For upcoming happenings and events, check out the event page.
DEC and DOH Update on Honeywell's investigation at Former John Street Facility
February 8, 2017—Recent groundwater sampling by Honeywell detected the presence of the volatile organic compounds (VOC), trichloroethylene (TCE) and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (111-TCA), at the company’s former John St. facility. In response, the New York State Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation have directed Honeywell to conduct an immediate soil vapor intrusion investigation.
These investigations are routinely completed near sites where VOCs are identified to help determine if any actions are required to protect residents from potential exposure. All homes in the identified area are part of the Village’s drinking water system. All finished water samples on this system have consistently returned non-detect levels of these compounds and testing for VOCs is part of routine operations.
Soil vapor intrusion refers to a process by which contamination beneath the ground’s surface moves into the indoor air of overlying buildings. Air sampling using specialized canisters and probes will be installed on properties within the immediate proximity facility. If any additional actions are required following the investigation, Honeywell will be responsible for the cost of all additional monitoring and mitigation efforts.
Some VOCs, which are chemicals that can easily enter the air as gases from some solids or liquids, are suspected or known carcinogens.
For more information on soil vapor intrusion, visit the NYS DOH resources here, and here.
More information on volatile organic compounds
Honeywell Hoosick Falls VOC Letter
Hoosick Falls VOC Fact Sheet
Hoosick Falls VOC Discovery Map
New York State Announces Hoosick Falls Full Capacity Water Filtration System is Fully Operational
Public water supply continues to be non-detect for PFOA and acceptable for all uses
New granular activated carbon system replaces interim system that has been providing clean drinking water since March 2016
Transition to full capacity system marks milestone in State's ongoing response to water contamination in Hoosick Falls area
February 7, 2017—The New York State Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation today announced that the Village of Hoosick Falls' municipal water system has fully transitioned to the new full capacity granular activated carbon filtration system (GAC). The new full capacity system allows for the treatment of a higher volume of water and will ensure residents in the village continue to have access to clean drinking water.
This transition from the interim system, which was installed in March 2016, comes following six successful tests of finished water samples from the full capacity GAC. Non-detectable levels of PFOA in the Village's water supply confirms the effectiveness of the system in providing water that is acceptable for all uses. Sampling will continue to ensure the system's effectiveness as it operates independently.
The new full capacity GAC had been operating in tandem with an interim system since December 30, 2016, while sampling was conducted. The full capacity system functions like the interim system by running water through two GAC filters before entering the village distribution system. Water is sampled as it enters the system, sampled again between the first and second filters, and sampled after filtration for a comprehensive analysis. All finished water samples collected have consistently shown non-detectable levels of PFOA.
"New York State has taken unprecedented action to secure clean drinking water for residents of Hoosick Falls," said Dr. Howard Zucker, Commissioner of Health. "I applaud the efforts of the local officials who worked side by side with Department staff to ensure the activation of the full capacity filtration system. This major undertaking wouldn't have been possible without them."
"This is another significant step forward in our ongoing commitment to provide clean water to the residents of Hoosick Falls," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "We are continuing our work to hold the responsible parties accountable, fully identify the extent of groundwater contamination, and develop aggressive remediation plans. We are also conducting the second phase of our analysis for an alternate village water supply."
Senator Kathy Marchione said, "Today's announcement that Hoosick Falls' municipal water system has completed the transition to a new, full capacity GAC filtration system is truly welcome news for the entire community. The new GAC filtration system will ensure access to clean drinking water for Village residents and demonstrates the state's ongoing, significant commitment to helping Hoosick Falls move forward. I want to thank Governor Cuomo, and the dedicated men and women of our State DEC and DOH who have been working hard to assist the community and be responsive to local needs. Most importantly, I want to recognize the local residents who have been strong, resilient and committed to helping the community recover."
David B. Borge, Mayor of the Village of Hoosick Falls said, "On behalf of the Village of Hoosick Falls and all of the users of our municipal water system, I am very pleased that the full capacity GAC system has been approved by NYS and verified by multiple samplings to be consistently effective in reducing PFOA levels to non-detect. This is a major step forward for our community."
Mark Surdam, Supervisor Town of Hoosick said, "Our goal has always been to ensure Hoosick Falls has clean drinking water and having the Full Capacity Water Filtration System operational is a significant milestone in that effort. I want to thank all of our partners at the state and local levels not only for working tirelessly to respond to this situation, but for holding those at the source of this contamination accountable."
Following the discovery of water contamination in the Village, DOH and DEC worked collaboratively to secure clean water for the community and hold those responsible for the pollution accountable for their actions. Through these efforts, the state has secured a legally binding consent order which details the specific actions Honeywell and Saint Gobain must take to address the contamination they caused. Included in that order is the responsibility for all costs associated with the design, installation, operation, monitoring, and maintenance of both the interim and full capacity GAC systems.
As part of the consent order, the polluters were required to provide bottled water to the residents on the village water system until the full capacity GAC is operating independently. At the state's direction, Honeywell and Saint Gobain will continue to provide bottled water at Tops for the next six weeks, while two additional rounds of confirmatory sampling are conducted. Beyond this six week window, the companies will also deliver bottled water to any residents with point of entry treatment (POET) systems that have not yet been cleared for use.
In addition to the installation of the full capacity filtration system, the State's efforts in Hoosick Falls include:
- DEC secured the installation and service of more than 831 POET systems.
- DOH initiated a confidential PFOA biomonitoring program for more than 2,900 residents of the Hoosick Falls area to date and retained Mount Sinai as an independent resource for residents who wish to discuss their results.
- DOH coordinated with the Village of Hoosick Falls, Town of Hoosick, Rensselaer County and Saint Gobain to establish a bottled water program for approximately 4,500 residents of the town of Hoosick.
- DOH and DEC have implemented aggressive sampling and testing efforts in order to both understand the extent of the contamination as well as to identify a new water source for the Village. This includes extensive sampling of the Village's soil and water supply, as well as the testing of more than 1,000 private wells.
- DEC Issued an Emergency Regulation to Classify PFOA as a Hazardous Substance and classified the Saint-Gobain McCaffrey Street Facility as a Class 2 State Superfund Site which unlocks state resources to address contamination and respond to the community's immediate needs. Additionally, the Hoosick Falls landfill was identified as a potential State Superfund site during its investigation of contamination.
- DEC executed a consent order with Honeywell and Saint-Gobain which requires implementation of a superfund remedial program for the McCaffrey Street and Liberty Street plants, including a provision for an alternate water supply feasibility study, which will incorporate the field work conducted by DEC. DEC executed a separate order with Honeywell on June 3, for remedial programs at the former John Street and the three River Road plant sites. DEC is providing field oversight of these remedial programs.
- DOH and DEC have conducted more than 124 informational sessions at the HAYC3 Armory and have spoken to more than 1,600 residents in the Village of Hoosick Falls. DOH and DEC continue to staff the information sessions on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
- A State Hotline, 1-800-801-8092, has been established for the public to stay informed. To date, DOH has answered questions from more than 1,700 concerned residents from Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh.
As part of the comprehensive investigation of alternative water supply sources, DEC has conducted aquifer characterization and assessment field work, including exploratory borings, at several potential groundwater source locations. One potential alternate source has been identified. Over the next several weeks, DEC will conduct the second phase of the analysis to determine if the capacity is sufficient to provide the supply needed by the village. DEC will share the results of this analysis with the responsible parties as they complete the alternate water supply feasibility study. The alternate water feasibility study will be released for public comment once it is finalized.
Today's announcement builds on the aggressive actions implemented all across New York State to address water contamination issues. The New York State Water Quality Rapid Response Team has developed a national model to research, identify, and quickly address water contamination.
To enhance these efforts, the Governor has proposed the unprecedented $2 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017, which will provide direct support to communities to enhance and expand drinking water infrastructure and upgrade treatment systems.
Residents in the Hoosick Falls area can continue to stay informed of the ongoing remediation efforts in the area by contacting the State Hotline at: 1-800-801-8092.
January 24, 2017—The Village Board would like to thank the public for the comments received during the January 20th meeting on the proposed agreement with SGPP and Honeywell. The Board has directed its special counsel to discuss these issues with SGPP and Honeywell. As a result, the Village Board anticipates that revisions to the agreement will be forthcoming. In the meantime, the Village Board has prepared a document to answer some of the questions and concerns raised thus far. If revisions are made to the current agreement, or if the Village Board intends to take action on the agreement, additional notice will be made to the public.
Hoosick Falls Agreement With Saint-Gobain and Honeywell Available to Public
Village Board Set to Consider Its Approval at Jan. 12 Public Meeting
January 9, 2017—An $850,000 agreement Village of Hoosick Falls officials have finalized with Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International has been posted for public review on the Village website here. The Village Board will consider the agreement for approval at a special meeting on Jan. 12, to be held at the Hoosick Falls Senior Center, 69 Church Street, from 6:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend and provide comments on the agreement before the Board considers it for approval.
"The Village Board's priority was to ensure residents had access to clean water at no cost, which ultimately was accomplished by the state's Consent Order with the companies. We could have stopped there. Instead, the Village Board continued to demand Saint-Gobain and Honeywell cover all the additional costs and losses the Village has incurred, to ensure local residents do not bear the brunt of a situation they didn't create. To the companies' credit, they realized the financial burden the PFOA crisis has created for our small community and agreed to this unprecedented agreement. The Board is extremely proud of what has been accomplished to protect the safety and financial well-being of our community," said Village Mayor David Borge.
Approximately 40 percent, or $337,000, of the companies' payment to the Village will be used to reimburse the Village for losses sustained from decreased water and sewer revenues, costs associated with flushing Village water piping and associated repairs to water hydrants, and increased administrative and postage costs associated with several mailings to residents, advertisements and website development. The remainder, approximately $513,000, will be used to pay the Village's team of engineering, legal and communications consultants, who have been working without payment for their services for more than a year to assure the situation is appropriately communicated to the public and all issues were addressed. Specifically, MRB Engineers will receive approximately $100,000 and FitzGerald Morris Baker Firth PC will receive approximately $410,000, of which approximately $100,000 will be paid to Behan Communications, Inc., for assistance it provided to enhance the Village's public involvement program.
"It is important to remember that in the early days of this crisis, the Village had none of the resources needed to evaluate the presence of PFOA in Village water, to negotiate with New York State and the companies to protect the interests of residents, or to communicate with the public and media to ensure residents were aware of the free bottled water program, the state's biomonitoring program, and similar activities," said Mr. Borge. "The Village had to assemble a team of experts to assist us. I am certain that without their diligent, experienced and dedicated expertise, the Village would not have been in a position to successfully negotiate the agreement we are considering for approval. I am aware of no other community dealing with an environmental crisis such as this that has successfully negotiated such a valuable agreement on behalf of its residents."
Hoosick Falls Officials Finalizing $850,000 Agreement With Saint-Gobain and Honeywell
Village Board Set to Approve Agreement at Dec. 28 Public Meeting
December 16, 2016—Village of Hoosick Falls officials, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International are in the process of finalizing an agreement whereby the Village has sought reimbursement from the companies for costs it has incurred related to the PFOA water crisis. The agreement calls for the payment of $850,000 to cover, among other items, water monitoring and analysis, flushing Village water lines and associated repairs of several hydrants, losses the Village incurred from reduced water and sewer usage, and engineering, legal and public relations consulting fees.
The reimbursement supplements prior financial commitments the Village obtained from Saint-Gobain and Honeywell to fund temporary and full capacity carbon treatment systems at the Village water treatment plant, installation of water treatment systems at several locations in the Village, and the provision of bottled water. These commitments are embodied in a Consent Order the companies signed with New York State earlier this year.
"This agreement, along with New York State's Consent Order, will ensure that Village residents are not forced to bear the financial burden of paying for the Village's response to the PFOA crisis — a situation they did not create," said Village Mayor David Borge. "This is a substantial reimbursement that will significantly replenish the Village coffers, ensure we continue to provide critical services for Village residents, and protect the Village in the future."
In addition to the reimbursement of funds, the agreement provides for a reservation of rights by the Village for future potential liabilities related to PFOA releases associated with the companies' former manufacturing facilities in the Village. PFOA contamination that may have resulted from other locations, such as the Village-owned landfill, are not covered by the new agreement.
Attorneys representing the Village Board reviewed the major provisions of the agreement with the Village Board at a meeting earlier this week. Village board members considered voting on a resolution to authorize the Mayor to sign the agreement once it was finalized, but chose to wait until the final agreement was prepared and available for public review. A special meeting of the Village Board has been tentatively scheduled for Dec. 28, should the agreement be finalized before the end of the year.
NYS DOH Announces Additional First-round Biomonitoring Dates
October 5, 2016—New York State Department of Health has offered blood testing for several months for people with concerns about exposures to PFOA from having lived or worked in the Hoosick and Petersburgh areas. They have tested more than 3000 people from both communities. They are now announcing two dates for additional blood testing. Given the small number of additional requests for blood tests received since June, these two dates will complete this round of blood testing events conducted at the Hoosick Falls Armory and Petersburgh Veterans Memorial Hall. The dates and locations are:
- Saturday, October 29: Hoosick Falls Armory: 9:00am - 1 :00pm
- Saturday, November 5: Petersburgh Veterans Memorial Hall: 9:00am - 1 :00pm
NYS DOH will be calling people to make appointments for these dates. To request an appointment, individuals can contact them by October 21, 2016. Walk-ins will be accepted but appointments are preferable. Telephone: 518-402-7950, Email: BEOE@health.ny.gov
US EPA; "Results from 34 Locations Show No Soil Cleanup Needed at Residential Properties, Football & Recreational Fields"
September 26, 2016—As part of its on-going work in Hoosick Falls, NY, in May 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sampled soil at a number of residential properties near the Saint-Gobain McCaffrey Street facility to determine if soil in the area has been impacted by past operations at the facility. Soil samples were also collected from the swampy, wooded area southeast of the McCaffrey Street facility, and the football field and picnic area at the end of Waterworks Road. Based on an assessment of data collected to date, PFOA levels found in soil do not necessitate any additional sampling or cleanup work in any of the areas sampled at this time.
