Hoosick Falls, polluters agree to $65.25M settlement
Brendan J. Lyons is reporting for the Times Union the village of Hoosick Falls has reached a settlement with three of the companies believed to be responsible for the pollution of its public and private water supplies, left contaminated with perfluorinated chemicals that were used at factories in the village. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International — and later 3M and DuPont Co. have agreed to pay $65.25 million to settle a federal lawsuit that will secure cash payments and long-term medical monitoring for thousands of property owners and residents. The preliminary settlement must be approved by a federal judge. "This is an excellent outcome for the residents of Hoosick Falls and the town of Hoosick who have suffered the consequences of PFOA contamination to their drinking water," said Stephen G. Schwarz, lead plaintiffs' counsel in the class-action case. The settlement is intended to compensate current and former residents for the potential health consequences of their exposure to the chemicals, as well as the potential loss of property value, and to provide a system of early detection for any related health issues they may suffer in the years ahead. The payments under the proposed settlement could be divided among roughly 1,800 qualifying property owners, and the amounts each would receive will depend on multiple factors. "I am just absolutely grateful; I’m overwhelmed," said Michele Baker, one of the plaintiffs whose private well in the town of Hoosick was polluted with PFOA. "I'm just thankful for all the hard work that everyone put into this. I hope and pray the families that have been affected [to] find some hope and peace in the settlement that has been reached." Read the full story in the Times Union.