HOOSICK FALLS, NY >> The Saint-Gobain Corporation and Honeywell International have signed agreements that hold them responsible for PFOA contamination around the village, according to state officials.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced Friday it has signed consent orders with both companies that require them to, among other things: Investigate the full extent of contamination, search for another water supply, pay for any future related costs, and reimburse the state for costs already incurred.
The order also includes roughly $240,000 already promised to refund village water users.
"The state is taking aggressive action to hold all parties accountable for the costs associated with the full remediation of the contamination in the Hoosick Falls area," DEC Acting Commissioner Seggos said in a release. "These orders send a strong message to industries operating in New York that they have an ethical and legal obligation to protect public health, safety and the environment. We will continue to ensure all communities across the state have access to clean, drinkable water."
The DEC had already identified both companies as "potentially responsible parties" for the contamination. Predecessors of both international companies operated within the village boundaries for decades. The companies will be responsible for investigating contamination at six village sites.
Saint-Gobain's McCaffrey Street and Liberty Street sites are still in use.
PFOA, a chemical once used to make Teflon, has been linked to cancer and other diseases. In June 2015, it was discovered in the village's municipal water system that serves some 4,500 people, as well as numerous private wells in the town of Hoosick.
The legal order solidifies Saint-Gobain's prior verbal commitment to fund maintenance of filtration systems for the village's municipal water treatment plant. Both companies will provide bottled water to village residents until a long-term filter is completed, and to town of Hoosick residents until point of entry treatment (POET) systems on private wells are online.
Saint-Gobain representatives must meet with Hoosick Falls representatives within 45 days and negotiate reimbursement of costs incurred by the village, according to the order.
Under a separate consent order, Honeywell will look for contamination at several potential disposal sites.
This article will be updated.