HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. — The state Department of Environmental Conservation has identified the Saint-Gobain Corporation and Honeywell International as two parties potentially responsible for contaminating groundwater in the village.
In a statement issued just before 1 p.m. Thursday, the department said it intends to use state Superfund authority to demand the two companies — and possibly others — pay for a full investigation and cleanup of Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The DEC's preliminary investigation identified several potential sources of PFOA within the village limits, including: Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics' sites on McCaffrey and Liberty streets; a Mechanic Street site where Honeywell's predecessor, Allied Signal Corp., previously operated at Oak Materials; and other potential sites on Carey Avenue, Church Street, First Street and River Road.
"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 in a release. "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."
PFOA has been linked to cause cancer and other diseases. The man-made chemical was used to make Teflon nonstick cookware and to insulate wires; in 2006, companies including DuPont and 3M agreed to phase-out its use by 2015.
In a letter sent to both companies Thursday by DEC Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel Thomas Berkman, Saint-Gobain and Honeywell were ordered to enter a "Consent Order" requiring they investigate the full extent of the contamination, provide interim measures to protect public health and drinking water and ultimately design and implement a comprehensive cleanup of contamination.
The DEC has also ordered both companies produce documents including a full description of the properties' ownership history; the length of time PFOA was used; any procedures describing how the chemical was stored, used, processed, manufactured disposed of or released; and lists of specific chemical spills.
This story will be updated.
— Contact Edward Damon at 413-770-6979