“The state Department of Environmental Conservation identified inactive landfill sites in Columbia and Greene counties to test for the chemicals perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), which could cause health disorders including developmental defects in fetuses during pregnancy or to breast-fed infants, cancer, liver problems, autoimmune disorders, thyroid disorders and others, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The DEC is conducting preliminary investigations into possible contaminants at 26 inactive landfills in Columbia County and 27 inactive landfills in Greene County, DEC Region 4 Public Information Officer Rick Georgeson said.

‘To date, one inactive landfill, the Hunter Landfill site, has undergone groundwater and leachate sampling,’ Georgeson said. ‘Groundwater results at the site were below the EPA Health Advisory Level of PFOA and PFOS of 70 parts per trillion.

‘Because of the relatively low concentrations observed in groundwater at the landfill, and because there are no drinking water wells within one-quarter mile of the landfill, DEC plans no further action at the site at this time.’

The DEC also tested two Superfund sites — hazardous waste sites the EPA has designated for cleanup — in Greene County: American Valve in Coxsackie and American Thermostat in Catskill. The DEC determined the sites were not sources of PFOA or PFOS contamination, Georgeson said.

‘State Superfund sites in Columbia County will be sampled in the future as part of this assessment of emerging contaminants,’ Georgeson said…

‘PFOA and PFOS are fairly ubiquitous in the environment — air, water and soil,’ said David Kluesner, EPA Region 2 deputy director of public affairs. ‘It is likely that they have been detected in the Hudson River, similar to pharmaceuticals, given the technical advancement and availability of very low-detection limits.’

Several tributaries to the Hudson River are contaminated, said Dan Shapley, director of Riverkeeper’s Water Quality Program. Riverkeeper is a nonprofit watchdog group focused on protecting the Hudson River.

‘Newburgh drinking water, the Hoosick River and the Mohawk River are all tributaries to the Hudson River,’ Shapley said. ‘And that is in no way a comprehensive list of contaminated tributaries to the river.’ ”

Read the full article by Richard Moody