EPA Proposes to Add Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Site in Hoosick Falls, N.Y. to the Federal Superfund List
Groundwater Contaminated with PFOA and Volatile Organic Compounds Public Comments due by November 8, 2016
September 9, 2016— The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed adding the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics site in the Village of Hoosick Falls, N.Y. to its Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) of the country's most hazardous waste sites. Groundwater at the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics facility, located at 14 McCaffrey Street, is contaminated with Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Trichloroethylene. Groundwater supplying the village’s public water supply wells is contaminated with PFOA, as well as Vinyl Chloride and 1,2-Dichloroethane (1,2-DCA). The Vinyl Chloride and 1,2-DCA are both below EPA drinking water standards. PFOA does not break down easily and therefore is very persistent in the environment. Its toxicity and persistence in the environment can pose adverse effects to human health and the environment. The Village of Hoosick Falls has added carbon filtration to its public water supply, thereby providing clean water to local residents.
"The toxic contamination of ground water in Hoosick Falls, New York has put the health of residents potentially at risk and has required the village to filter its public drinking water supply," said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. "By placing this site on the federal Superfund list, the EPA will continue to work hard to address the contamination at the source, and hold the polluters accountable for the full cost of cleanup.”
The McCaffrey Street facility was built in 1961, and had been used to manufacture circuit board laminates, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)-coated fiberglass and other PTFE products. In 1999, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics purchased the facility and began operations there, using PFOA in its manufacturing process. PFOA belongs to a group of chemicals used to make household and commercial products that resist heat and chemical reactions and repel oil, stains, grease and water.
PFOA was widely used in non-stick pots and pans, stain-resistant carpets, and water-resistant outerwear. In 2006, the EPA reached a nationwide agreement with eight manufacturers to phase out the production and use of PFOA. These manufacturers stopped using PFOA in 2015.
In January 2016, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation added the Saint-Gobain site to the state’s Superfund list and nominated the site for inclusion in the federal Superfund list.
In April 2016, the EPA installed groundwater monitoring wells near the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics facility.
In early May 2016, the EPA conducted groundwater sampling at and around the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics facility.
In mid-May, the EPA conducted drinking water sampling at drinking water wells used by the Village of Hoosick Falls.
After testing in Hoosick Falls, the EPA determined that inclusion in the federal Superfund program was an effective course of action to address the contamination.
In addition to the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics site, the EPA is proposing to add 7 other sites to the National Priorities List today. The EPA typically nominates sites to the National Priorities List twice each year, in the spring and in the fall.
With the proposal of this site to the National Priorities List, a 60-day comment period will begin. During this time, the EPA will be accepting public comments, which must be received by November 8. After the comment period closes, a final National Priorities List designation will make the site eligible for funds to conduct long-term cleanup. The Superfund program operates on the principle that polluters should pay for the cleanup rather than passing the costs on to taxpayers. The EPA searches for parties legally responsible for contaminating a site, and holds those parties fully accountable for cleanup costs
For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for these final and proposed sites, visit: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/current-npl-updates-new-proposed-npl-sites-and-new-npl-sites. With the proposal of this site to the NPL, a 60-day comment period will begin during which the EPA solicits public input regarding this action.
For instructions on how to submit comments, go to: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/public-comment-process.
Comments can be submitted, identified by Docket number by one of the following methods:
Docket number for the site: EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0434.
Follow the online instructions for submitting comments at http://www.regulations.gov.
Mail: Mail comments (no facsimiles or tapes) to Docket Coordinator, Headquarters; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CERCLA Docket Office; (Mail Code 5305T); 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW; Washington, DC 20460
Hand Delivery or Express Mail: Send comments (no facsimiles or tapes) to Docket Coordinator, Headquarters; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CERCLA Docket Office; 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW; EPA West, Room 3334, Washington, DC 20004. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays).
For more information on the NPL Site listing process, visit: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm or contact Ildefonso Acosta, Region 2 NPL Coordinator, at 212-637-4344, email@example.com
Second NYS Hearing on Drinking Water Contamination Held
September 8, 2016—The NYS Senate Standing Committee on Health held the second of three scheduled hearings on drinking water contamination on September 07, 2016. The event was held at the Legislative Office Building in Albany. Testimony was presented by representatives of involved state agencies, local elected officials, experts in related fields, and citizens involved with and effected by the PFOA contamination in Hoosick and Petersburgh. A video of the event can be found at the New York State Senate website.
First of NYS Hearings on Drinking Water Contamination Held in Hoosick Falls
September 1, 2016—The NYS Senate held the first of three scheduled hearings on drinking water contamination on August 30, 2016. The event was held at the Hoosick Falls Central School. Testimony was presented by representatives of various state agencies, local elected officials, experts in related fields, and citizens involved with and effected by the PFOA contamination in Hoosick and Petersburgh. A video of the event, and documentation of presented testimony can be found at the New York State Senate website.
Hoosick Falls Mayor David Borge on New York State Consent Orders with Saint-Gobain and Honeywell to Address PFOA
June 4, 2016—Saint-Gobain and Honeywell’s agreements with New York State represent a giant step forward for the greater Hoosick Falls community.
More than two months ago, residents were notified that it was safe to drink and cook with treated water from the Village’s municipal supply. But that decision did not close the doors on our PFOA water crisis. We still do not understand how PFOA has contaminated our groundwater, soil and air. The investigation that Saint-Gobain and Honeywell have agreed to conduct will provide that understanding so a comprehensive, thorough cleanup of our community can be performed.
We understand that the Consent Orders require the companies to negotiate with the Village for costs related to the presence of PFOA in the municipal water supply. We are actively pursuing that agreement in order to ensure local taxpayers do not bear the costs of a situation they did not create.
It is not uncommon for remedial investigations like this to drag on for months, or even years. The Village Board will work closely with officials from the New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation and Health to ensure this study continues moving forward to enable the companies to perform a thorough cleanup as soon as possible.
Saint-Gobain and Honeywell to Perform Major Remedial Investigation of PFOA Contamination
June 3, 2016—New York State announced today that it has reached two agreements with Saint-Gobain and Honeywell whereby the companies will investigate the sources and extent of PFOA contamination at four Honeywell and two Saint-Gobain plants; investigate the feasibility of an alternate water supply; fund the temporary and full capacity GAC water treatment systems; and reimburse the state for costs it incurred to respond and investigate PFOA contamination. The agreements also require the companies to negotiate with the Village for the Village's costs related to PFOA contamination. The state announced it is transferring payment to the Village for rebates to residents for past water bills.
EPA Announces Long-term Exposure Advisories for PFOA/PFOS
May 19, 2016—Based on the latest science, EPA released drinking water health advisories to provide the most up-to-date information on the health risks of PFOA and PFOS. These advisories will help local water systems and state, tribal and local officials take the appropriate steps to address PFOA and PFOS if needed. EPA’s assessment indicates that drinking water with individual or combined concentrations of PFOA and PFOS below 70 parts per trillion is not expected to result in adverse health effects over a lifetime of exposure. These levels reflect a margin of protection, including for the most sensitive populations.
Update on EPA's Sampling Program in Areas Near McCaffrey Street Facility
May 5, 2016: This spring the EPA announced that it would be sampling soil, groundwater and storm drains at and near the Saint-Gobain McCaffrey Street facility in support of its evaluation of the facility for inclusion on the EPA’s Superfund list. That sampling is ongoing, with results expected to be included in its report evaluating whether the site qualifies for the Superfund list. The EPA also announced that sampling of some residential properties near the facility would take place.
These sampling efforts are described in more detail in Community Update #4, which was released in early April 2016 and is available online. The status of these sampling efforts are described below. The sampling work to evaluate the McCaffrey Street facility for inclusion on the Superfund list is ongoing:
- During the week of April 18th, EPA installed several groundwater monitoring wells within ½ mile of the facility.
- On April 25th, EPA began sampling soil at the McCaffrey Street facility. Sampling at 15 locations was completed on May 4th.
- On May 9th, EPA will begin sampling groundwater at the following locations:
- existing on-site groundwater monitoring wells at the McCaffrey Street facility
- off-site monitoring wells
- Waste water from the McCaffrey Street facility will also be sampled.
- Groundwater and waste water sampling is expected to be completed around May 20th.
- Sampling of public supply wells along Waterworks Road will begin after the on-site and off-site sampling of monitoring wells is completed (tentative start date May 23)
As noted in Community Update #4, all results of this investigation are expected to come back by mid-summer 2016.
In a separate effort, during the week of May 9th, EPA expects to sample soil at some residential properties along Carey Avenue near the McCaffrey Street facility, as well as the swampy area southeast of the facility and the football field and park areas at the end of Waterworks Road. This will take approximately one week to complete, and results should be available by July 2016. An update discussing the overall findings will be provided to the community.
EPA Announces Additional Soil Testing.
April 5, 2016: The EPA has announced that it will collect soil samples from approximately one dozen residential properties near the Saint-Gobain McCaffrey Street facility (on Carey Avenue between Waterworks Road and the west end of Carey Avenue) this spring. EPA will contact residents over the next few weeks to request access for the sampling. In addition, EPA will collect samples of soil, groundwater and storm drains from the McCaffrey Street facility. The results are expected several weeks after the sampling is conducted.
EPA Declares Little League and Athletic Fields Safe for Play.
April 5, 2016: Based on the results of dozens of soil samples collected at the Little League and athletic fields on Waterworks Road and Barton Avenue, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined there is no need for cleanup work in any of the areas sampled. Levels of PFOA and related compounds ranged from non-detect to 0.021 ppm, as compared with the EPA's action level for PFOA in soil of 15.6 ppm.
New York State Announces Water From Village of Hoosick Falls Municipal Water System is Safe to Drink
State Department of Health lifts advisory after repeated testing of the village’s water system shows non detection of PFOA
March 30, 2016: The New York State Department of Health today announced that repeated testing of the village of Hoosick Falls’ municipal water system shows non detection of Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and is now safe for all uses including drinking and cooking. In a letter to Mayor David Borge, Dr. Howard Zucker today informed the Village that the temporary filtration system effectively removes PFOA from the village drinking water and the “no-drink” advisory has been lifted.
There are two components to the municipal water system that DOH has been testing in recent weeks:
Component 1: Granular activated carbon filters
- The village’s temporary municipal filtration system consists of two granular activated carbon filters. Water passes through both filters before entering the village distribution system. Water is sampled after it runs through the first filter, and again after it passes through the second filter. Samples taken after strictly passing through just the first filter show non-detectable levels of PFOA.
- This non-detect PFOA status has been in place since Sunday, March 13, 2016.
Component 2: Village distribution system
- The village distribution system is split into six zones that together have more than 82 miles of piping that run to more than 1,400 customers. Since the installation of the carbon filtration system, DOH has been working with residents and the Village to flush the entire distribution system to remove PFOA and has continuously taken water samples from each zone to measure progress.
- Testing shows that every zone on the village distribution system has non-detectable levels of PFOA.
The state is working with the village of Hoosick Falls to notify residents. Residents with questions or concerns can call the Hoosick Falls water hotline at 1-800-801-8092 to speak with a DOH representative.
To view the letter from Dr. Zucker officially lifting the state’s health advisory, please click here.
Dr. Howard Zucker, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, said: “Staff from DOH and the village have been working tirelessly in Hoosick Falls to install the filtration system and flush the entire distribution system. DOH has tested and re-tested water throughout the village, answered more than 1,000 calls on our PFOA hotline, and provided the latest news and updates to residents through our informational sessions. Today’s news demonstrates the tremendous progress we have made, and I commend Governor Cuomo for the commitment he has made to the residents, and for all the actions he has taken to resolve the contamination issue.”
Basil Seggos, Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, said, "Today marks a significant milestone in the state's efforts to address the water contamination in the Hoosick Falls area. DEC continues to install and sample water filtration systems on private wells and expects to provide clearance to homeowners to use the first systems for drinking and cooking this week."
Additionally, Dr. Zucker thanked local officials for their partnership in the testing process, including David Borge, Mayor of Hoosick Falls; Mark Surdam, Town of Hoosick Supervisor; Jim Hurlburt, Water Superintendent; Josh Magisano from the Hoosick Falls Water Department; and Aelish Nealon, Executive Director of the HAYC3 Armory. Dr. Zucker also thanked all of the Hoosick Falls residents who allowed DOH to test water in their homes.
The state has implemented an aggressive plan to address PFOA contamination in the Hoosick Falls area, which includes:
- Overseeing the installation of a temporary municipal filtration system;
- Committing up to $10 million to install hundreds of private residential water filtration systems;
- Testing nearly 750 water samples from private and public wells since January 27, 2016;
- Conducting a comprehensive blood testing program for residents;
- Working to identify an alternate permanent drinking water source; and
- Establishing a local command center with nearly 100 full-time state officials.
The state has also identified Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International as parties responsible for the PFOA contamination in the village of Hoosick Falls and the town of Hoosick, and is holding the firms accountable for the costs of providing safe drinking water to residents and remediating the contamination.
Tests Indicate the GAC Filters are Effective at PFOA Removal
March 23, 2016: According to the New York State Department of Health, the new filtration system installed at the municipal water treatment plant is "functioning properly" and removing PFOA to non-detectable levels (which is defined to be less than 2 parts per trillion). Most recently, NYSDOH collected 7 samples from the new system and all resulted in non-detect levels of PFOA. Ten additional samples were collected by NYSDOH throughout the distribution system. Seven showed non-detectable levels of PFOA while three samples showed levels below 5 ppt. The sample results will be posted on the Village website when a report is received from NYSDOH. EPA's recommendation that residents refrain from using municipal water for drinking or cooking remains in effect.
