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“COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) — At the beginning of March, Bennington College conducted a water and soil study of four sites in close proximity to Norlite, in Cohoes. The college was testing for PFAS contamination upon learning that Norlite burned firefighting foam in 2018-2019 as an energy source.

The college said the samples showed PFAS contamination commonly associated with the use of firefighting foam or Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) which include PFOA/PFOS.

‘The results of this preliminary research suggest the burning of AFFF at Norlite is not destroying these dangerous chemicals so much as redistributing them into nearby poor and working-class
neighborhoods,’ the report said.

‘With these new findings, DEC must step in and stop the quack science experiment they’ve allowed to unfold atorlite. Does anyone really think spewing toxic chemicals into poor and working-class neighborhoods is a scientifically sound solution to the dangers of perflourinated compounds? Incineration of AFFF must stop now,” said Associate Director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Action at Bennington College, David Bond.

In a statement, the Department of Environmental Conservation said, ‘New York continues to lead the nation in addressing PFAS threats, and any insinuation to the contrary is absurd. DEC is reviewing the data released today, and it appears to be consistent with low background levels observed in urban areas in emerging scientific studies.’

Since discovering Norlite was incinerating PFAS waste in late 2019, DEC has not allowed the incineration of firefighting foam at Norlite without additional testing to ensure the destruction of PFAS compounds. The facility is not currently incinerating this waste. Recall why the foam must be safely disposed of in the first place—New York State banned its use after determining it posed a threat to water supplies.  And now DEC is suing the manufacturers of firefighting foam to hold them accountable for the damage their products have caused. We will not relent on our rigorous, science-based effort to protect New Yorkers.

DEC’s on-site monitor is providing strict oversight of this facility to ensure all operations are protective of human health and the environment.


AFFF is made up of 250 PFAS compounds and has a specific fingerprint. In a teleconference Monday, Bond said samples taken near Norlite were compared to previous testing done at AFFF contaminated sites. The Norlite samples were a mirror image of previous AFFF testing results, suggesting the incinerator of firefighting foam at Norlite released toxic PFAS into the environment…”