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County Executive Press Releases

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Statement on PFOS Found in Poestenkill

Statement by County Executive McLaughlin, Supervisor Hammond and Public Health Director Wachunas on Two Samples of PFOAS Found in Poestenkill

Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin, county Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas and Poestenkill Supervisor Keith Hammond issued the following statement regarding samples showing levels of PFOA above state-permitted levels at two residences in the Town of Poestenkill:

“We have been briefed on two samples taken in Poestenkill that show levels of PFOA above the level permitted by the state. The samples were confirmed by testing conducted by the Rensselaer County Health Department in conjunction with New York State Department of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation,” said McLaughlin.

“Rensselaer County is also working with the Town of Poestenkill to respond to this situation, and residents should know there is a good level of cooperation between state, county and town at this point,” added McLaughlin.

“The testing was conducted on 10 properties near the Algonquin Middle School following required testing by the school found levels of PFOAs at the school above the state permitted level. Following these two samples, we will be expanding the test area and our Health Department is now reviewing additional properties for testing. We will also be seeking additional resources from the state for a response,” said McLaughlin.

“When I was informed of these two samples, I drove out to the two properties and dropped off bottled water. I was able to speak to one of the residents at a property involved. Residents should know the county will give this priority attention and will provide updates on the situation when received,” concluded McLaughlin.

“The town is working with the county and the state to both monitor the situation and respond where needed. We have known this has been an issue since news of the levels at the Middle School was announced earlier this year. Residents should know that extra testing is coming and that more information will be provided when we get it,” said Hammond.

“There is good communication and cooperation between everyone working on this situation, and we will continue to be responsive to residents and property owners as we learn more,” added Hammond.

“We are continuing to assemble information and data on this issue, and working closely with New York State Department of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation to fully respond,” said county Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas.

“The county will be reaching out to property owners in the coming days, and ask for patience from residents as we continue to investigate. We will provide timely updates so residents, property owners and those who in the area are given necessary information,” said Wachunas.

Residents and property owners in the area involved can call the Rensselaer County Health Department’s Environmental Division at 518-270-2655.

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