Village officials in Hoosick Falls, N.Y. have postponed voting on an $850,000 settlement with Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. and Honeywell International Inc. over fluoropolymer chemicals that leaked into drinking water supplies, after residents objected to details of the settlement.
The Albany Times Union reported that “vehement” community opposition at a Jan. 12 public hearing caused the village board to unanimously postpone adopting the agreement.
Under the proposed deal, the companies would pay to cover what the small village has spent since 2014 to remove perfluorooctanoic acid from its water system.
The paper said residents and their lawyers argued that the tentative agreement gave away the village's right to sue the companies in the future and allowed the companies to seek recovery costs for any suits brought against them.
But Mayor David Borge said the provisions limiting the village's ability to sue only apply to existing wells and the water treatment plant, and not to other contaminants if they are discovered or contamination in other locations.
Borge said existing wells and the piping at the village's water treatment plant now show no detectable levels of PFOA, the paper said.
He told the residents that the agreement would have to be considered again very soon, saying that the village must pay for the extra costs it incurred handling the water crisis.
The agreement said the village had $337,000 in direct costs, including lost water revenue and water pipe flushing, along with $410,000 for legal and public relations expenses and $100,000 for engineering consultants.