Saint-Gobain, Honeywell reach PFOA settlement with Hoosick Falls

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Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., Honeywell International Inc. and a small village in New York state where fluoropolymer chemicals leaked into drinking water supplies have tentatively agreed to an $850,000 settlement.

The two companies have agreed to pay the Hoosick Falls government $850,000 to cover all costs the village undertook removing perfluorooctanoic acid from its water system since 2014, including engineering work and legal and public relations expenses.

The agreement, which was made public by the Hoosick Falls government Jan. 9 but has yet to be voted on by village officials, releases Saint-Gobain and Honeywell from any additional claims from the village government could make, although various federal and state claims continue.

According to a statement from the village, $337,000 will cover direct costs incurred by the local government, including lost water revenue and water pipe flushing. It said $410,000 will cover legal and public relations expenses and $100,000 will go toward paying engineering consultants.

"It is important to remember that in the early days of this crisis, the village had none of the resources needed to evaluate the presence of PFOA in village water, to negotiate with New York State and the companies to protect the interests of residents, or to communicate with the public and media to ensure residents were aware of the free bottled water program, the state's biomonitoring program, and similar activities," said Hoosick Falls Mayor David Borge.

Saint-Gobain previously said it was spending more than $3 million to upgrade the village’s water supply systems, including installing filters. State regulators declared the water in Hoosick Falls free of PFOA contamination in March 2016.