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Manufacturers Pay to Clean Up Contaminated Water in NY

waterHoneywell and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics must pay to clean up a toxic chemical found in a New York village’s drinking water.

The Associated Press reports that the New York Department of Environmental Conservation sent a letter to the two industrial companies demanding that they finance a Superfund cleanup in upstate New York’s Hoosick Falls. Other companies may also be held liable in the future.

The federal EPA told some 4,500 local residents to stop drinking the water in December, more than a year after officials confirmed perfluorooctonaoic acid (PFOA) had contaminated the municipal water system.

PFOA is a man-made chemical used in non-stick cookware, waterproof clothing and dozens of other industrial applications. The EPA is investigating PFOA under the Toxic Substances Control Act because it is very persistent in the environment and remains in people’s blood for a very long time. It can cause developmental problems in lab animals.

Manufactures have voluntarily phased out the chemical, but it hasn’t been banned by the EPA and has been found in children’s clothing and sports gear, according to Greenpeace.

The New York DEC traced PFOA to a factory acquired by Saint-Gobain and previously operated by Honeywell predecessor AlliedSignal Laminated Systems.

Both companies told the AP that they are working with environmental agencies to clean up the contaminated water.

“As we’ve done from the first time we were notified about PFOA in Hoosick Falls in December 2014, we will continue to cooperate with all parties involved,” Saint-Gobain spokeswoman Dina Pokedoff said.

Honeywell spokeswoman Victoria Ann Streitfeld said the company met with agency officials last week. “We are committed to continued cooperation,” she said.

Photo Credit: water via Shutterstock

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