American House Demolition
March 18, 2016: On Monday, 3/21 demolition will start on the American House. The demo is expected to take up to 10 days to be completed. Elm Street will be closed on Monday, March 21st but should be open from Tuesday going forward.
It will be necessary for the contractor to be spraying the area with water constantly to keep dust under control. As a result of the line clearing, the natural turnover of water in everyday use, and the fact that all water going through the Water Treatment Plant is going through the GAC filter, this water is considered non-detect regarding PFOA. This means that the ground around the demolition area is not expected to be contaminated by it.
DEC will have a presence at the demolition site.
Governor Cuomo Announces PFOA No Longer Detected at Hoosick Falls Municipal Water Filtration System
March 14, 2016: Governor Andrew Cuomo announced test results from the newly installed carbon filtration system at the municipal water treatment plant show that PFOA has been removed to "non-detectable levels." NYSDOH continues to test water samples throughout the Village to assess the ability of the installed carbon filters to effectively reduce PFOA. As NYSDOH continues its comprehensive sampling program, residents are advised to continue using bottled water for drinking and cooking. Governor Cuomo also announced: (1) an agreement with Saint-Gobain and Honeywell to deliver bottled water directly to residents who need assistance; (2) approval of a $150,000 grant to boost capacity of one municipal supply well that has a history of low levels of PFOA; and, (3) results of the latest water samples collected from private wells predominantly located in the Town of Hoosick.
Village Water Customers to Receive Rebate
March 14, 2016: Last week, Village officials initiated a discussion with residents at the monthly board meeting regarding provision of a credit or rebate to residents on their water bills. Village officials subsequently brought these concerns to New York State officials. As a result, Governor Cuomo announced that Hoosick Falls residents will receive a rebate covering six months of water payments, a total of approximately $240,000. New York State intends to seek reimbursement for the costs of the rebate program from Saint-Gobain and Honeywell. The process by which residents will receive their rebates are being developed now. Residents are advised to continue to use bottled water until otherwise notified.
March 9, 2016: Flushing of Village water mains and storage tanks has now been completed. Residents who have not yet flushed their residential plumbing are encouraged to do so. In the meantime, EPA's recommendation that residents refrain from using municipal water for drinking or cooking remains in effect. Officials from NYSDOH will collect several rounds of water samples from the water treatment plant (both before and after passing through the newly-installed carbon filtration system) and from several households connected to the system, to assess the effectiveness of the treatment system. All sample results will be posted on the Village website when they are received by NYSDOH.
State Issues Update on Ongoing Actions to Address PFOA Contamination at Hoosick
Receive Results for An Additional 153 Wells; 190 Water Filtration Systems Installed; Flushing Process Continues, Completed in Five of Six Zones
March 4, 2016: The State Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Conservation announced additional water sample results as they continue to aggressively provide drinking water acceptable for all uses in the Town of Hoosick and Village of Hoosick Falls. Since February 27, DOH has received results of another 153 water samples and 190 water filtration systems have been installed. Additionally, residential flushing continues throughout the Village ahead of schedule with five zones completed with last one to start in the coming days.
DEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Under the Governor's direction, all hands are on deck to bring clean drinking water to residents in the Hoosick Falls area. We made significant progress in installation of carbon filtration systems on private wells in the area and will continue to work as quickly as possible to get these systems online."
DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "Flushing of the Village's water mains and distribution system continues and we are making great progress. We have moved quickly, while at the same time taken extra precautions to minimize water pressure losses at homes, and ensure that enough water is available if needed for firefighting."
Water Sampling and Installation of Water Filtration Systems
DEC continued installation of point of entry treatment (POET) filtration systems for homes with private wells with a total of 190 installed. Another 40 are scheduled to be installed this weekend. DEC has received 521 requests for POETs, with 240 requests this week, and performed 386 pre-evaluations which are necessary prior to installing the systems. Of those, 225 pre-evaluations were completed this week.
Carbon canisters are being pre-flushed at an off-site central location. Empty canisters are initially installed and replaced with pre-flushed carbon canisters. After installation of the complete system, it is checked to ensure proper connections. After the complete system is installed, homeowners must flush their pipes and are provided instructions on how to do so. After installation, DEC will sample the tap water to determine it is acceptable for all uses. Residents are advised to continue drinking bottled water and refrain from drinking and cooking with water from the public system and with POET systems at private homes until DEC or DOH advises that the water is acceptable for all uses.
DOH announced results for an additional 153 water test results received since Friday February 26, which include 146 results that were less than the EPA Advisory level of 100 part per trillion (ppt) and seven that have levels of PFOA at or above the EPA Advisory level of 100 ppt. Of the 146 under the EPA Advisory of 100 ppt, 82 have PFOA levels of less than 2 ppt (i.e. non detection of PFOA) and 64 have levels between 2 and 100 ppt. DOH has also taken an additional 196 water samples since last Saturday.
This Week's Water Results:
|Public and Private Well Sampling in Hoosick Falls||February 26 to March 4, 2016|
|Total Results Received||153|
|Total Results with levels of PFOA below 2 parts per trillion (ppt) (i.e. non-detection of PFOA)||82|
|Total Results with levels of PFOA between 2 and 50 ppt||50|
|Total Results with levels of PFOA between 50 and 100 ppt||14|
|Total Results with levels of PFOA Over 100 ppt||7|
|Public and Private Well Sampling in Hoosick Falls||February 26 to March 4, 2016|
|Total Results Below EPA Local Guidance of 100 ppt||146|
|Total Results Above EPA Local Guidance of 100 ppt||7|
Total Results to Date:
|Public and Private Well Sampling in Hoosick Falls||TOTAL SAMPLES TO DATE|
|Total Results Received||298|
|Total Results with levels of PFOA below 2 parts per trillion (ppt) (i.e. non-detection of PFOA)||123|
|Total Results with levels of PFOA between 2 and 50 ppt||105|
|Total Results with levels of PFOA between 50 and 100 ppt||21|
|Total Results with levels of PFOA Over 100 ppt||49|
Flushing Village Water Distribution System
Most of the Village's water delivery system has been successfully flushed. With the installation of the temporary water filtration system, the Village's water mains and distribution system will now be flushed with clean, filtered water, to remove residual PFOA. During the flushing process, residents may notice lower water pressure, and tap water may be cloudier than usual. These are common to the flushing process and are not cause for concern. Until the water distribution system has been flushed and retested, residents should continue to use bottled water or in-home filtration.
To take extra precautions to ensure the water distribution system is not overwhelmed, the neighborhoods served by the Village water system has been divided into six zones, and the flushing process is being conducted on a zone-by-zone basis, to ensure contaminants are removed and the water system is not overwhelmed. To date, four of the Village's six zones have been successfully flushed. Once the water mains in each zone have been flushed, residents in that zone will be provided with information on flushing out the plumbing in their homes.
DEC evaluated the potential impact flushing could have on the Hoosic River and does not anticipate any significant effects. The amount of flush water to be discharged will be greatly diluted by the flow of the river. DEC expects any increase in the PFOA level in the Hoosic River to be negligible. DEC will monitor the PFOA level in the river throughout the course of the flush discharge. The river is not used as a drinking water source.
Flushing Indoor Plumbing Systems
Flushing indoor plumbing systems can be done quickly and simply. However, it is important that residents wait until the water mains and distribution systems in their neighborhood are flushed before they flush their indoor plumbing.
Key points on flushing indoor plumbing systems:
Residents of the Village will be notified when the distribution system in their neighborhood will be flushed. Residents will receive written guidance on how to flush their plumbing and when they should do so. It will take about a half hour to flush your home.
While the flushing process is taking place, residents may notice discoloration of their water, and may also have issues with water pressure in their homes. This is not a cause for concern, and is normal for any flushing process.
Water samples will be routinely taken and monitored - before, during and after the flushing of the system and at various points in the distribution system. Bottled water will continue to be provided at no cost at Tops Friendly Market on Route 22.
In addition, it's important to note that there is no need for residents to flush outdoor spigots. If they choose to do so, they should run the water for about one minute, either onto the ground or into a small pail which can then be emptied into a sink in their home. Residents should not drain their swimming pools at this point. DOH and DEC are developing a protocol to properly drain swimming pools, which will be complete in time for the summer swimming season.
Keeping Residents Informed
NYSDOH continues to notify the Village and residents on private wells in the Town with the results of ongoing water sampling. In addition, NYSDOH will continue to communicate with residents using the following material:
Door hangers: Door hangers with general information about the flushing program and specific instructions on flushing their indoor plumbing will be distributed door-to-door to the homes of Hoosick Falls Village residents on the public water supply on the day the flushing process begins and will be posted on the NYSDOH website.
Fact Sheets: Fact sheets describing the process will also be distributed door-to-door to the homes of Hoosick Falls residents, will be available at the informational sessions at the Armory and will also be posted on the NYSDOH website.
Residents renting their home or property should consult with the landlord to discuss a flushing plan for the whole building.
To Learn More
Staff from both agencies have been holding informational sessions every Tuesday (2 p.m. to 8 p.m.),Thursday (2 p.m. to 8 p.m.), and Saturday (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), to help residents.
Additionally, the Department of Financial Services has set up a Mobile Command Center in Hoosick Falls to assist and provide information to homeowners and residents who may have been impacted by recent mortgage-related events following PFOA contamination in the local water supply. The Mobile Command Center will be set up at HAYC3 Armory located at 80 Church Street in Hoosick Falls during the regularly scheduled DOH and DEC information session on Saturday, March 5 from10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Hoosick Falls to Begin Flushing Water Distribution System
February 26, 2016: The Hoosick Falls Village Board has received written authorization from the New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and Health (NYSDOH) to begin flushing local water mains and hydrants. Operators of the municipal water supply intend to begin flushing activities this weekend.
“Flushing the system will allow clean treated water to flow from our water treatment plant and carbon filtration system into our municipal water distribution system. This will move any residual PFOA-contaminated water in the system to the local sanitary sewer system, where it will be discharged with other water into the Hoosic River,” Village Mayor David Borge said.
“State officials have assured the Village that PFOA levels currently in the system will be diluted and will not negatively impact the wastewater treatment plant or the Hoosic River.”
Flushing activities will proceed by neighborhood, beginning in the south part of the Village and moving north. The process could take approximately two weeks to complete. Updates will be posted on the municipal website regarding the progression of flushing activities.
Once the hydrant and water main flushing is completed, NYSDOH will ask residents to flush household pipes by running household taps for a period of time and flushing toilets. NYSDOH intends to conduct a door-to-door program to provide information to residents regarding the specific protocols residents should follow. The NYSDOH information also will be posted on the municipal website as soon as it is received.
Separately, in order to determine the ability of the temporary carbon filtration system installed at the water treatment plant to reduce PFOA to safe levels, NYSDOH will collect and analyze several samples of treated water, in addition to samples of tap water from approximately 25 households connected to the municipal water system. A schedule for this sampling program is nearing completion.
EPA’s recommendation that residents not drink or cook with water from the municipal water supply remains in effect. Free bottled water will remain available to residents at Tops Market as long as the temporary carbon filtration system is in operation.
Hoosick Falls Carbon Water Treatment System now Operational
February 25, 2016: The newly-installed carbon filtration system at the municipal water treatment plant is fully operational and Village officials have begun pumping water through the system and into the Village’s water distribution system, announced Village Mayor David Borge.
“This is a major step forward,” Borge said. “The state Department of Health informed the Village that it recommended the new facility begin operating and delivering treated water to the distribution system. As a result, water began flowing through the carbon filtration system late Tuesday.”
NYSDOH approved the system for use based on the results of bacteriological and inorganic contaminant sampling. NYSDOH has not yet sampled the treated water to determine if the carbon filtration system is effectively reducing PFOA to safe levels. A schedule for that sampling program is near completion.
“I want to caution residents that EPA’s recommendation to refrain from using the municipal water for drinking and cooking still remains in effect,” Borge said. “It will likely take another few weeks for NYSDOH to conduct a rigorous sampling program to ensure the carbon filtration system is effectively removing PFOA from the water.”
Mayor Borge thanked the operators of the Village water treatment plant for working tirelessly to get the carbon filtration system installed and operational in a very brief span of time. “Our team worked literally around the clock to install this system as quickly as possible. A project that typically takes months to complete only took a few weeks time. I thank them for their diligence and effort,” Borge said.
Village officials will begin flushing the municipal water supply to purge local water mains and hydrants of any PFOA-contaminated water residing in the pipes. Once approval for the flushing procedures is obtained by NYSDOH and NYSDEC, a schedule for flushing activities will be developed and shared with the public.
Village Sends Information to Residents re: Water System Flushing.
February 25, 2016: The Village Board is mailing postcards to municipal water supply users with information on how the Village will be flushing local water mains and storage tanks throughout the system. These activities will begin this weekend. Additional information regarding household flushing protocols will be distributed by NYSDOH.
EPA Announces Second Phase of Athletic Fields Soil Testing
February 22, 2016: Testing by the New York State Department of Health and the Village of Hoosick Falls, New York, has revealed that groundwater and drinking water in the Village of Hoosick Falls is contaminated with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been gathering information regarding the Hoosick Falls PFOA contamination in conjunction with the Village of Hoosick Falls, the county health department and the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Why is the EPA Sampling Additional Fields?
As part of its work to address PFOA in the Village of Hoosick Falls, the EPA sampled the ballfields and park areas along Waterworks Road from February 15 - 19, 2016. The purpose of the sampling was to determine whether past releases of PFOA into the air from local facilities may have contaminated the soil on the fields. Recently, EPA was notified by village officials that the Hoosick Falls Athletic Field near the ice rink and community pool, located approximately 1/4 mile from the Waterworks Road ballfields, may be the main field used by the Town of Hoosick Youth Baseball and Softball league this season.
EPA will evaluate the Hoosick Falls Athletic Field, which is used for athletics as well as summer camps and community events. This will include EPA collection of samples from the upper foot of soil. The samples will be analyzed for PFOA and related chemicals, as well as volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), metals and other contaminants. The sampling results will be compared to values that EPA has established to determine if cleanup work is necessary.
