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Senate Democrats call for Hoosick Falls water hearings

Jul 01, 2016 12:02 am
Matthew Hamilton reports in The Albany Times-Union that State Senate Democrats sent a letter June 29 to Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Long Island) urging the majority to hold a fact-finding hearing about how Rensselaer County residents were exposed to perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. The letter alone is meaningless, but it adds to a chorus of calls for hearings, from New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and local Republican Congressperson Chris Gibson (R-Kinderhook), to others. Last November the poisoning of the Hoosick Falls water supply first became known, and now high-PFOA levels have also been found in the blood of residents in Petersburgh. "These residents justifiably have many questions regarding the water contamination crisis in Hoosick Falls and the health implications from exposure to PFOA," the letter from Senate Democrats said. Senate Republican spokesperson Scott Reif responded, "Working with Senator (Kathy) Marchione, we continue to monitor and evaluate the situation in Hoosick Falls, and are absolutely 100 percent committed to ensuring the residents there get anything and everything they need." Marchione, who represents Rensselaer County, and parts of Columbia County, has said she is not interested in holding hearings. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Democrat, said in May that he did not believe hearings were necessary. Both sides of the legislature did pass a bill that broadens the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits brought by those injured by pollution at Superfund sites, which would affect Rensselaer County residents. That bill waits for a signature from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Read the full story in The Albany Times-Union
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