Homeowner’s plans to move delayed by water contamination concerns

originally posted on April 23, 2016


PETERSBURGH People in several communities are continuing to battle PFOA, a dangerous chemical linked to cancer found in their water. Now, people in Petersburgh have another chemical to add to the list; PFOS.

“I can’t believe it. You know, it’s surreal,” resident Kathy Linegner said.

Linegner lives in Hoosick Falls and has been trying to sell her home and move.

“I was working with a real estate agent and we had originally put the house on the market for $144,500,” Linegner said.

That was in April of last year but after word seeped out that PFOA had contaminated the municipal water supply things changed.

“After the water was announced we met again and he wrote another contract for $99,000,” Linegner said.

Lingener and her husband took the hit and managed to find a buyer. The couple was excited to possibly build new on a plot of land they have owned in Petersburgh for more than 15 years.

“We were going to get a modular home and put it there and we were in the process of that until we woke up this morning and heard about a secondary chemical that’s also in the water,” Linegner said.

PFOS, which is commonly used in firefighting foams, coating additives and cleaning products, popped up in water samples taken from four private wells in town, according to the Rensselaer County Department of Health.

The Environmental Protection Agency banned the chemical more than a decade ago because of concerns about health issues.

“The news really hit me hard when I heard it because we had plans,” Linegner said. “You know, every day I think I’m moving five steps forward and I’m going to get this stuff resolved and then you just find out that you’re going six feet backwards.”

Lingener says she has been contacting the Rensselaer County Department of Health for three weeks now trying to get her private well tested for PFOA. Now, she is worried about this new chemical too and if her plans will ever become a reality.

“I hope my property is clean, that’s what I hope happens, but before I invest a lot of money in this, you know, I want to know,” Linegner said. “I don’t want to go from one place that has this problem to another place.”

The county department of health says Lingener’s Petersburgh property is outside the realm they are focusing on testing right now. A spokesperson says they are testing within about a mile and a half radius of Taconic Plastics and will continue out where necessary.

As far as the PFOS concerns, Taconic Plastics has told officials they have never used that chemical. The DOH is trying to figure out where it could have come from.

A DOH spokesperson says crews will re-test the wells that tested positive for PFOS and continue to test more wells for both chemicals. Meanwhile, officials say people who live in that area should continue to drink bottled water.

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