In Which Areas of the Athletic Field Will Soil be Sampled?
The EPA will be sampling multiple locations in and around the Hoosick Falls Athletic Field where people, especially children, are most likely to be exposed to the soil. This includes the playground next to the community pool, several locations on the ballfield and football field area, several locations which may be used as a little league field near the old backstop, areas used by summer camps and the bleachers and spectator areas. The upper foot of soil will be sampled at two intervals: the first three inches, and from three inches to a foot below the surface.
When Will the Test Results be Available?
The laboratory results are expected to come back in April 2016, along with the results from the Waterworks Road ballfield sampling. All results will be announced and will be available to the public prior to the start of the pre-season for baseball and softball. The EPA plans a public session to explain the results and answer any questions.
If hazardous substances, including PFOA or other contaminants, are present in the soil at the ball fields, the EPA will review the results and determine whether any cleanup work is necessary to protect the people who use the ballfields.
The EPA, NYSDEC and NYSDOH will be planning and conducting soil, groundwater and surface water sampling in other areas of Hoosick Falls, and will continue to provide updates on the status of the investigation. As the investigation progresses, EPA will also establish an Information Repository at a local library where the public can review and copy records related to EPA’s work in Hoosick Falls.
Governor Cuomo Deploys DFS Mobile Command Center to Help Hoosick Property Owners
Mobile Command Center to Provide Information on Insurance and Mortgage Issues to Hoosick Falls Area Residents Affected by Water Contamination
February 16, 2016: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed the Department of Financial Services to set up a Mobile Command Center in Hoosick Falls to assist and provide information to homeowners and residents who may have been impacted by recent mortgage-related events following PFOA contamination in the local water supply. The Mobile Command Center will be set up at HAYC3 Armory located at 80 Church Street, Hoosick Falls today, Feb. 16, and tomorrow, Feb. 17 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“My administration is continuing to deliver on-the-ground support to the people of Hoosick Falls,” said Governor Cuomo. “This will help ensure that homeowners and residents in the area can be informed and utilize all options available to them. I encourage anyone with questions to meet with trained DFS personnel this week.”
DFS staff will be available to provide information and assist homeowners and residents with questions and concerns relating to mortgage loans, or refinancing of loans. DFS staff will also be available to provide information and assist homeowners and residents with questions and concerns relating to insurance issues.
Residents of the Hoosick Falls area community are strongly encouraged to attend if they require assistance relating to mortgage loans, refinancing, or insurance issues.
Last week, Governor Cuomo announced that the state has begun planning for a possible alternate water supply in the Village of Hoosick Falls – ensuring that the community has a new, permanent supply of clean water. The Governor also announced that the state will purchase and install water filtration systems for approximately 1,500 homes in the Town of Hoosick, if a homeowner wishes to have such a system installed. Furthermore, the state is offering free water sampling tests and free blood testing. More information on all of those actions is available here.
Saint-Gobain Site Added to Registry as Significant Threat State Superfund Site
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added the Saint-Gobain McCaffrey Street Site to the Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites within New York's State Superfund Program. The site has been added to the Registry with the Classification “2”, which signifies that the site presents a significant threat to public health and/or the environment. The public notice provides the reasons for this designation.
Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site Classification Notice
The Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site Program (the State Superfund Program) is the State's program for identifying, investigating, and cleaning up sites where the disposal of hazardous waste may present a threat to public health and/or the environment. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) maintains a list of these sites in the Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites (Registry). This notice is to inform you that the site identified above, and located on a map on the reverse side of this page, was added to the Registry as a Class 2 site that presents a significant threat to public health and/or the environment for the following reason(s):
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) has been detected at elev ated levels in groundwater at 14 McCaffrey Street in the Village of Hoosick Falls. The Village and New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) have also identified PFOA at concentrations exceeding applicable standards, criteria, and guidance values in the Village's public water supply system and in several non-m unicipal wells in the Town of Hoosick. Actions are needed to reduce human exposures to PFOA in these water supplies and perhaps others, as well sampling continues. NYSDOH has also identified lower concentrations of PFOA in private wells and other public water supplies in the Town. Overall, actions are needed to identify the source(s) of this contamination, to define the nature and extent of contamination in groundwater and other environmental media, and to evaluate and address associated human exposures.
Governor Cuomo Announces Planning for an Alternate Water Supply in the Village of Hoosick Falls
Additionally, state offers to purchase and install water filtration systems for roughly 1,500 homes in the Town of Hoosick
State authorizes emergency allocation of $10 million from Superfund for these emergency actions
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the state has begun planning for a possible alternate water supply in the Village of Hoosick Falls – ensuring that the community has a new, permanent supply of clean water. This would be in addition to the long-term carbon filtration system Saint-Gobain has agreed to install. The state will work to ensure the planning is completed expeditiously in an open and transparent manner and will engage the public on how contamination is addressed and remediated throughout the Superfund process.
Potentials for the alternate water supply in the Village of Hoosick Falls include: installing new or deeper wells within the Town and Village area determined to be free of PFOA contamination; securing and treating alternative sources such as from the Hoosic River or other clean water sources in areas outside of the Town or Village. The state will also be conducting a thorough investigation to ensure the water source is free of PFOA contamination.
In addition to the free water sampling tests and free blood testing offered by the state, the Governor announced that the state will purchase and install water filtration systems for approximately 1,500 homes in the Town of Hoosick, if a homeowner wishes to have such a system installed. These particular carbon-based filtration systems have been shown to reduce PFOA levels in water to below two parts per trillion. This action is made possible by an emergency allocation of $10 million from the state Superfund. The state will later pursue total cost recovery from the parties deemed responsible for the PFOA contamination, including Saint-Gobain and Honeywell. This will be in addition to the long-term water filtration system that Saint-Gobain has agreed to install for the current water source for the Village of Hoosick Falls.
“Protecting the health of New Yorkers is paramount,” said Governor Cuomo. “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.”
To ensure the health and safety of residents in Hoosick Falls, the state Department of Health has begun offering free blood testing for community members who wish to be tested. That process will begin tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 12. At the Governor’s direction, DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker and DEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos will be onsite to answer questions from residents. For more information on this testing service, and to make an appointment for a blood test, residents should call (800) 801-8092, email BEOE@health.ny.gov, or visit the DOH website here.
The Village’s temporary treatment system is now installed and undergoing disinfection and testing. Once all testing is complete in the coming weeks, this system will provide drinking water for the Village until the planning is finished and permanent water system is in place.
While no PFOA has been detected in the Hoosick Falls Central School District school’s water, the state has already committed to install a water filtration system at the school as the Superintendent requested. This project should be completed within the next two weeks.
These announcements build on last month’s actions taken by the state to address contamination in the Hoosick Falls water supply. More information on those actions is available here.
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EPA Soil Sampling at Little League Fields
February 12, 2016: Testing by the New York State Department of Health and the Village of Hoosick Falls, New York, has revealed that groundwater and drinking water in the Village of Hoosick Falls is contaminated with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been gathering information regarding the Hoosick Falls PFOA contamination in conjunction with the Village of Hoosick Falls, the county health department and the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Why is the EPA Sampling the Ballfields?
As part of its work to address PFOA in the Village of Hoosick Falls, the EPA is looking into two potential issues. The Agency will look at whether past releases of PFOA into the air from local facilities may have contaminated the soil on the village’s ballfields based on their proximity to a potential source. The EPA will also sample to determine if this area was used for disposal in the past.
To make its assessment of the ballfields, the EPA will take samples at varying depths ranging from the surface of the soil down to the water table, which is reported to be about 18 feet below the surface. The samples will be analyzed for PFOA and related chemicals, as well as for a suite of pollutants including volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and metals. The sampling results will be compared to values that EPA has established to determine if cleanup work is necessary.
In Which Areas of the Ballfields Will Soil Be Sampled?
The EPA will be sampling multiple locations in and around the ballfields where people, especially children, are most likely to be exposed to the soil. This includes seven locations on each ballfield, the dugouts, bleachers, spectator areas, batting cages and pavilion area, and the two open fields along Waterworks Road near the water treatment plant. The upper foot of soil will be sampled at two intervals: the first three inches, and from three inches to a foot below the surface. Several deeper soil samples going down to the water table will also be collected.
When Will the Results be Available?
The laboratory results are expected to come back in late March or early April 2016. The results will be announced and will be available to the public prior to the start of the pre-season for baseball and softball. The EPA plans to hold a public session to explain the results and answer any questions.
If PFOA, hazardous substances, or other contaminants are present in the soil at the ballfields, the EPA will analyze the results and determine whether any cleanup work is necessary to protect the people who use the ballfields.
The EPA, NYSDEC and NYSDOH will be planning and conducting soil, groundwater and surface water sampling in other areas of Hoosick Falls, and will continue to provide updates on the status of the investigation. As the investigation progresses, EPA will also establish an Information Repository at a local library where the public can review and copy records related to EPA’s work in Hoosick Falls.
DEC Requires Companies to Fully Investigate and Clean Up Hoosick Falls PFOA Contamination
February 11, 2016: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation sent Saint-Gobain and Honeywell International a letter identifying them as parties responsible for PFOA contamination in the Village and demanding the companies implement and pay for an investigation and remediation of the contaminated sites. NYSDEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "We will hold all companies responsible for groundwater contamination and make sure they pay all costs associated with the investigation and remediation of the source of the problem as well as assuring a usable drinking water source."
Full DEC Press Release:
DEC Requires Companies to Fully Investigate and Clean Up Hoosick Falls PFOA Contamination
DEC to Use Legal Authority Under State Superfund to Hold Companies Accountable for Remediation
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today identified Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International as parties responsible for Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contamination in the Village of Hoosick Falls area as a result of the agency's preliminary investigation. DEC's investigation has identified groundwater contamination at the McCaffrey Street site where Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International used PFOA for decades. Using state Superfund authority, DEC will hold these and possibly other companies liable for the full investigation and cleanup of PFOA contamination.
"First and foremost, under Governor Cuomo's direction, our priority is to provide safe and clean drinking water to the people of Hoosick Falls," DEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "We will hold all companies responsible for groundwater contamination and make sure they pay all costs associated with the investigation and remediation of the source of the problem as well as assuring a usable drinking water source."
DEC sent a letter to Saint-Gobain and Honeywell (PDF, 2.1 MB) demanding that these companies enter into binding consent orders to implement and finance the investigation and remediation of the contaminated sites. The demand letter is the first step in the process to develop a consent order under which these companies, and others that may be identified in the course of the investigation, would be held liable to pay for the investigation and remediation of all PFOA contamination and protection of safe, clean drinking water for Hoosick Falls. In the event Saint-Gobain, Honeywell and any other potentially responsible parties refuse to voluntarily cleanup under such an order, New York State will use its full authority under the law to pursue all available legal remedies against the companies.
This action is the latest development in DEC's investigation, which commenced four weeks ago, and stems from DEC's issuance of an emergency regulation classifying PFOA as a hazardous substance and classification of the Saint-Gobain facility as a state Superfund site. These classifications unlocked state Superfund resources to start the investigation into the sources of contamination and allow the state to pursue potentially responsible parties. Today's letter begins the process for the state to recoup any costs the state incurs, if the responsible parties refuse to pay the costs of the investigation and remediation.
Under the state Superfund law, polluters that contaminate the environment with hazardous substances can be held responsible for remediation. DEC will continue its investigation to determine the extent of contamination in order to ensure the contamination in the Hoosick Falls area is addressed and residents have a reliable source of clean and potable water.
New York State Department of Health to Have Regular Presence in Hoosick
February 1, 2016: Today the Village received notice from NYS DOH informing us that they plan to have a regular presence in the Village beginning tonight. They plan to set up information sessions at the Armory starting today from 5-8pm and they will be available to answer questions and disburse information about the water status. People will be able to ask questions concerning blood testing, water testing, etc. This is a directive from the meeting with the Governor last week. Going forward, the DOH staff will be available each week on Tuesday and Thursdays from 2:00pm to 8:00pm and on Saturdays from 10:00am to 2:00pm until further notice. They will also be working on coordinating information from the various regulatory agencies involved.
Governor Cuomo Announces Immediate State Action Plan to Address Contamination in Hoosick Falls
State hotline (1-800-801-8092) established to help public stay informed.
January 27, 2016: Emergency regulation issued to classify PFOA as a hazardous substance; Saint-Gobain facility to be classified as a State Superfund Site to unlock state resources and legal remedy to address contamination State will conduct Health Risk Analysis to establish PFOA drinking water guidance level; retest private wells in the village of Hoosick Falls; and immediately install filtration systems at school and other community gathering places
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a series of immediate actions by New York State to address contamination in the Village of Hoosick Falls’ water supply and at the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Site. These announcements follow today’s meeting between the Governor and senior state and local officials.
“We are taking immediate and aggressive actions to protect the health of Hoosick Falls residents,” said Governor Cuomo. “These actions will ensure that the source and extent of PFOA contamination is identified, and all necessary steps are taken to swiftly address the chemical’s presence. My administration is investigating this situation fully, and we will do whatever is necessary to ensure safe, clean drinking water for local residents.”
These actions include to:
- Issue Emergency Regulation to Classify PFOA as Hazardous Substance: The state Department of Environmental Conservation today issued an emergency regulation to classify Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the contaminant found in the Village’s water supply, as a hazardous substance. This provides DEC with the legal authority to pursue State Superfund designation and cleanup of the site using State Superfund resources.
- Classify Saint-Gobain Facility as a State Superfund Site to Unlock State Resources to Address Contamination: Further, the state announced it will classify the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation McCaffrey Street Plant and other possible sources of contamination that may be identified in Hoosick Falls as State Superfund sites to unlock state funding resources under the State Superfund Program to address the contamination in the community. DEC has already initiated its investigation and inspected the Saint-Gobain property. If in the course of its continuing investigation DEC finds any additional sources of PFOA contamination, they will also be listed. The Superfund Class 2 designation will allow the state to use State Superfund resources to investigate and clean up PFOA contamination much more quickly than waiting for a federal Superfund designation. In addition, the state will be able to seek cost recovery for the investigation and cleanup activities. DEC will collaborate closely with EPA in the investigation of PFOA in groundwater, soil and other media in Hoosick Falls to determine appropriate cleanup activities.
