COHOES NY (WRGB) - Dozens of trucks, filled with 58,000 gallons of firefighting foam were supposed to arrive at the Norlite incineration plant in Cohoes... but the city said otherwise.
Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler said, “My message you, the Department of Defense, and to anyone else is that Cohoes has a moratorium in place banning incineration of AFFF... No means no.”
Here’s the problem: Because of their parent company, Norlite has a five-year contract with the Department of Defense to burn firefighting foam - known to have PFAS chemicals.
After learning about the different health and environmental effects the incineration has, the Cohoes Common Council passed a one-year moratorium on the burning in April.
MORE: Researchers find "dangerous" PFAs levels around Norlite facility in Cohoes
“It’s not just DOD that has this contract with Norlite. In the past couple of years they’ve come from 25 other states, private companies...what was coming yesterday was just going to be the tip of the iceberg. So, it was very important that we stopped this first shipment,” added Mayor Keeler.
CBS6 reached out to Norlite for a comment.
Norlite responded with this comment:
MORE: Cohoes Common Council passes one year foam burning ban after Norlite chemical discovery
Judith Enck, a former EPA Regional Administrator, said, “I think the Department of Defense never expected this to be made public.”
While the shipment never made it to the Cohoes plant, some says this shipment of dangerous toxins shows how little the DOD cares about its vulnerable populations.
“Don’t experiment in Cohoes[...] and that’s exactly why we passed the moratorium,” said Mayor Keeler.
MORE: Advocates sue Dept. of Defense after new air quality threat from Cohoes company
“I think they should come to Cohoes. They should meet with the residents of Saratoga Sites... hear their stories about problems with air pollution from Norlite,” added Enck.
CBS 6 did reach out to the state’s DEC and the department says they are in process of “ground-truthing” the accuracy of the reports from Monday.
DEC says they’ve made it clear that burning PFAS chemicals will not occur at this facility without further scientific reviews.