Read the full article by Johan Sheridan (News 10)

“COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A group of area environmentalists wrote a letter to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on Wednesday, taking issue with its recent report on the Norlite facility in Cohoes. Although the DEC said there was no link between Norlite and PFAS deposits, the letter-writers say that conclusion is misleading.

The Norlite Hazardous Waste incinerator has been under fire for disposing of aqueous film-forming firefighting foam (AFFF) by burning it. Critics contended that this practice led to contamination of heavy metals like PFAS in the water, air, and soil nearby. PFAS and PFOS are byproducts of burning AFFF that can lead to health complications.

While the letter-writers say they appreciate the DEC for conducting testing and collecting solid data, they characterized their study as inconclusive and incomprehensive. They outline four major concerns:

  1. Worrisome levels of contamination downwind of Norlite (including lead, mercury, arsenic, and PFOS)
  2. DEC did not conduct a total organic carbon analysis and adjustment of PFAS levels in soil samples
  3. Using a range for to quantify acceptable levels hides the apparently higher levels of PFOS around Norlite
  4. The area of testing was too narrow to adequately capture emissions from burning AFFF…”