Hoosick Falls residents calling for statewide PFOA testing
ALBANY -- Neighbors battling a water contamination crisis call on the state of New York to tighten its grasp on dangerous chemicals tainting the water supply.
The DEC held a meeting at the Empire State Plaza to gather input. A handful of residents from Hoosick and Hoosick Falls weighed in.
"Lying by omission in my mind is the same thing as lying," Jennifer Plouffe told reporters.
Plouffe tells CBS 6 she moved to Hoosick Falls from Virginia. She says she closed on her home the day it was announced the water wasn't safe to drink--contaminated with PFOA.
"I absolutely would have never closed on my home. And the village of Hoosick falls, while it's a lovely community. I did my due diligence. I moved from Virginia. I researched water quality reports. Because this chemical was not regulated, it was not tested for," Plouffe explained.
Jennifer's concerns highlight many more from the people who live with these issues every day.
State leaders did make an emergency declaration early this year, labeling PFOA and PFOS hazardousmore than a year and a half after PFOA was discovered in the village.
Staffers at the DEC are working on making that label permanent. A spokesman says the declaration is a way to start regulating the substances moving forward.
"DEC needs legal authority with which to go after the responsible parties with this contamination, and these regulations today that we're advancing are the first step in that process," said spokesman Sean Mahar.
Right now, the chemicals aren't regulated. State health officials tell CBS 6 that means many local cities, villages, and towns in New York don't have to test for them for water quality reports.
Residents say they'll continue their push for the state to make sure other communities don't suffer the same fate.
"The only way to get in front of these emerging contamination issues--not just in Hoosick falls but in communities across the nation--is to begin to act in a proactive manner, instead of waiting for these issues to surface and then reacting," Plouffe told the panel.
Monday's hearing was the first of three the DEC will hold this week on making PFOA and PFOS hazardous permanently.
The state's also polling companies and fire departments across the state to see if they used those chemicals in the past.