Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 10.21.21

Fact-checking NYSDEC’s PFOA propaganda

To establish a proper historical context with respect to understanding how we are being intentionally misled by the recent spew of slick, professionally-published political propaganda on PFOA in Poestenkill’s ground water and the on-going search for the “evasive” source of the PFOA which is stumping all the experts, sent out to all the residents of the affected zone in Poestenkill by NYSDEC, a state agency with a well-established criminal history with regard to issuance of fraudulent permits as well as a documented history of “regulatory insufficiency,” a euphemism for gross negligence, a history that includes PCB’s in the Hudson River, the famous Storonske Cooperage case in Schodack and PFOA in Hoosick Falls to name but a few, we need to go back to March 25, 1999 and a Times Union article by Michelle Morgan Bolton entitled “Residents denounce DEC’s trash deal – Waste Management’s fine fails to satisfy townspeople, who vow further action in state court,” where we were informed as follows concerning NYSDEC burying a laundry list of environmental crimes at the NYSDEC-permitted Poestenkill transfer station, to wit:

“They’ve given the company a get-out-of-jail-free card,” said Paul Plante, one of the residents who claims the company is violating its permit.

“For $20,000, the DEC will keep its back turned.”

“We have been severed from any protection of the law whatsoever.”

Waste Management denied the violations named in the consent order, yet signed it and paid the fine.

All pending action against the company, including citations issued by the town’s code enforcement officer, along with the DEC’s criminal and administrative actions, are now null and void, the order states.


All records of those crimes were buried by DEC in a cover-up, and now, giant Waste Management has a clean record as if those environmental crimes had never happened, which is why DEC can’t find the source of the PFOA without incriminating themselves as well.

Paul Plante, Poestenkill

Free Well Tests in Poestenkill – Now

At the October 21st Town Board meeting, I will ask my fellow town board members to join me in supporting a motion to provide free testing of private wells for Poestenkill residents in the vicinity of the Algonquin Middle School. This is in response to the fact that the middle school and private wells nearby have tested positive for PFOA’s.

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and NYS Department of Health have paid for testing of wells in the past in Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh when PFOA’s were discovered there, and Poestenkill should be no different. Testing these wells should have already occurred. To-date these agencies have stated that the levels are not high enough, that there is no obvious source, they may never be able to find the source, that they are following the science, this is not Hoosick Falls, and there is different bedrock in the area, among many other excuses. But they are clear and consistent when it comes to digging test wells and paying for our residents to test their wells. That answer is no.

The right thing to do is to provide tests, for free, for residents who want them, in the vicinity of the middle school and the contamination plume. The state has set a precedent in Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh in providing free tests, yet they are currently unwilling to do the same in Poestenkill.

The Poestenkill Town Board should not follow the state and other officials in these ongoing delays and excuses. We should help our residents and provide these tests at no cost. Some level of government needs to step up and do the right thing.

Our residents need testing now. Our elected officials and leaders should test more wells now and not at the current slow pace of ten tests every few weeks or months. Our residents need to know if their drinking water is safe. In the absence of leadership at the state level, the town should step up to the plate.

Eric Wohlleber, Poestenkill Town Council


Defreetsville needs North Greenbush Govt. Attention

In September, I many fellow North Greenbushians in the Defreetsville area. One item my fellow towns people raised was a sewage lift pump at the end of California Avenue. This pump sits on a concrete pad adjacent to a ravine. The land near the pad is eroding away. Snow from the streets during the winter is pushed to this area increasing the potential for even more erosion. There is only probably 6 feet of land left near the pump pad. It is very possible that further erosion could cause the pump to fail and ultimately fall into the ravine. If this happens, the Town of North Greenbush could be fined. There are already problems with this system where storm water is infiltrating the system. Standing near the pump, you can see exposed PVC pipe that is already possibly broken. This is a serious issue that needs to be proactively addressed to avoid major costs if the area further erodes and the pump system further fails. Per the residents of this area, they have reached out to the town multiple times. I am seeking via a FOIA request the number of times that the residents have contacted the town and the responses from the town. I have reached directly out to the Town Supervisor and Town Council Members about this issue. I am requesting that it be discussed at a town meeting. Problems in one section of North Greenbush can result in greater costs for all of us. Working together, we can make North Greenbush even better.

Michael Myer, North Greenbush

A poor response to a serious concern-PFOA in Poestenkill

I was somewhat surprised by Owen Goldfarb’s Editorial (The Advertiser, October 7, 2021

In his proposed “solution”, he suggested “ Until testing is completed homeowners can consider installing an under-sink PFOA certified filtration system costing about $100.”

Sure, that is an easy and relatively inexpensive “solution” to what might or might not be in our wells. But is this ad hoc answer the answer? Nope. It doesn’t address our families’ using water in the bathroom(s) as we brush our teeth. Or even exposure to PFOA infused water in our showers and baths, a risk/possibility that has not been ruled out. And how do we know if this work around is even effective? More $350.00 tests. Every quarter. So this “solution” adds up to about $1,500.00 a year. Sure Owen. Easy to say. And this is from the person that just a few weeks ago, when discussing a potential Town financial Windfall, admonished the Board to spend the money wisely. All the while suggesting we, the possible victims sponsor the solution.

Yes, some pretty good advice. But, as usual, there is a “back story”. And it has something to do with Mr. Goldfarb’s alleged whisper campaign for the town to pay for extending Cable service to his area of town. At least one Town Board member has allegedly been approached.

