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Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against Companies Blamed For Water Contamination

Lucas Willard
Saint-Gobain's facility on McCafferey Street in Hoosick Falls

 STORY UPDATED: 2/24/16 4:33 p.m.

An environmental law firm has filed a class-action suit against two companies connected with the water contamination issue in the Rensselaer County village of Hoosick Falls.

Environmental law firm Weitz & Luxenburg announced it filed a federal class-action lawsuit against Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International on Wednesday.

Both companies have operated at the McCaffery Street facility in question and used a chemical compound that contained PFOA. The site is currently being investigated by New York state health and environmental officials.

Robin Greenwald, head of the firm’s Environmental and Consumer Protection Unit, says, “it is their activities that caused the PFOA to get into the environment. And it was their decision, their bad decision, that ended up causing the drinking water supply in Hoosick Falls to be contaminated.”

In a statement, environmental advocate Erin Brockovich said “the negligent acts of these companies have resulted in a public health crisis.”

In a statement, Saint-Gobain said the company “respect[s] the right of individuals to pursue their claims in a court of law” and that the company will continue to investigate the source of the contamination. Saint-Gobain is paying for a water filtration system for the village water supply.

Honeywell has previously stated its willingness to work with authorities. It did not have a response to the lawsuit Wednesday afternoon.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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