PFOA Contamination

DEC Announces Release of Saint-Gobain - McCaffrey Street Record of Decision

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the release of the Saint-Gobain - McCaffrey Street Record of Decision, the final plan to provide a permanent water source to address perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contamination in the village of Hoosick Falls' water supply. As part of the State's commitment to ensuring residents in the Hoosick Falls Water District continue to have access to clean and reliable drinking water, DEC's Record of Decision (ROD) incorporates findings from the Municipal Water Supply Study (PDF) and public comments received on the State's plan to select a groundwater source outside of the contaminated aquifer, in addition to the continued use of a granular activated carbon (GAC) filter to fully protect public health.

"Today's announcement is a significant milestone in our multi-year efforts to provide a permanent and clean water supply to the people of Hoosick Falls," Commissioner Seggos said. "From day one, we followed the science, addressed immediate risks, and worked closely with community leaders and residents to develop a long-term plan for a sustainable water supply in the village. DEC couldn't have done this without Mayor Rob Allen and the dedicated members of the Hoosick Area Community Participation Work Group and we will continue to work together to advance this plan and continue to oversee ongoing cleanup efforts in the region."

"New York State has led the charge nationally in setting protective and enforceable standards for emerging contaminants in drinking water while assisting communities to gain access to infrastructure and treatment solutions where needed," said State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. "Village of Hoosick Falls residents can feel confident that this new water source, together with the existing treatment, will continue to provide drinking water that meets strict quality standards."

"The Hoosick Area Community Participation Working Group (CPWG) is pleased to see the arrival of a decision regarding a new water supply for the Village of Hoosick Falls," said Brian Bushner, a co-chair of the Hoosick Area CPWG. "This has been a long time coming but the group is comfortable that the process was as complete as possible and the decision reflects community priorities. The CPWG appreciates all of the time that our community has invested in providing feedback and guidance to DEC, as well as the incredible amount of work that the DEC has contributed to making this come to fruition. The water crisis has been one of the largest challenges our community has ever faced, and to see a resolution and rectification on the horizon brings great relief to all."

After PFOA contamination was confirmed in the village of Hoosick Falls' drinking water supply in 2016, under DEC oversight, Saint-Gobain and Honeywell installed a GAC treatment system at the village water treatment plant to eliminate the community's exposure to this contamination. The GAC treatment system removes PFOA and other per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from the drinking water supply.

As part of the State's actions to advance a comprehensive cleanup, DEC compelled Saint-Gobain and Honeywell International Corp., to undertake a detailed study to evaluate potential options for a permanent, clean, and reliable drinking water source for the Hoosick Falls Water District. The study was released in December 2020. The release of the final Record of Decision to advance the new, permanent drinking water source follows the release of the Proposed Remedial Action Plan for public comment in April 2021, and a close review of the input DEC and the state Department of Health (DOH) received on the proposed plan. The final ROD includes:

  • Developing two new groundwater supply wells. Existing test wells south of Hoosick Falls will be converted to production wells;
  • Retaining one existing village well. Redundancy is required in the case of an outage of the primary wells;
  • Constructing a water transmission line from the new wells to the village water treatment plant along public rights of way;
  • Continued operation of the public water supply treatment plant to remove naturally occurring elements, and ensure disinfection and distribution to meet applicable water supply requirements; and
  • Retaining the existing GAC treatment system to ensure removal of ambient organic compounds.

The full ROD is available at DEC's website. The companies responsible for the contamination in the Hoosick area will now be expected to perform the actions needed to implement the new alternate water supply source, under strict DEC oversight.

In addition to the implementation of the new, clean drinking water supply, DEC continues to require Honeywell and Saint-Gobain to identify and address the sources of PFOA contamination in this community.

DEC and DOH will continue to provide Hoosick area residents with information and updates regarding ongoing remediation efforts. In addition, state agencies continue to engage the Hoosick Area Community Participation Work Group (CPWG) (leaves DEC's website) to discuss the progress of the PFOA cleanup.

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