Now, I have no argument that he wants cable. But it is only one part of town. Perhaps such an expansion should be financed by the potential users. Just like the town did with the Water District. A specific need, a specific section of town. Collect data and costs and vote up or down on such a prospect. Or maybe it may be covered in some Federal or State spending package. Or done as a “member item” by our Senator or Assemblyman?

Or simply do as I have to do for my water. Drive to Wynantskill and buy it. For the cost of a cup of coffee, you get to use free Wi-Fi

There Owen, fixed it. And for far less than $1,500.00 per year….

Like you said, “spend the money wisely”… Good advice….

Evan Eisenhandler, Poestenkill

In Response to Sikirica shut out of hospitals

Normally under HIPPA laws it would not be anyone’s business who have or have not a vaccination. And for a lawyer to call out Dr. Michael Sikirica, saying he is not following the science is truly the “madness” at hand. What actually is the science behind covid shots Mr. Shane Hug? Please explain it to me in a scientific way, since science makes sense and covid shots do not. Do you know how many people have died following a covid shot? Do you know how many have had horrible reactions including enlarged hearts, blood clots and neurological issues after a covid shot? Do you know how many law suits are presently going on regarding covid jabs? As far as I know these shots are for emergency use and still experimental! Is it so crazy that a doctor may not want to hurt himself by following this such an insane mandate?

I think the county should applaud this man’s intelligence and provide him a place in which to do his work. To date at least one million doctors do not approve of these “vaccines”. We all know someone who is “unvaccinated” who has gotten quite sick with Covid from someone “vaccinated” and also quite sick with Covid. These shots are not working. Nobody should be forced to take them. Hurray for you Dr. Sikirica, stand tall and stay brave! I am so sorry that your business made the news. Let’s be praying for Liberty and Justice for all in this Great country we call America and our HIPPA rights to be activated!

Susan DiNova, Brunswick

North Greenbush Ambulance

North Green hosted on First Responders Community Day on October 9. It was nice to learn more about our first responders, especially the North Greenbush Ambulance. We need to support our North Greenbush Ambulance more. Over the last year, North Greenbush Town Board member, Jack Rogers has diligently highlighted this issue at town meetings. North Green bush has experienced an increase in ambulance calls. In 2021, from January to Oct 14 there were 1418 calls for the ambulance. In contrast, the same period last year only had 922 calls. This is 50% more calls and stems from some of the new development in town. In the 2022 budget, the North Greenbush Ambulance does get an increase in allocations, but more is needed. We need better long-term planning and support for the North Greenbush Ambulance. Currently, North Greenbush has only one ambulance location located in Wynantskill. Another site is needed to provide better coverage of the town. Minutes matter, when my father had a stroke, he was able to recover because an ambulance was able to get him to a medical facility in a timely manner and he received the clot-busting drug. Working together, we can make North Greenbush even better.

Michael Myer, North Greenbush

Not Your Grandfather’s Democrat

The Democrat party of the past two decades has evolved, or more aptly stated, digressed into something closely resembling the National Socialist Workers Party in pre-war Germany. Their tactics of deception, division, cultural engineering, and mass propaganda have seemingly been adopted and followed to the letter by the DNC. Devoid of constructive ideas or programs palatable to mainstream America, Democrats have nothing to run on other than fabricated character assignations of their political opponents. Their true agenda for America had to remain cloaked as what freedom loving American would vote for losing their liberty and freedoms? But, recall summer 2020. Antifa and BLM were allowed to riot, burn, and commit murder in several U.S. cities while their Democrat mayors, V.P. candidate Kamala Harris, and Pelosi seemingly endorsed this anarchy. So, what does the Democrat party endorse and promote? Full term abortion – aka infanticide. Totally open borders. Any and all variations of moral depravity. Suppression of free speech of all with opposing views. Incremental and subtle elimination of the Bill of Rights. These are just a portion of their goals. Continuation of Obama’s stated goal to “fundamentally change America”. So, just as Mr. Baker is asking for Republican candidates, I believe in equal opportunity. Who are these Democrat candidates. As Democrats how do they reconcile their party’s platform? What form of Socialism are they willing to accept and impose upon our little corner of America? Do unborn lives matter?

Gary Blauvelt, Averill Park

Caution Urged with PFOA Statements

I attended the two informational meetings about PFOA held at the VFW Post in Poestenkill. There was much good information to be gathered at these meetings. However, there were also some statements that should have been qualified, clarified, or even corrected. At least one of these was made by guest panelist Judith Enck, former Regional Administrator for the US EPA’s Region 2. She had been informed that the County and State agencies knew about the PFOA for 18 months before she did and her statement implied that no one told the public because the agencies were negotiating with St. Gobain about free bottled water.

The reason why neither the County, nor the State, nor EPA Region 2 (Judith’s office) nor U.S. EPA in Washington told the public is because that is not their task. Under Federal and State requirements, it is the water system who notifies the public of contaminants in the water. And they did. In December 2014, a few weeks after we had confirmed with certified methods the presence of PFOA in the water, the Village issued its first quarterly mailing about the contamination to all of its customers. That was about three to four months (not 18) since the initial complaint.

The Village handled this as a “Tier 2” notification. In December 2014 we discussed this situation with our EPA Regional 2 water program advisors (i.e., Judith’s staff). They seemed fine at that time and when we updated them during the subsequent ten months as to how the situation was being handled. Also interesting to note is that upon learning of the contamination after the Mayor’s first notice in December 2014, St. Gobain Corporation notified EPA in Washington D.C. about the contamination.

Much of this is documented on the Village of Hoosick Falls website under “GAC Filtration” then “Documents” for those who care to look.

William Gilday, P.E.

Retired, NYS DOH Bureau of Water Supply Protection

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