Residents of a small community ravaged by water contaminants linked to cancer say they are still waiting for the state to find a solution 500 days after they first learned of the contamination.
Hoosick Falls residents on Thursday petitioned state lawmakers to earmark $25 million of a water funding initiative for a new water supply for the community. They noted the state budget approved last month funnels $2.5 billion to clean-water infrastructure but does not outline any specific money for Hoosick Falls, a village in Rensselaer County.
The state has filtrated water from Hoosick Falls' current supply to "non-detect" levels and installed more than 800 treatment systems in houses since it acknowledged the high levels of PFOA, a toxic chemical long used in the manufacture of Teflon and similar materials, in 2015.
The residents say they remain wary of the filtrated water and what they see as a temporary fix.
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said efforts to find a new water supply with sufficient quality and quantity are underway as part of a settlement with the two companies responsible for the contamination. The department said it expects a report of potential water sources to be issued this summer.
Seggos said the department has been able to rely on the settlement agreement and the site's status as a state superfund site for resources to address the contamination. Seggos called it "premature" to seek money from the state's water infrastructure funding now and said he is confident in the state's actions in the area.
"We are effectively leaving no stone unturned for a long-term fix," Seggos said.