“One year after the Village of Hoosick Falls tabled a controversial settlement agreement, the Rensselaer County community has agreed to accept payments from companies blamed for polluting local water supplies.

Hoosick Falls Mayor Rob Allen opened a special village board meeting Tuesday night by reading a resolution to accept a more than $331,000 payment from Saint-Gobain and Honeywell, two companies blamed for the presence of PFOA and other volatile organic compounds in local water supplies…

‘And whereas, such offer by Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell to make such payment to the Village of Hoosick Falls is made with acknowledgement by Saint-Gobain and Honeywell that the village will not provide any release to such companies for such payment and that the village retains all rights and claims that the village may have relative to expenses and lost revenue not being reimbursed by Saint-Gobain and Honeywell herein.’

The meeting came exactly one year after the village board voted to table a $1 million partial settlement agreement with the companies amid widespread community opposition.

That settlement would have reimbursed certain costs incurred by the village in its response to the contamination that was first discovered in 2014, but would have also prohibited the village from seeking further payment for those services.

A year later, the village has a new mayor and a new prominent environmental attorney, David Engel of Albany firm Nolan & Heller. In January, the village voted to allow the firm to take legal action against Saint-Gobain and Honeywell.

A permanent filtration system has been installed on the village water system and point-of-entry systems have been installed on homes with private wells. The remediation efforts are part of a consent order between the companies and New York state…

Now representing the village, Engel contrasted the motion on the table Tuesday night, which does not release the companies from liability, with last year’s settlement offer…

The village board voted to accept the payment unanimously. Mayor Allen said the money would go toward the village’s fund balance.

The village owes more than a half-million dollars to a different law firm for services provided under the previous administration in response to the PFOA issue.”

Read the full article by Lucas Willard