- Conduct Health Risk Analysis to Establish PFOA Drinking Water Guidance Level: To address the water supply contamination, the state Department of Health will conduct a risk analysis, examining the latest national research, to establish a drinking water guidance level for PFOA.
- Retest Private Wells in the Village of Hoosick Falls: In addition, the state Department of Health will retest 24 private wells in the vicinity of the Saint-Gobain facility.
- Immediately Install Filtration Systems at School and Other Community Gathering Places: Out of an abundance of caution, the state committed to installing water filtration systems at the local school, public health facilities and other community gathering places.
- Blood Testing of Community Members to Begin in Mid-February: Beginning in mid-February, DOH will begin blood testing for community members for those who wish to be tested.
- Establish State Hotline for Public to Stay Informed: Residents can contact 1-800-801-8092 for more information.
Further, once PFOA contamination is addressed, the state committed to work with the community and banks to safeguard property values.
Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos said: “Under the direction of Governor Cuomo, New York State is working collaboratively with all levels of government from the EPA to the village and town, to address the contamination in Hoosick Falls. Classifying PFOA as a hazardous substance and making the Saint-Gobain site a State Superfund site will free up resources to investigate and clean up the contamination quickly. We will continue our open dialogue with local officials and the people of Hoosick Falls to ensure they are informed throughout our investigation and remediation.”
Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said: “The actions taken today by Governor Cuomo, the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Health will safeguard the residents of Hoosick Falls and help address their concerns. The Department of Health will continue to test private wells, and will soon begin a blood testing program to measure residents’ exposure to PFOA. Additionally, DOH will continue to examine the latest and best scientific research to establish a drinking water guidance level for PFOA.”
Senator Kathy Marchione said: “I want to personally thank Governor Cuomo for convening this afternoon's highly productive and positive meeting regarding Hoosick Falls. The announcement that the state recognizes the seriousness of this issue and is taking purposeful action that will help Hoosick Falls families is welcome news. Our discussion today focused on realistic solutions including the state’s regulation of PFOAs, testing of all local wells, blood testing and carbon filtration systems to help protect the health and well-being of families in Hoosick Falls. The positive steps agreed to today are welcome news for the community. I have been carefully monitoring this situation and will continue advocating for Hoosick Falls families as this process moves forward.”
Town of Hoosick Supervisor Mark Surdam said: “I am thankful for the Governor’s recognition of the problem our community is facing with its water supply, and for the actions the state taking today. I want to assure all of the residents in the Town of Hoosick that we are undergoing a tremendous effort to deal with these concerns.”
Village of Hoosick Falls Mayor David Borge said: “I am grateful for Governor Cuomo’s swift action to help our community quickly restore the use of our water supply – and am pleased by the level of coordination by state agencies responding to this issue. This is a major step forward for all residents of the greater Hoosick Falls community.”
Hoosick Falls Central School Superintendent Kenneth Facin said: “Today’s meeting with Governor Cuomo was productive and meaningful, and promises real results for our students and parents. We are appreciative to be a part of a singular, concerted effort to rectify the environmental issues surrounding our water supply. As a proactive measure to ensure the health and safety of our students, the state is assisting our school district with the installment of a carbon filtration system. We are grateful for the Governor’s leadership in galvanizing resources to assist our community.”
State’s Earlier Actions to Address PFOA Contamination
Today’s actions build upon DEC and DOH’s initiatives announced earlier this month to address the PFOA contamination to protect public health and the environment. The state urged EPA to take vigorous action on the federal level to regulate PFOA and to quickly add the Hoosick Falls site to the Superfund National Priorities List. The state, Saint-Gobain and the Village are collaboratively working on an agreement to install water treatment systems to remove hazardous chemicals from the Village’s water supply. In addition, DOH is undertaking a cancer registry study to investigate the incidence of cancer among Village residents and biomonitoring studies. Further DOH is offering PFOA biomonitoring to measure the level of PFOA in Village residents.
PFOA was detected in the Village’s public drinking water in 2014. Since then, DOH has worked closely with the Village to provide technical advice and assistance for water sampling and to evaluate water treatment options to eliminate health risks. Because the levels of PFOA in public water were higher than the EPA health advisory level, DOH determined that people should reduce their exposure by avoiding the use of tap water for drinking and cooking. In addition, DOH continues to monitor private wells and will have more results very soon.
Although the use of PFOA is being phased out, it is still used to make household and commercial products that resist heat, and repel oil, stains, grease, and water. This includes nonstick cookware, surface coatings for stain-resistant carpets and fabric, and paper and cardboard food packaging. Studies of people have associated exposure to PFOA with an increased risk for several health effects. This includes associations with effects on the liver, immune system, thyroid gland, cholesterol levels, blood pressure during pregnancy, and kidney and testicular cancer.
Contact the Governor's Press Office
NYC Press Office: 212.681.4640
Albany Press Office: 518.474.8418
Contact us by email:
Temporary GAC Filtering System to be Installed
January 7, 2015: The Village in cooperation with the NYSDOH, Saint-Gobain, and C.T. Male have been exploring installing a temporary short-term GAC filtering system at the municipal water plant. This system can be installed in a matter of weeks, and will remain in use while the permanent GAC filtering is being built. There is only one of the required temporary GAC systems available at this time, so the parties involved in designing and approving the system have been working diligently to insure that we did not lose this opportunity to another entity that my have a similar filtering need. The DOH has reviewed and approved the plans, and the board has voted to order the temporary GAC filter to be installed immediately. Further details will be shared as the project progresses.
Municipal Water Website
January 12, 2015: The Village has developed a separate webpage in its ongoing effort to keep the community informed regarding the discovery of Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) in the municipal water system. Much information has been shared since concerns were first raised in August 2014. The Village is committed to keeping an open line of communication with the community as the investigation continues. To that end, the Village has populated a new webpage with relevant documents, resources, upcoming meeting details, and other relevant information. It will be continually updated as the Village continues to address this important issue.
Preliminary Water Plant Upgrade Schedule
December 19, 2015: As submitted to the Village by C.T. Male Associates, project engineers.
|Task Description||Completion Date|
|Basis of Design||December 15, 2015|
|45% Documents||December 31, 2015|
|Pre-final (DOH submission) Documents||January 15, 2016|
|Final Design Ready for DOH Approval & Construction||January 31, 2016|
|Bid Advertise and Award||March 1, 2016|
|Construction Contracts Signed||March 15, 2016|
|Major Equipment Submittals Completed||March 31, 2016|
|Major Equipment On-site and Installed||July 15, 2016|
|Treatment Start-up & Testing||August 30, 2016|
|Construction Complete||October 30, 2016|
- DOH review and approval process estimated at 2-4 weeks.
- System operational 8-9 months after DOH approval.
December 18, 2015: In an effort to keep residents better informed of the water situation, a letter has been drafted by the mayor that is being mailed to Village households and Town municipal water users. The letter will also include the December 17, 2015 press release by the EPA on the water situation. The press release can be read below, the cover letter can be downloaded here. Residents can expect to receive the letter and EPA statement early next week. In an effort to reach as many residents as possible, it is also being shared here and other media outlets.
The New York State Department of Health has also developed an updated PFOA Fact Sheet for the village.
EPA Statement on Hoosick Falls Water Contamination
December 17, 2015: Recently, members of the Hoosick Falls community have contacted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with concerns and questions about whether they should drink, bathe in, or cook with their water, which has been found to contain perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
PFOA is a manmade chemical that is toxic and persistent in the environment. It is used as a surface-active agent and in variety of products, such as fire-fighting foams, coating additives and cleaning products.
While the EPA continues to gather information and assess the Hoosick Falls water contamination, it recommends that people NOT drink the water from the Hoosick Falls public water supply or use it for cooking.
There is a lack of studies evaluating the human health effects from inhalation and skin exposure to PFOA. The EPA believes that inhalation of PFOA contaminated water (for example, from showering or bathing) is not a significant exposure. PFOA has a much higher boiling point (372.2°F) than water (212°F), is a solid with a very low evaporation rate at room temperature, and any inhalation of the steam-like, aerosolized, PFOA-contaminated water droplets generated while showering or bathing is not a significant exposure.
Similar to inhalation exposure, the EPA also believes that skin contact with PFOA-contaminated water from the public water supply in Hoosick Falls is not a significant exposure. Studies have demonstrated very limited absorption of PFOA through the skin, and the uptake of PFOA through the skin is extremely slow. As a precautionary measure and given the limited information on dermal exposure, children or people with skin conditions (for example, rashes, cuts and abrasions) should avoid prolonged contact (such as long showers or long baths) with PFOA-contaminated water.
The EPA is continuing to gather information and will keep the public informed. Public inquiries can be directed to Larisa Romanowski via email or call 518-407-0400.
Berry Shore, Intergovernmental Liaison
Region 2, USEPA
290 Broadway, 26th Floor
New York, NY 10007
tel.: (212) 637-3650
Municipal Water Update
December 10, 2015: On December 3rd 2015 the Village sponsored an informational session concerning the ongoing situation with the discovery of the unregulated contaminant PFOA in the wells of our municipal water system. Representatives from regulatory agencies, local government, and other involved parties were there to answer questions and distribute literature. It was reasonably well attended, and we trust that attendees became better informed. The village received a letter from the EPA prior to that meeting where the agency provided recommendations of best-practices for us to follow. Also in the letter were references to where the EPA’s information regarding PFOA can be accessed online. The New York State Department of Health also prepared a fact sheet for the session. Links to these documents are below for your convenience. We advise all concerned citizens of the Village to read this and other available literature to remain up to date on the PFOA situation.
ATTENTION Users of the Hoosick Falls Municipal Water System
As presented at the Hoosick Falls Village Board meeting on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics is providing funding for an alternative source for drinking water for those Hoosick residents connected to the Hoosick Falls Municipal Water System. Should residents choose this option, bottled water will be available at Tops Market in Hoosick Falls at no cost to residents on the municipal water system as of Sunday, November 29, 2015. Only 1 gallon and 2.5 gallon containers of select brands of water will be available at no cost (no water in redeemable bottles). A maximum of 5 gallons per day per household will be available at no cost. Sign in at the Service Desk at the Tops Market in Hoosick Falls first to receive a coupon(s) to be used at the checkout register. Tops Market in Hoosick Falls is open 7 days per week.
September 2015—This is the 3rd summary in a series of updates enclosed with the water meter readings mailed to those who are billed for the use of the municipal water supply of Hoosick Falls. Over the past months, much has been learned and a summary is as follows:
A pilot study has been completed and it has been determined that Granulated Activated Carbon (GAC) is effective in reducing the amount of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) to unmeasurable levels for our specific water supply. This technology exists and is recognized as effective by Rensselaer County Department of Health and NYS Department of Health.
NYS DoH has agreed to analyze water samples on an on-going basis at no charge to the community. Additionally, samples have been taken from privately owned wells in the surrounding area to investigate the extent of the contamination to see whether the contamination is localized, or broader in scope. Again, I ask that anyone who has had water samples privately analyzed, to please provide copies of specific results to the Village Clerk’s Office. This information will be used by the County and NY State Departments of Public Health to determine the most effective long term mitigation plans for our community water supply.
The Village Board has approved an agreement with the MRB Planning/Engineering Group to provide an engineering report which will summarize the specifics of our water concerns, and which verifies that the correct steps are being taken toward a successful resolution. This report is also required by all potential funding sources – whether they are state, federal or private sources.
Several conversations with staff from the offices of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Congressman Gibson, as well as direct discussions with Senator Marchione and Assemblyman McLaughlin regarding federal and state sources for funding have occurred. The issue remains that until the Federal EPA completes its current data gathering process regarding PFOA and makes a determination, this man-made substance remains officially an “unregulated contaminant” and therefore, rules, regulations or enforceable standards for levels in drinking water do not exist. Both the Village Water Treatment Plant and the Waste Water Plant continue to meet and exceed all county, state and federal regulations. We are in compliance in all areas.
Discussions have also taken place with the regional representative from the Governor’s Office. There will be more communications as we continue to move forward.
To date, our efforts have been focused on finding a practical and feasible way to minimize and or eliminate PFOA from our water supply. The addition of a secondary filtration system using GAC technology is the route we will pursue. Efforts are being made to secure funding at all levels. There is a regulated process with specific time frames to follow and the Village Board has directed MRB to initiate that process.
At the regular July meeting of the Village Board, representatives from Saint- Gobain presented their plans to support the collaborative efforts of our community in working toward a successful resolution. We consider this a positive step. They have retained C. T. Male Engineering to do a hydrogeologic study of the McCaffery Street property. The results of this study will be shared with the community as we move forward. We hope to have the results from this effort by the Fall of 2015.
Since October of 2014 to the present, the financial cost to the Village has been in excess of $63,000. The estimated cost to add the secondary GAC filtration system is approximately $2,200,000 for initial construction not including routine maintenance. Although the Village is financially solvent, other funding sources will be required to meet this need.
Rest assured that the Village Board is working diligently to resolve this issue and is committed to restoring the public’s confidence in our municipal water supply. Your patience is appreciated, we share your concern, and you will continue to be updated as to the progress made. Suggestions or comments can be forwarded to me at email@example.com or messages left at 686-7072 ext. 5.
There will be a informational/sign-up event at the Armory on Wednesday 5/20 from 5-8pm to bring reliable broadband service to Hoosick. This is important for both residents and business development in the town.
BOUNCELINX, a Greenwich, NY based fixed wireless Internet provider, has offered to bring high speed broadband service to The Town of Hoosick.
