House committee probes NY, EPA response to PFOA

"The Committee is concerned that a sluggish response to the crisis in Hoosick Falls at the state and county levels caused residents to remain exposed to risky levels of PFOA for longer than was necessary", according to the Cuomo Administration letter. Until then, state and village officials had told residents the water was unlikely to cause health problems.

In the letter to Cuomo, Chaffetz and Lummis point out that NY state and Rensselaer County officials didn't act on the crisis until December 2015, when it warned residents and advised them to drink bottled water.

The people in Hoosick Falls have been calling for public hearings about this water crisis at both the state and federal level.

The Oversight Committee's letter was sent on the same day that the state Assembly announced it would hold hearings this fall on water quality issues throughout the state, including Hoosick Falls. A congressional committee is also looking into the contamination.

"The committee is concerned that a sluggish response to the crisis in Hoosick Falls at the state and county levels caused residents to remain exposed to unsafe levels of PFOA for longer than was necessary", Chaffetz and Lummis said.

Hoosick Falls and nearby Petersburgh are in the midst of cleanup work for contamination with PFOA, a chemical used in making Teflon and similar materials. It's been linked to cancer and other diseases.

He said Cuomo hopes the end result is that Congress and the government act swiftly to implement nationwide regulations for PFOA and other unregulated contaminants.

House Republicans are investigating the Obama administration's and NY state government's responses to a water contamination crisis in upstate NY.

The meeting, open to the public, is at 2:30 p.m.

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