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Petersburgh Appoints Interim Town Supervisor

Lucas Willard
Alan Wesbter is sworn as interim town supervisor in Petersburgh

A Rensselaer County community with contaminated water sources has a new town supervisor.

At a special town board meeting Friday evening, town council member Alan Webster was named interim supervisor. Webster was sworn in to replace former supervisor Peter Schaaphok, who stepped down in May due to health reasons.

Petersburgh has had private and public water supplies tainted with PFOA, a chemical used in manufacturing insulating and non-stick materials. Company Taconic's Petersburgh facility was named a New York State Superfund site in May.

Webster says the decision to step into his new role was easy for him.

“This is not just about water, this is about the town operating smoothly in all facets. And we have good people in place. And in that sense it was very easy to step up and do that,” said Webster.

PFOA, which has been linked to various forms of cancer, has also been found in several Northeast communities, including nearby Hoosick Falls and Bennington, Vermont.

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