Read the full article by Kenneth C. Crowe II (Times Union)
“COHOES – U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer is urging two federal agencies to investigate the impact of Norlite’s incineration of firefighting foam with potentially hazardous PFAS compounds on a nearby public housing complex and the surrounding area.
In letters to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Schumer cited how aqueous film-forming foam containing perfluorocarbon chemicals – or AFFF containing PFAS chemicals – have been ‘associated with increased risks of cancers and other serious health threats.’
The Cohoes Common Council voted unanimously Tuesday to enact a one-year moratorium that stops Norlite from burning the foam to fuel one of its kilns. The actions by the senator and the council came after Bennington College released a study Monday that found unusually high amounts of PFAS compounds in the soil and water downwind from the Norlite facility.
Schumer asked the agencies to follow up on the Bennington College study to thoroughly investigate the PFAS impact and to coordinate their studies.
‘Norlite has been contracted to dispose of a large quantity of AFFF. However, there is serious concerns that these dangerous compounds were not fully destroyed in the incineration process and have been absorbed by the local soil and water sources,’ Schumer wrote HUD Secretary Ben Carson.
The Norlite plant is situated near the Saratoga Sites apartments. The Cohoes Housing Authority manages the public housing complex which is home to about 70 families. Norlite is less than a mile from the Hudson River and about two miles from the city of Troy.
Schumer’s letter to EPA Administrator Andrew R. Wheeler cited the environmental agency’s own findings about PFAS, saying: ‘As EPA has said, the effectiveness of incinerating PFAS is not well understood, but the health effects of PFAS are increasingly well documented’…”