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For some reason, it took three months to notify Valatie residents about their toxic drinking water

Feb 08, 2022 1:55 pm

Roger Hannigan Gilson wonders in the Times Union why it took so long for public officials to notify the people of Valatie that there was a toxic chemical in their drinking water. In October last year, results showed Valatie's Well No. 4 exceeded the state's maximum level for the chemical PFOS and the well was immediately taken offline by the state Department of Health. But residents weren't notified until Jan. 31 by the village of Valatie, over three months later. A Columbia County press release was not released until Feb. 2. Valatie Mayor Frank Bevens said he followed the guidance of the Columbia County Health Department. "That notice went out when we were told to send the notice out," Bevens said. But couldn't Bevens have released the information sooner? "Our thought was to do what we were told to do," he said. Columbia County Environmental Health Director Maggie McBroom said residents were not informed for three months because, first, the Village of Valatie had to get a press release template from the state, something that could be accomplished in an afternoon. McBroom also said the press release needed approval from the state and county Health Department, something that could be accomplished in a matter of days. "There's a little back-and-forth with proofreading and whatnot," she said, explaining how "a little back-and-forth" took three months. Read more about this story in the Times Union.