It was around Halloween in 2015 when Michelle O’Leary moved from Columbia County to a Hoosick Falls fixer-upper with her husband and two children.
Before the family bought their first home here, O’Leary said, she investigated everything from the local school system to crime rates, the sex offender registry and local weather statistics.
“I checked everything before we moved here,” O’Leary recalled.
She even learned that Hoosick Falls’ drinking water had been rated as the best in Rensselaer County in 1984.
Two weeks after the family settled into their new home, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared that the Hoosick Falls tap water was unsafe to drink because of contamination with perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, an industrial chemical that has been implicated in cancer, developmental problems and endocrine disruption.

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