Conditions: Because of the large capital outlay ($500,000+) to offer service to all Hoosick residents who do not have cable or fiber options, BOUNCELINX needs a large group of sign-ups for service before committing to 100% coverage. BOUNCELINX needs 300 sign-ups by May 31st in order to begin its build-out in Hoosick. As an incentive to encourage these sign-ups, BOUNCELINX has offered to waive its standard $199 installation charge for the first 100 Town of Hoosick businesses or residences.
Background: Most of the residents within the Town of Hoosick but outside of the Village of Hoosick Falls have limited access to the Internet because their options are limited to dial up, DSL, satellite or cell phone hot spots. All of these suffer from limitations of speed, data, connectivity or price, and the large cable and telephone companies have been unwilling to outlay the huge amounts of money to connect rural areas with cable or fiber. Today's solution to this problem is fixed wireless technology, which has been called "fiber in the sky" because the data transmission can match the capability of fiber optic cable.
Advantages to our community: Universal broadband access in the Town of Hoosick has the potential to boost our town and surrounding areas into a new era of prosperity and relevance in today's world. Businesses will have the connections that are vital for them and residents will be able to cut their costs for Internet, telephone and entertainment. BOUNCELINX offers multiple plans with prices starting at $49 per month. A critical advantage to the BOUNCELINX technology is that it is land based and is not affected by weather like satellite, provides dedicated service and has very low latency. BOUNCELINX does not charge you if you go over your plan - if you exceed your selected plan BOUNCELINX will slow your service till the monthly reset. This ensures that you can always stay within your budget.
BOUNCELINX has offered to completely fund and build out a high speed broadband network this year, provided that enough interest can be generated.
NYSDOH Risk Characterization and Health Effects for Hoosick Falls Water Supply
The Village has requested guidance from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) in analyzing our water contamination and its potential impact on public health. We received their response via the Rensselaer County Department of Health on January 12th 2015. It states:
The presence of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) at the levels detected in the supply wells and in finished water does not constitute an immediate health hazard. Based on specific toxicity information for PFOA, the estimated exposure to PFOA in the water at the highest level detected (0.54 µg/L) is at least 50,000 times lower than PFOA exposures that are known to cause health effects in animals. The detection of PFOA indicates a need to identify the sources of contamination and to take measures to reduce it so that long-term exposure can be reduced and future exposures prevented.
Samples taken from the water supply wells on October 2 and November 4, 2014 were found to contain PFOA at levels ranging from 0.17 micrograms per liter (µg/L) to 0.54 µg/L. One sample of finished (treated) water taken on November 4th contained PFOA at 0.44 µg/L. These levels are below the New York State unspecified organic contaminant public drinking water standard of 50 µg/L, which applies to certain types of organic chemicals such as PFOA, which do not have a standard based on their toxicity.
Information on the health effects of PFOA in humans is limited. There is evidence from studies in people that elevated levels of PFOA in serum can lead to reduced fetal growth. There is also some evidence from studies in humans that increased serum PFOA levels may increase the risk for testicular and kidney cancer, but collectively the studies are not strong enough to draw a definitive conclusion about whether PFOA causes cancer in humans. In laboratory animals, exposure to high levels of PFOA caused weight loss, increased liver weights, developmental delays, reduced red blood cells, and reduced fetal growth. PFOA caused cancer in laboratory animals that were fed large amounts for their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in animals after high levels of exposure may pose a risk to humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.
PFOA is a manufactured chemical that is used to make other chemicals called fluoropolymers. Fluoropolymers are substances that have special properties such as fire resistance and the ability to repel oil, grease and water. Thus, they have many manufacturing and industrial applications. PFOA is used to make non-stick surfaces on cookware and in fire-fighting foams, cosmetics, greases, lubricants, paints, polishes, and adhesives. PFOA can get into drinking water through releases from fluoropolymer manufacturing or processing facilities, wastewater treatment plants, and landfills.
Village Receives SAM Grant
The Village of Hoosick Falls has received a State and Municipal Facilities Program (SAM) grant for $95,000 from the Dormitory Authority of the State of NY (DASNY) to cover the cost of restoring the Rogers Avenue water tank. The grant funding was secured with the help of Senator Marchione's office. The repairs included relining of the interior, repair of cracks, and installation of an isolation valve. These repairs were necessary to keep the tank operational for the forseeable future. The repairs were completed in late 2014. This grant will enable the Village to repurpose some of the funds slated for the project, and also relieve us from having to borrow funds.
Village Water Quality Update
As stated at the November and December Village Board meetings, the Village municipal water system continues to meet and exceed all County, State and Federal standards for public health safety. If that was not the case, the Rensselaer County Public Health Department would intervene immediately.
At the request of a residential water user, the Village water department sent pre-treated samples taken from each of the 3 wells for non-required chemical testing. This initial sample revealed what appears to be a synthetic element present in the pre-treated well water. This was considered a base-line sample and a 2nd sample has since been taken— including a post-treated sample. The results of the initial test are mixed—but also encouraging—as the results verify that in 2 of the 3 wells, the numbers fall within and under the EPA guidelines of 200-400 nanograms (or parts per trillion) for the element perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The primary well currently being used samples at less than 200 nanograms or ppt. Samples—both post and pre-treated— will continue to be taken as the Village monitors the situation.
Neither the County DOH, the State DOH, nor the Federal EPA has set minimum standards for exposure to this element. The EPA is in the data collection phase only.* Since the EPA has not established allowable standards, it does not require such testing of municipal water systems. As mentioned, the element is called PFOA, and is present in many forms of plastic, certain types of clothing, surface coatings, food packaging, and has been found in soils and ground water globally.
Communications continue directly with the County Public Health Department and their direction will be followed. There have also been communications with the engineers who designed and installed the Village Water Treatment Plant. Consultations have been initiated regarding the filtration system as carbon filters are known to be effective in screening out this element. The current filters are state-of-the-art poly filters which include carbon filtration. We will be monitoring their effectiveness for this chemical.
This is very much a process of discovery and elimination and the plan is to proceed in an orderly and regulated manner. Sample analysis results are available at the Village Clerk's Office. Village residents should be aware that the numbers in each sample represent parts per trillion and the EPA guidelines are based on parts per billion. As yet, there is no standard or benchmark to determine how these numbers are to be interpreted for their impact on public health.*
Obviously, it is un-nerving when the public water supply is questioned. Understandably, there is some misinformation and some valid concerned speculation "on the street". The Village is following the regulations and oversight provided by the County, State and Federal authorities and will continue to provide safe drinking water and keep the community informed.
* In a letter to the Village dated 11/25/2015, the EPA has disputed this wording and asked that it be removed. In accordance with full-disclosure, the statement will remain, but the public should be aware that EPA has established a provisional health advisory for PFOA at 400 parts per trillion [per liter of water].
The EPA has also posted these Internet links regarding its provisional health advisory and the significance of that advisory. This information can be found at the links below:
Hoosick Falls Zoning Update Community Planning and Design Workshops
Hoosick Falls Mayor David Borge is extending an open invitation for local residents and business owners to participate in a Community Visioning and Design Workshop to be held from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, Wednesday, December 3, 2014, in the Rensselaer County Senior Center at 69 Church Street, Hoosick Falls, New York regarding the Village of Hoosick Falls Code Update Project. The purpose of the meeting is to allow members of the community to participate in hands-on planning and design activities related to the Zoning Code Update.
No technical expertise is required of public participants. All the graphic art supplies required for the workshop will be provided by Barton & Loguidice, D.P.C., consultants on the project. Base mapping of the Hoosick Falls area will be generated in multiple forms and will be provided to each working group.
A summary of the results of these Community Planning Workshops will be presented at a later date to the public, and attendees will have the opportunity to review and comment on the ideas presented.
This project, funded by the Village of Hoosick Falls and the Hudson River Valley Greenway, examines the village’s zoning code as it currently exists and will recommend changes in its terms and organization to improve the functions of the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, and Code Enforcement Department. The recommendations will allow for more clarity in the development process for potential developers while also allowing the Village the ability to encourage compatible development projects.
Items to be examined include: existing recommendations and plans; existing zoning; comparison of non-conforming use and building code sections; zoning code comparisons; and revisions the zoning code in a way that simplifies.
The Hoosick Falls Zoning Advisory Committee and consultants have identified a number of existing “code barriers” and have begun to evaluate solutions. For example, several solutions to so-called “zombie properties”, as-built non-conforming properties, design guidelines as an alternative to use regulation, and mixed-use development are under consideration.
The public engagement portion of the project began with a public information meeting in October and continues with this public visioning workshop. A final report of recommendations will be delivered in January or February 2015. Afterwards, recommendation may be adopted by the Village Board following the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQRA) process.
Congratulations Hoosick Jr. Raiders!
The Hoosick Jr. Raiders football team completed a perfect 8-0 season on October 26th by beating Cambridge 27-7 in the Jr. Super Bowl. We are proud of what the boys, their coaches, and the cheering squad were able to accomplish this year, and look forward to supporting them on the new field next year. Go Raiders!
Brown's Taproom Grand Opening
The community is invited to Brown's Brewing Company's new Walloomsac Taproom this afternoon for their grand opening celebration. The celebration includes welcoming remarks from Hoosick Falls Mayor David Borge and Town Supervisor Mark Surdam and a Blessing of the Bar by Reverend Tom Zelker, Pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Hoosick Falls. Mayor Borge and Reverend Zelker will join co-owners Garry and Kelly Brown to tap a special cask of Brown's Cream Ale and share in a toast with attending guests.
Brown's Walloomsac Taproom will be "officially" open to the public for regular business with this momentous occasion. The new retail space which includes a 56 foot reclaimed hardwood factory floor bar will be open Wednesdays through Fridays from 3pm until 9pm as well as Saturdays and Sundays from 12 Noon until 9pm. Brewery tours will be available on Friday evenings and weekends.
Visitors will be able to buy pints of Brown's beer at the bar as well as growlers and bottled beer to go.
The opening of Brown's Walloomsac Brewery marks the culmination of an eight year build out of a renovated 19th century paper mill on the Walloomsac River in North Hoosick, New York. Brown's built out the Walloomsac Brewery to serve it's growing wholesale bottled and keg business and offer a base for visitors to experience Brown's brand at the source.
Brown's Brewing Company was founded in 1993 by Garry and Kelly Brown in an abandoned block of warehouses on River Street in Troy, New York. Brown's popular Troy Taproom is one of the largest brewpubs in New York State and their River Street location is also home to Brown's Revolution Hall private events venue and Brown's Malt Room cask conditioned ale and cocktail bar.
Brown's Brewing Company's Walloomsac Brewery is located at 50 Factory Hill Road in North Hoosick, New York. For more information about Brown's Brewing Company call Gregg Stacy at 518-698-8330
Here in our little corner of the region people have been working passionately to promote what we have, and convince others that this is a great place to live, and start a business. From everyday-people behind the scenes, to our elected officials, to our community groups like HAYC3, and CiviCure, to the Hoosick Rising initiative, every effort is having a positive impact and it's starting to show. Stories in the Eastwick Press, The Bennington Banner, The Manchester Journal, The Rensselaer County Chamber newsletter, The Hill Country Observer, and the Albany Times Union are showing that people are taking notice of everything we offer now, and recognizing our greater future potential.
HAYC3 Announces Pumpkinpalooza6 Schedule.
Sixth annual celebration of Hoosick brings the community together for a day of fun events
HAYC3 (Hoosick Armory Youth Center and Community Coalition) announces the schedule for Pumpkinpalooza6, happening September 27, 2014. This year’s celebration features family-friendly events throughout the day and in several locations in the Village of Hoosick Falls.
The day starts off with a pancake breakfast hosted by the Girl Scouts, and a 5K in memory of Rolf Sternberg. Other favorite events return such as the pumpkin chuckin’ demo and wagon rides. Additionally, the tractor & agriculture show will be held in Wood Memorial Park, and the Louis Miller Museum will be open.
Also in wood park there will be music and dance performances, including the Twirlettes. The Hoosick Falls Central Jazz Band will play in Wood Memorial Park too. Additional events include wagon rides, geocaching, medieval combat demonstration, contests, and more. The Hoosick Falls Police Department will be on hand with Mickey the police dog for a meet and greet.
A new event this year is a human foosball competition happening at the Town athletic fields.
For a full schedule of events and locations, as well as information on registering for events such as the chowder cook-off, human foosball, and the pet parade, visit the HAYC3 website.
Thanks Hoosac School!
Hoosac Helps was back in action last week. The "triangle" at routes 22 and 7 which has the landscaping and sign that welcomes visitors to our area was in rough shape. The weeds had become overgrown and the sign was in disrepair. The faculty of Hoosac School made quick work of it and pulled out over three pick-up truck loads of weeds and spruced up the sign. Just in time for leaf peepers to admire!
SCA Members to Build Trails at Bennington Battlefield.
To commemorate 9/11 and the 20th Anniversary of AmeriCorps.
From September 10th-12th, 40 young adults will volunteer 3 days of their time to build trails and restore wildlife habitat at Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site. These volunteers are full-time Student Conservation Association AmeriCorps members who have committed 10 months of their lives to serve the local communities of the Hudson Valley. Members Laura Sears and Deb Brzozowski are full-time AmeriCorps members with New York State Parks who have organized the project and will be hosting the other 40 SCA AmeriCorps members for the event.
The Bennington Battlefield project consists of 3 miles of trail construction, trail marking, and invasive plant removal. On Thursday, September 11th at 8:30 am, the day will begin with a few words from Alane Ball Chinian, Director of the Saratoga-Capital District Region of OPRHP. SCA and AmeriCorps members will formally dedicate their service in remembrance of 9/11 and observe a moment of silence. On September 12th, they will then take the AmeriCorps pledge to commemorate the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps service opportunities in New York State and around the country.
Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site is owned by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and operated by Grafton Lakes State Park. It marks the site of a pivotal Revolutionary War battle dating back to August 1777, and referred to as the “prelude to the turning point” at Saratoga. The site now offers a bicentennial monument, interpretive panels, an overlook, a picnic area, and restrooms. As Bennington Battlefield lacks an existing trail construction crew, this service project is an invaluable benefit to residents of the surrounding communities and visitors to the battlefield.
It is the mission of OPRHP to serve the residents of, and visitors to, New York State by providing year round opportunities for recreation and for appreciation of its natural, cultural, and physical resources while operating the park in such a manner as to preserve and protect those opportunities and resources. The trail system will give site visitors and local residents the opportunity to more deeply explore this incredible cultural resource. The SCA and AmeriCorps members will provide services to Bennington Battlefield and the local community in a three day period that would otherwise take several years to accomplish.
You can follow the progress of the project by visiting the SCAHVC Facebook page and following them on Twitter—@SCAHudsonValley.
The Barn Quilts are Ready for the Big Reveal!
Unveiling and Celebration is Set for Saturday, August 30th
The Hoosick Barn Quilt Project is on the verge of becoming the Hoosick Barn Quilt Trail and HAYC3 is getting ready to celebrate big-time! Twenty-one 8'x8' barn quilts and six 4'x4' barn quilts have been delivered to their permanent homes and are about to be installed. From East Hoosick to West Hoosick, from the village of Hoosick Falls to Breese Hollow and South Hoosick, you will be able to follow the official map and see these beautiful Barn Quilts all over town. Along the way, you will also witness breath-taking landscapes, barns and historic buildings.
Join HAYC3 on Saturday, August 30th from 10:00am-12:00pm at the HAYC3 Armory for the Hoosick Barn Quilt Trail unveiling and celebration of our community. The event will be jam-packed with exciting quilt-related happenings and activities. Get your free trail map and explore among the first explorers to follow the Hoosick Barn Quilt Trail. This event is free and open to the public. Everyone is invited to this big community event.
The celebration starts with a “Meet the Barn Quilt Artists” reception. Before or after you head out on the Trail, you can view exhibit of exquisite hand-made quilts (some for sale) by local and regional quilters in 120gallery90. Beginning at 10:00, experienced quilters will be demonstrating different kinds of quilting techniques like English and other methods of paper piecing, accu-quilting, hand quilting, applique, and more. You’ll see a step-by-step how–to on how a quilt is made, from choosing the right colors to cutting the pieces, to putting it all together and finishing techniques.
Martha Von Shilgen will provide lively entertainment. Her fiddling repertoire includes jigs, reels, hornpipes and waltzes, all with an old-time feel.
At 11:00am, HAYC3 presents a lecture called “Underground Railroad Quilt Signals”. Russell & Noreen Hinton of Newport, Vermont will share their interest in this fascinating topic. They will bring a sampler quilt they have made together which depicts 16 of the patterns commonly in use during the period when there was slavery was in the south. What did quilt patterns and runaway slaves have in common? They shared a secret, a secret so guarded that only recently has it been shared with the world. Unable to read and write, or communicate openly about escape plans, the slaves turned to everyday objects so common they could be displayed anywhere anytime without arousing suspicion. The quilts were used to communicate hidden messages to runaway slaves traveling north towards freedom. The Hintons will share the secret meanings of the Underground Railroad quilt code that was used to convey those messages. Noreen has combined her love of quilting with an interest in history to create a quilt containing 16 of the patterns used during the time when slavery was common. Using reproduction fabrics from the Civil War era adds authenticity as the tale of the Underground Railroad Quilt Code is told.
There will also be a Poker Run that day. A poker run is an event in which participants, in riding any kind of vehicles must visit five checkpoints, drawing a playing card from a paper bag at each one. On the day of the unveiling, the checkpoints will, of course, be at Hoosick Barn Quilt locations. The objective is to have the best poker hand at the end of the run. Winning is purely a matter of chance. The fee to enter the Hoosick Barn Quilt Poker Run is $20 for the driver and $10 for each passenger. The prizes are the same as our Texas Hold'Em tournaments, based on entries. You don't have to be a poker aficionado to participate; you just need a vehicle, a sense of fun and adventure, and a desire to help a worthy cause. Participants should meet at the HAYC3 Armory to pick up details of the route and the stops they need to make. At each designated stop, the participant will draw a card at random and the winner of the event is the participant who makes the best five-card poker hands at the end of the event. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. OK! On your marks, get set… go!
The Hoosick Barn Quilt Project's importance to the community is obvious. It will help beautify both the town and the village for locals as well as encourage tourists to follow the “trail” and discover Hoosick's beautiful landscapes and farming traditions. New visitors will come to the village and support local businesses. Even more important is that it is a community project that has successfully brought our already supportive community together. HAYC3 has partnered with Northeastern New York Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in this endeavor.
So, put Saturday, August 30th on your calendar. Come experience the Hoosick Barn Quilt Trail and celebrate community and art in our town. For more information, visit the HAYC3 website, call 518.686.9050 or email.
History Comes Alive in Hoosick!
Battle for Bennington Reenactment, August 16 & 17
On August 16th, 1777, in a small hamlet called Walloomsac, a rebel force of roughly 2000 men under the command of General John Stark, decisively defeated a detachment of Germans, loyalists and native allies. This action diminished General Burgoyne’s army by 1000 men, prevented the capture of important supplies located in nearby Bennington, VT, and set the stage for the American victory at Saratoga. On August 16 & 17th, 2014, on the very ground where it happened, the nationally renowned living history organization the “Brigade of the American Revolution” will commemorate and reenact this pivotal event.
Authentically attired and equipped living history enthusiasts will bring to life the actions that took place 237 years ago to the day. In addition to the tactical reenactments, a full and exciting weekend of activities is scheduled. Visitors are encouraged to tour the camps and experience the sights and sounds of 1777.
The Battle of Bennington State Historic Site is located on Route 67 in Walloomsac, NY. The camps will be situated at the Barnet Homestead off of Cottrell Road, and will be open to the public from 11:00 to 3:00 pm both days. Saturday’s reenactments of the storming of the “Dragoon Redoubt” and the repulse of Breymann’s relief force will take place on the northern side of Route 67 at the top of the so-called “Hessian Hill” beginning at 4:00 pm. Sunday’s reenactments, including the Battle for the “Tory Fort” will take place on the southern side of route 67, adjacent to the Cottrell farm. All programs are free.
Watch history come to life as the Brigade of the American Revolution recreates this turning point in our war for independence.
Public invited to join March to Battle
One of the unique activities planned for the Brigade of the American Revolution’s Battle for Bennington event will be the recreation of a section of Colonel Nichols’ flanking march. This march was part of a two pronged pincer movement initiated by General Stark to envelop the Brunswick Dragoons in their barricade on “Hessian Hill”.
The modern march will take place on Saturday afternoon, August 16th, and will consist of a three-mile hike over terrain varying from steep hills to open fields to rough wooded paths to country lanes. Just as it did 237 years ago, the march will end on “Hessian Hill”, in time for the reenacted attack on the “Dragoon Redoubt.”
As part of its educational mission, the Brigade of the American Revolution is inviting members of the public to join the march, alongside authentically dressed and accoutered interpreters. It’s a rare opportunity to get a first-hand taste of what it was like to be part of this historic military action.
The hike is free, but is limited to 15 able-bodied participants. For further details, and to reserve a spot, please contact Peter Schaaphok at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-369-0910 by Wednesday August 13, 2014.
- 11 am to 3 pm – Camp Life demonstrations and “The Story of the Battle” Exhibit (Barnet House)
- 1:00 pm –“People of the Battle of Bennington” program (Barnet House)
- 1:30 pm – “Nichols’ March” departs camp
- 4:00 pm – Storming of the “Dragoon Redoubt” (Top of Hill)
- 4:45 pm – Repulse of Breymann’s relief force (Top of Hill)
- 5:30 pm – Remembrance Ceremony (Top of Hill)
- Sunday: (All programs held near Barnet House)
- 11 am – 2 pm – Camp Life demonstrations and “The Story of the Battle” Exhibit
- 11:00 am – Stark’s Attack over the Walloomsac River
- 1:30 pm – Battle for the “Tory Fort”
- 2:15 pm – Pass in Review
The camps will be situated around the Barnet House on the south side of Route 67, but please note that Caretaker Road will be closed. Public parking will be on Cottrell Road; see attached map and look for the signs. (Limited parking for those with special needs will be available near the Caretaker Bridge.) Saturday afternoon’s battle reenactments will be at the State Park on the north side of Route 67. The public should park along the main driveway to the State Park.
Dougherty's Corner to be Site of New Development
At the recent Hoosick Rising meeting it was announced that Sequence Development of Troy, NY has entered into an agreement to develop the vacant lot where Dougherty's once stood. Owner Jeffrey Buell and other representatives from Sequence attended the meeting and spoke briefly about the project, and how pleased they are to be part of the re-energizing of Hoosick Falls. Mayor Borge has been working with Empire State Development to insure that the $750,000 grant that was secured for the redevelopment by the previous administration is still available. Firm details are forthcoming, but the proposal is to build a new 3-story mixed-use structure on the vacant lot as well as develop the adjoining property at 5-7 John Street.
River Street (Rt. 22) Bridge to be Repaired
The Village was recently notified by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) that the River Street Bridge will be repaired starting in the fall of 2014. Work is anticipated to be completed by the end of the 2015 construction season. The project will include steel repairs, replacement of most of the bridge's joints, some full-depth deck repairs, fascia repairs, and application of a waterproofing membrane with asphault overlay. In order to provide a safe work area, it is anticipated that NYSDOT will reduce traffic to a single lane, alternating traffic with a temporary signal system. All properties in the vicinity of the bridge will remain accessible to residents and emergency responders while the work takes place. There will be no nighttime work.
CiviCure Benefit Concert
On Saturday, July 26th at 7:00pm, Metropolitan Opera Star Oren Gradus will present a concert of arias and show tunes at the Hoosac School to benefit CiviCure. CiviCure is a Hoosick Falls non-profit organization driven by the mission of community revitalization through active stewardship of Hoosick's rich heritage and rural environs, and the various art forms inspired by them. Gradus' performance will support restoration of the live performance space in the Wood Block Building at 5 Main Street, where traveling and local artists once graced its two stages.
Oren Gradus, whose rich bass voice has been lauded as "full-bodied and sensitive", has appeared in some of the world's greatest opera houses. Notable venues in North America include New York's Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera and the Canadian Opera in Toronto. European appearances include Teatro Communale in Bologna, Opera Marseilles and the Liceu Opera House in Barcelona. Gradus can be seen in the Great Performances at the Met broadcast of La Bohéme, televised by PBS affiliates on Friday, June 27 at 9:00pm.
Joining Gradus is lyric soprano Mariona Pallach, from Catalonia, Spain. A graduate of Barcelona Conservatory, she is an award-winning vocalist and voice instructor who has sung feature performances on the premier stages of Spain. In addition to singing arias, show tunes, Pallach will also perform music from her native land.
The singers will be accompanied by Jennifer Peterson, a gifted pianist, opera coach, and accomplished conductor. She is the founder and director of Operamission, based in New York City.
The concert is hosted by the Hoosac School which is celebrating its 125th year as an independent preparatory school in Hoosick. Reservations include a 7:00pm reception with hors d’oeuvres on the East Lawn of the Tibbits Mansion, with its sweeping views. The concert begins at 8pm in the auditorium. Afterward, dessert and coffee will be served and there will be an opportunity to meet the artists.
Town Hall Meeting II – About Heroin and Drug Abuse
On Thursday, June 5th at 7:00pm, The HAYC3 Community Coalition will hold a second Town Hall Meeting at The Hoosick Falls Armory regarding the recent rise in heroin, prescription drug, and other substance abuse in our community and region. This meeting will feature doctors and other health care workers as well as social workers and will focus on prevention, treatment and resources and services available in our area. Parents, youth, community members and leaders from Hoosick and surrounding areas are encouraged to attend.
At the April 23rd meeting several things became apparent. One was that the growing substance abuse problem is a regional issue, not just a Hoosick issue and working with Bennington and other nearby communities will strengthen and benefit all of our efforts. Also apparent was that the people in attendance wanted more information about who and where to turn for help. The upcoming meeting is intended to address both of these questions and more.
"The Town Hall meeting is an effective way for community members to engage in the conversation by asking questions and voicing their concerns," said Aelish Nealon, Executive Director of HAYC3. "This community forum will serve as a platform for medical professionals, treatment agencies, local law enforcement, and the HAYC3 Community Coalition to highlight their efforts, and for the public to ask questions."
The Hoosick Community and the surrounding area is currently experiencing an extremely dangerous epidemic of heroin and prescription drug abuse by teens and it has been statistically shown to be connected to alcohol abuse in this age group. This forum is intended to teach community members to recognize the signs of abuse and get the needed medical and social services support for friends and loved ones struggling with addiction.
The discussion is open to parents, students, community members and leaders from Hoosick and nearby towns and villages. HAYC3 feels that partnerships among communities, particularly Bennington, will make us all stronger. Medical, health care and social work specialists from Rensselaer County, Hoosick Falls and Bennington medical and mental health organizations, as well as other experts, will be on hand to answer questions and offer ideas for ensuring our communities’ members get the support and attention they need and deserve.
Panelists include, among others, Trey Dobson, MD, Chief Medical Officer SVHC, Dr. Nels Kloster, an addiction psychiatrist and specialist in addiction medicine, Terra Stone, LCSW, MICA Coordinator, and Eric Katz and Davia Plusch of the Hoosick Falls branch of Unified Services, Rensselaer County Mental Health Department and Harold McClellan, Assistant Chief of Police in Hoosick Falls.
Chief Poke-In-The-Nose Fund
An effort is underway to collect the funds needed to have a replica of Hoosick Fall's own historic wooden cigar store Indian Native American "Chief Poke-In-The-Nose" carved. The chief stood watch over downtown Hoosick Falls for over 70 years, and was often the sidekick in snapshots with tourists and locals alike. A hand-carved replica is expected to cost around $2000. Village trustee Kevin O'Malley has sourced a capable woodcarver and is organizing the fund drive.
