A recent state investigation has discovered PFOA, the toxic chemical that was previously found in Hoosick Falls' water supply, in a nearby manufacturing plant in the Rensselaer County town of Petersburgh, NY.
After the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency strengthened its health advisory for safe groundwater PFOA levels following the contamination in Hoosick Falls, Taconic Plastics contacted the state Health Department to test samples at their Petersburgh plant. The manufacturing plant, which is located in a rural area surrounded by residents who have private wells, uses chemicals similar to those used by Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics in Hoosick Falls, where levels of up to 18,000 ppt were found under the factory.
Tests detected PFOA levels of 93.3 parts per trillion in the town's Well No. 2, which supplies water to 75 households in the area. This is just 6.7 ppt below toxic levels, as water consumption up to 100 ppt is considered safe by EPA standards. A PFOA concentration of 95.9 ppt was also found in a sample of tap water in the town.
Petersburg is a rural eastern Rensselaer County town with 1,525 residents, located just eleven miles from the village of Hoosick Falls.
Rensselaer County is also testing other areas that use wells, including the villages of Nassau, Schaghticoke and Castleton-on-Hudson, as well as the towns of Schodack and East Greenbush.
Water bottles were distributed to residents at the Town Hall on Saturday as a precautionary measure. The county will continue distributing water this Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
Taconic Plastics will be supplying five-gallon water coolers to residents beginning next week and will distribute from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the Town Hall.