Hoosick Falls, Saint-Gobain still in talks over distributing bottled water


HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. >> The village and a company that owns a local manufacturing facility are still in talks about distributing bottled water to the public, in light of a contaminant being discovered in the public water supply.

Mayor David Borge confirmed this week that he and village officials are talking to Saint-Gobain Corporation, owner of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, about offering bottled water. Borge was not sure when the bottles would be made available.

"There are still some logistics we need to work out," Borge said.

Borge also said that the public water still meets all county, state and federal standards, despite it containing perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in an "information gathering phase" about the chemical, he said, which has been linked to certain types of cancers.

The bottled water, Borge said, will be offered as an option for people who aren't comfortable drinking the tap water.

The village is now in talks with the company about that as well, Borge said, but he declined to give details.

It's been just over a year since PFOA was first detected in the water supply, which serves some 4,900 individuals. The chemical was used in manufacturing non-stick coatings for cookware and waterproof, breathable membranes for clothing.

Since then, PFOA levels in groundwater at the McCaffrey Street site were found to be up to 45 times higher than what the federal government recommends.

This month, Saint-Gobain representatives said the company will pay for a granular activated carbon filtration system. The system, which would remove the PFOA to undetectable levels, would reportedly cost about $2 million.

"While it is correct that PFOA has been found in the local water supply in Hoosick Falls, and it is correct that Saint Gobain found PFOA in groundwater in some samples taken during our groundwater testing at the McCaffrey Street facility, we do not know that our facility is the source of the PFOA in the local water supply," Saint-Gobain Spokeswoman Dina Silver Pokedoff wrote in an email on Wednesday. She continued, "Nonetheless, we are taking action to address the situation, and we are working to make bottled water available to residents of Hoosick Falls who want it as soon as possible. The details of that process are being worked out with the mayor's office, and we would expect that as soon as the details are finalized, the mayor will inform the village."

"Saint Gobain is committed to doing the right thing for the village of Hoosick Falls," Silver Pokedoff said.

Contact Edward Damon at 413-770-6979


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