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County Executive Press Releases

Posted on: December 2, 2021

Testing for PFOA/PFOS Finds Three New Samples

Seventh Round of Testing for PFOA/PFOS in Poestenkill Finds Three New Samples in Residential Properties

A seventh round of sampling of properties in Poestenkill for PFOA has been concluded, with three new properties found to have levels of PFOA above the state-permitted levels, county officials announced on Thursday.

The results were finalized Wednesday and prepared for public release. The seventh round of testing results follows a sixth round last month in which no new properties were found to be above the MCL.

Five properties were sampled during the seventh round of testing. Samples were conducted from sites located to the west of Algonquin Middle School. The five properties surveyed registered samples that show one non-detect and one detection of PFOA/PFOS below the state maximum contaminant level standards for public drinking water, along with the three over the MCL.

With the conclusion of the seventh round of testing, a source for the contamination has still not been discovered. The county and state have been investigating the possibility of multiple, unrelated sources for the contamination. The state recently started expanded testing in the area around the middle school.

The town is also beginning work to develop a public water district in Poestenkill to cover areas affected by the PFOA situation.

“Even after seven rounds of testing, no source of the contamination has been determined. We are continuing to work with the state to find the source or sources for the PFOA contamination and to get more answers,” said county Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas.

– Testing started after PFOA/PFOS was discovered during state-mandated testing for PFOA/PFOS at Algonquin Middle School earlier this year.

– The county has to date collected samples for 77 private wells, with thirteen wells tested at or above the drinking water standard of 10 ppt for either PFOA/PFOS.

–  The 13 wells that have been found to have detections of PFOA and/or PFOS above half of the drinking water standards will likely be resampled at some time in the future.

– No source for the contamination has been determined during the seven rounds of testing.

– The lack of a source has restricted the ability for wide-spread testing.

– Town officials have been informed, along with state Department of Environmental Conservation and the state Department of Health.

“Residents should know the county continues to work cooperatively with the state and the town to provide an effective response to this issue. Residents can call our office at 518-270-2632 if they have additional questions,” added Wachunas.

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