State offers solutions for water contamination in north New York village

New York village plagued by water pollution crisis
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Story highlights

  • New York state government hopes to fix Hoosick Falls water system
  • A toxic chemical found in household cleaning products was detected in drinking water

(CNN)New York state is working to develop new long-term water sources for a small upstate town where the water system has been contaminated with a cancer-causing chemical, the state said Friday in a press release.

The state may install new or deeper wells for the Village of Hoosick Falls and treat water from a nearby river and other clean water sources, the state said.
Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics has already agreed to install a long-term carbon filtration system for the village, the release said. The state will also buy and install water filtration systems for 1,500 homes in the Village of Hoosick. Free blood testing will be offered to residents.
The improvements will be paid for with $10 million from the state Superfund but the state will seek reimbursement from the two companies held responsible, Saint-Gobain and Honeywell, the release said.
"Protecting the health of New Yorkers is paramount," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "My administration is taking aggressive action in Hoosick Falls because no one should have to question the safety of their water. We are working closely with our local partners, and will continue to take all necessary steps to safeguard the public health."

PFOA used in household cleaning products

Perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, a toxic chemical that can be found in household cleaning products, was detected in the town's drinking water at levels higher than the health advisory of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The chemical has been linked to kidney and testicular cancer as well as other health issues, according to the New York State Department of Health.
PFOA has been heavily used at the plant Saint-Gobain has owned since 1996. A company related to Honeywell owned the plant before that.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation on Thursday identified Saint-Gobain and Honeywell as being liable for the contamination.
CNN affiliate WTEN said Saint Cobain officials responded with a letter saying the company will "work cooperatively with all parties in identifying and implementing solutions to resolve this matter, including our voluntarily funding the distribution of bottled water, funding the installation of a temporary water filtration system, which should be online next week, and funding a long-term water filtration system expected to be in place by October."
According to the Albany Business Review, Honeywell officials met with the state health officials Monday "to discuss options for our participation in a program to secure the water supply of residents who rely upon private wells," Honeywell spokeswoman Victoria Ann Streitfeld said in an emailed statement.
The village's temporary treatment system is installed and undergoing testing, the state said Friday in its press release. Once testing is complete, the system will provide drinking water until a permanent water system is operating.
The water woes of Hoosick Falls come on the heels of the tainted water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and warnings from Ohio environmental authorities for residents not to drink from the tap after samples from homes and schools showed unsafe lead levels in Sebring, a town 70 miles southeast of Cleveland.