Concerned citizens demand new water line after nearly a year of filtering tainted water

Hoosick Falls residents to fight for clean water at State Capitol Friday

ALBANY (WRGB) - Concerned residents from Hoosick Falls gathered at the State Capitol today to demand government agencies bring them clean water.

The village has been using a filtration system to rid their water of the chemical PFOA, which was discovered in the water supply more than two years ago.

Environmental advocates joined residents in the Senate Chamber Friday with a signed letter demanding the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the Environmental Protection Agency, provide residents with a permanent fix, in the form of a new water source.

Michele Baker is a resident of the Town of Hoosick.

“Just moments ago Erin Brockovich has signed onto our cause and our letter supporting,” Baker said.

Residents have been using specialized filtration systems to rid their water of the potentially harmful chemical PFOA for about a year.

Village resident Catherine Dawson is still using bottled water, because she doesn't trust the temporary system.

“If we have no power those filters don’t work, and that’s huge,” Dawson said.

She wants to know what's taking New York State so long. Residents affected by PFOA just across the border in Vermont already have clean water.

“Here we are 10 miles away, still waiting for the feasibility study, where’s everything we were promised?” Dawson said.

Almost immediately after their meeting, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos responded, assuring a permanent fix is on the way.

“We’ve been committed since day one,” Seggos said.

Seggos said you can't compare Vermont's crisis to New York's.

“The situation in Vermont is unfortunately much simpler than in New York, we've got municipal systems that are quite far from the village,” Seggos said.

Right now the commissioner says the DEC is reviewing a draft of the feasibility study which investigated potential sources for the new water line.

He wouldn’t give a timeline on when a new water line would become a reality, saying getting it right is more important than getting it done quickly.

“There’s always something that goes wrong when you do it quickly, and you need to do it right,” Seggos said.

Seggos says the agency will be presenting it's finding from the feasibility study to the public soon, and plans to include the community in the process toward a new water supply.

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