The Chief was affectionately called “Chief Poke-in-the-Nose” due to a missing nose after an unfortunate fall when he was being relocated. The Chief was a nod to the town’s Native American past (Hoosick means “place of stones” in Algonquin) and a celebrated mascot. Over the years, people traveling through town would stop and take pictures of the Chief and he became a celebrated village attraction. He was also recognized and featured in several high-profile magazines and newspapers like Sunset and The Boston Globe.
Chief Poke-in-the-Nose traveled up the Hudson River from New York City and arrived in Hoosick Falls in 1894, where he took up residence in front of the Moses Schweizer Cigar Store at 55 Church Street. The Chief left his post of duty on more than one occasion, but never by his own volition. One unfortunate move resulted in the loss of his nose and right arm, which were grafted back on, but never permanently restored. As a result, it became a daily ritual for residents to stick their fingers through his broken nose—and a nickname was born! In 1932, he was the victim of a kidnapping and later found in a fraternity house on the Williams College campus. He would also leave his post on several other occasions, like Halloween, but he always returned to his post.
In the 1960s, the cigar store closed and The Chief left the village—leaving many of the village’s older residents to wonder what happened to this famous figure. It was later discovered that in April 2011, Chief Poke-in-the-Nose was auctioned and sold for $62,150 on Long Island.
Efforts are now underway to commission a replica—or a close replica—of the Chief to his rightful place on the sidewalks of Hoosick Falls. Donations can be mailed to The Hoosick Township Historical Society at P.O. Box 536, Hoosick Falls, NY 12090.
For more information contact, Kevin O’Malley via email or at 518-894-5035
To follow the progress, follow the Chief on his Facebook page.
Art is blooming on John Street!
Have you noticed that John Street is looking a little brighter since May 1st? Flower themed art will do that. Thanks to The Hoosick Artist Guild for painting the six big colorful flowers and HAYC3’s Aaron Buzzinski for installing them on the lampposts. Special thanks go to True Value Hardware for donating the supplies. Yet another successful HAYC3-organized community project that brightens our vilage and our spirits.
Community Spirit Shines on Clean-up Day.
The Village of Hoosick Falls and HAYC3 would like to thank everyone who pitched in to make the annual Love Your Village Spring Clean-up Day a huge success again this year.
It was pretty cold for a May day, and drizzly off-and-on, but about 200 volunteers came out anyway to help spruce up the Village. They got 50 Church Street, the Kid’s Community Garden, ready for planting, cleaned up and weeded in Wood Park and at The Wood Block, around our churches and more. They also helped out some of our senior residents.
Extra kudos go out to the youth of our community who gave up their Saturday morning to participate with enthusiasm and energy. More than 100 students from Hoosick Falls High School and Elementary School (the third grade especially) were working hard under the guidance of Mrs. Burdick, Ms Ferrinnini and Mrs. Nielson, as well as many families and individuals who came on their own. Students from Hoosac School, and St. Mary's Academy were also busy taking care of their clean-up assignments.
“Participating in the Community Clean-up is always a great experience because you can physically see the impact you're making in the community. Doing it as the National Honor Society in Miss McGuire's (the late Isabel) name as 'Issy's Crew' just made it so much more special because it's clear how important the community was to her. To be able to give back in a way that would make her proud means the world to us,” said Zoey Haar who was there with the HFCS National Honor Society, all proudly sporting their 'Issy's Team' t-shirts.
Also on hand to help out were Mayor Dave Borge, the CEO staff, St. Mark's and All Saints crews, and many individuals from all parts of the Village. Our youngest helper was one and a half years old!
True Value Hardware graciously supplied the bags and other supplies. Lots were filled!
HAYC3 said they were proud to have worked with The Village, Mayor Borge and Niel Stowell and all the participants to make this event happen. Thank you all… we are community.
Emerald Ash Borer Alert!
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), is an insect which poses a threat to the ash trees in our region. A large population of EAB is established in southern Albany County to the west, and insects have been found in the purple hanging traps situated in Stephentown and Massachusetts. EAB has killed millions of ash trees in the Midwest since its introduction into the United States. It is estimated that 7% of the trees in Rensselaer County's woodlands are vulnerable ashes, with untold numbers in parks, home and commercial landscapes, and along roads. When these trees become infested and start to die, questions will be raised and action will need to be taken. The dead trees will present safety hazards as well as economic and aesthetic losses.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselaer County, in concert with the Rensselaer County Environmental Management Council, is prepared to help respond to the problem.
- On Wednesday, April 30, a special program on EAB will be held at the Extension offices in Troy to inform homeowners and the general public about the situation and what can be done. Registration information on this program is listed on their website.
- General information on EAB can be found on Cornell Cooperative Extension's invasive species program website.
- Reach out to the Extension if you have questions about potentially vulnerable trees or a possible EAB infestation in your area. Contact Cornell Cooperative Extension at (518) 272-4210 and ask for David Chinery or email.
For detailed information on the Emerald Ash Borer with pictures to identify the species and the signs of infestation, view the information sheet.
Shrek The Musical at HFCS—Free Fun for All Ages
The Hoosick Falls Central School Drama Club will present “Shrek The Musical” on Friday April 4th, Saturday April 5th, and Sunday 6th. Thanks to the continuing support by the school, the Drama Club continues to offer free admission!
In keeping with the 2001 movie, the story follows everybody’s favorite lovable green ogre as he strikes a deal with the scheming Lord Farquaad to rid the swamp of a band of fairy tale creatures. Shrek’s quest: to rescue the fiery Princess Fiona from a dragon-protected tower. Teamed up with the incessantly chatty Donkey, he sets off on what seems to be a simple task, but it will forever change him and the land of Duloc.
While the musical has a great deal of similarities with the movie, there are also many differences and surprises. The music is all new, and is fantastic, beautiful, and hilarious. Nominated for 8 Tony Awards, 11 Drama Desk Awards, and even a Grammy, the Broadway show enjoyed a successful run.
The show is perfect for all ages: it contains no bad language, is very captivating, and has great messages about love, friendship, and diversity…and it wouldn't be the occasional burp. There will be a brief 20 minute intermission where concessions will be available for purchase in the High School Cafeteria, with all proceeds going back into the HFCS Performing Arts through the student-run Performing Arts Council group.
Because the show is aimed at all ages, we had adjusted the start times to work better with the little ones. The performances Friday the 4th and Saturday the 5th will begin at 6:30PM, while Sunday’s start time will be 2PM.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the show’s director Rob Allen at 686-7321 x1106.
Community Photography Show to Celebrate Hoosick.
All Hoosick Residents Invited to Participate.
HAYC3 is excited to announce “Hidden Hoosick”, the first-ever Hoosick Community Photography show at 120gallery90 at The Armory. All Hoosick residents are encouraged to participate in this exhibition that opens Friday, June 20, 2014.
The theme of the community-wide photography exhibit, “Hidden Hoosick”, is meant to celebrate the beautiful, charming, captivating, interesting visual aspects of our community. Some are things or places we see everyday and forget to notice, that we take for granted, and others we need to look a little harder or more closely to find. There are so many beautiful places and things in the Hoosick Community.
Sometime it’s the bigger picture – the sweeping hill views, horses running in the paddock, the bend in the river, or a gorgeous village Victorian house. Sometimes it’s in the details, like the gingerbread corbels on a front porch, the pattern and colors of the shingles on a house, the expression on cow’s face, the texture of sheep wool, the gears on farm equipment, or the bark of a tree. Subject matter can be architecture, nature, landscapes, or animals, so long as the photo was taken by a Hoosick resident and was taken in the Town of Hoosick or the Village of Hoosick Falls. The photograph can be wide angle or a close-up detail; it can be one you took recently or a while ago, in any season. Black and white and color photographs are acceptable.
So get out your cameras and start exploring…wake up your inner artist and see what you can find that’s photograph-worthy the town, the village, even in your own back yard, house, classroom or workplace. When all put together in the gallery, we’ll have a picture of the essence of our community. The collage of colors, patterns, lines and shapes, the images of Hoosick will be a collective portrait of Hoosick that will be incredibly impressive. And you can be a part of it!
Submissions are due to HAYC3 by June 16th, one entry per person please. Photographs submitted for the exhibit should be framed (if you work with standard sizes, frames will be inexpensive) and ready to hang. Photographers must be willing to sell their photographs; the photographers will determine price. Sales will be split 75/25, with 75% of the purchase price going to the photographer. The other 25% will be used to support 120gallery90 and other HAYC3 Arts programs.
The Opening Reception is planned for Friday, June 20th and includes music in The Owl’s Nest at The Armory. Both are free and open to friends, family and the public.
For complete information, visit the HAYC3 website.
Hathaway's Drive-in Going Digital in 2014.
Hathaway’s is pleased to announce that sufficient funds have been raised to allow them to proceed this spring with converting their projection system from 35mm film to digital cinema and open on time for the 2014 season. As long as the weather cooperates, they have chosen Friday, April 25th as their first night.
It has been a long journey for Hathaway's, working diligently to accumulate those funds. "We owe much gratitude to our loyal patrons, friends, family, and well wishers from across the country. They purchased field speakers, tee shirts, season passes, raffle tickets, film earrings and attended a fall music concert; all to benefit our cause. And the A Night at the Brewvies event at the Hoosick Falls Armory, which was collaboration between Brown's Brewing Company, HAYC3, and Hathaway's, was a tremendous success."
Perhaps the most exciting and fruitful component of their efforts is an agreement they have forged with Lynn Caponera from In The Night Kitchen at Scotch Hill Farm located in nearby Cambridge, New York. Lynn and Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, created The Night Kitchen Farm. Maurice bought the 150-acre Scotch Hill Farm in the 1990’s. He was drawn to the area because of the nearby Monks of New Skete with whom he had a long-term relationship. Scotch Hill Farm, now owned by Lynn, a long-time Sendak companion and assistant, is a working farm that grows and donates food to local food banks and pantries.
Through this agreement, Lynn provided a significant portion of the funds required to convert to digital projection. Hathaway’s will help increase public awareness of the need for hunger relief for children and families in the region by running on-screen public service announcements promoting awareness for hunger relief. "It is a cause we personally believes in, so being a part of it was easy." In addition, Hathaway's will be asking all movie patrons, if they can, to bring a non-perishable food item to the theatre when they visit. Together, they hope to make a tangible impact on hunger relief in our communities while enjoying digital cinema and sound from the new equipment.
Hathaway's would like to thank everyone who supported the effort and... "See you at the movies"!
THE BARN QUILTS ARE COMING!
Sponsored and coordinated by Hoosick’s HAYC3, and more than a year in the planning, the All-Hoosick Community Barn & Building Quilt Project is now underway and moving full-steam ahead. The Barn and Building Quilt Project (which will be the “Hoosick Barn & Building Quilt Trail” when it’s done) is one that strives to unite community through the communal designing, construction, painting of quilt patterns on 8’ x 8’ and 4’ x4’ wooden panels.
Everyone’s all abuzz about this project, which is probably more “Hoosickian” than any in recent memory. There isn’t anyone who hasn’t had a friend or family member who quilts, has wanted to learn to quilt, slept under a quilt, or oohed and aahed over their beauty and craftsmanship at a museum, house, antique shop, a craft fair, or an estate sale. Everyone’s getting involved; Hoosick Falls Mayor is on board, the new Hoosick Town Supervisor is excited, and everyone who has heard about it is ready to go. "The Barn Quilts are coming and our community is ready to welcome them with open arms," says Mayor David Borge, "The Hoosick Community is rich in history and tradition. Our citizens appreciate craftsmanship and take pride in our heritage. The Barn Quilts and the trail combine both and I am excited and pleased to support yet another example of the best of our community."
Originally planned for last year, the project was postponed because HAYC3 received a last minute, gotta-do-it-now grant for the awesome Owl Mural project last summer. Now the Hoosick Barn & Building Quilt project is happening. Design and building will begin this winter (the first work dates scheduled for building the frames are January 25th, 2014 and February 15th) and will continue into spring, and the painting will happen throughout this summer. It will be HAYC3’s major summer art-for-and-by-the- community project. The plan is to create a large number of the “quilts” this summer as the start of an ongoing endeavor that the community can continue adding to in the future.
Together, under the auspices of HAYC3, we will explore the history, purpose and meaning of quilts in the American and regional cultures, and together we will create beautiful painted wooden quilts that will be permanently installed on barns and buildings all around Hoosick and Hoosick Falls, thus creating the “Hoosick Barn & Building Quilt Trail”. There will be a specially designed map indicating the Quilt locations that residents and tourists can follow. The unveiling of the quilts will be in August of 2014, and HAYC3 will sponsor a Hoosick Barn & Building Quilt Trail Caravan in the fall during the peak foliage season.
Several counties across the country, mostly in the Mid-West, have created barn quilts and barn quilt trails. Ours will be the first one in this region. As with the others, ours will be a celebration of our agricultural and rural heritage through the warmth and beauty of quilting art, as well as to pay homage to the many quilters that have always been a part of the Hoosick Community.
The goals of the project are to celebrate our community’s history and heritage, to encourage artistic expression, promote community pride, to bring generations together to learn and share, to have a good time working collaboratively with our friends, families and neighbors. In addition, the Hoosick Barn & Building Quilt Trail will encourage economic development by promoting tourism and local businesses.
Organizations and individuals who are interested in participating in any way, shape or form should call HAYC3 at 686-9050 or email email@example.com. There are many ways to get involved: as a sponsor, become a steering committee member, help build the frames, designing and/or painting the quilts, apply to have a quilt on your barn, farm structure or building, help hang the finished ones. No matter what your skill or talent, whether you are a quilter, carpenter, painter, or just care about this community, you have something to contribute.
The newspaper of record for the Village of Hoosick Falls is the Eastwick Press. Public notices will be posted in the paper.