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PFOA Detected In Mohawk River Near Landfill

Lucas Willard
A view of the Colonie Landfill from Waterford, NY

The chemical PFOA has been detected in water samples taken from the Mohawk River near the Colonie landfill.

The Times Union reports that Waterford town supervisor Jack Lawler released test results on Friday, showing PFOA levels of 68 parts per trillion. That’s just below New York state’s 70 parts per trillion drinking water threshold.

Late last month, Lawler and Halfmoon Supervisor Kevin Tollisen appeared at a press conference alongside environmental organization Riverkeeper which announced it would take samples from the Mohawk. The two towns have also hired a firm to test outfalls from the landfill.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation spokesman Sean Mahar told the newspaper that water quality tests routinely taken two miles downriver have not shown unsafe levels of PFOA or other contaminants, but added the department would take additional samples from the Mohawk next week.  

PFOA is an odorless, tasteless chemical that has been linked to health issues including cancer. PFOA and its sister chemical PFOS have been at the center of water quality investigations in several upstate New York communities,

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