Saint-Gobain, Honeywell starting water supply line construction and cleanup of PFOA contamination

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Perfluorooctanoic acid
Perfluorooctanoic acid (American Chemical Society)

New York Construction Report staff writer

A permanent water transmission line to provide a new water source for the village of Hoosick Falls will address perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contamination from historic industrial operations at the McCaffrey Street facility and other sites in the village.

The project involves constructing approximately 6,800 linear feet of raw water transmission line between a newly developed wellfield and the village of Hoosick Falls water treatment plant.

Construction will be completed by Honeywell and Saint-Gobain and overseen by the New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Health (DOH). The water transmission line construction activities are expected to begin in May 2024 and last approximately seven months.

This new water supply distribution system is part of the State’s ongoing efforts to address PFOA contamination from the Saint-Gobain McCaffrey Street Superfund site.

DEC worked with the community to evaluate water supply options and ensure the new groundwater source was located outside of the contaminated aquifer and fully compatible with the water treatment plant’s capabilities.

In 2016, PFOA was detected in the village of Hoosick Falls’ public drinking water supply and town of Hoosick private drinking water wells above the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) health advisory level at that time of 70 parts per trillion (ppt). The presence of PFOA in groundwater is linked to past manufacturing sites in the Hoosick area. PFOA is part of a group of compounds called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

In a $45-million agreement with DEC in 2023, Saint-Gobain and Honeywell are required to implement the new water supply for the Hoosick Falls village water system that serves approximately 4,500 people. The estimated cost for this phase of construction and implementation is approximately $5.5 million. The agreement also holds the companies accountable for $30 million in past costs incurred by state taxpayers, $5 million in natural resource damages and future costs related to operation and maintenance of the new water line and GAC filtration.

“Construction of the new water transmission lines to our new water supply is an important step and major milestone for the Village of Hoosick Falls,” said Hoosick Falls Mayor Rob Allen. “We are very grateful for the work done by the Departments of Environmental Conservation and Health and Governor Hochul and her office.

“It stands as a shining example of a unified effort, linking our community together with local and state government, to develop a new water source and to respond to the PFOA contamination. Everyone involved should be very proud of the work done thus far.”

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