Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 12.16.21

PFOA Saga, Pt. II – Source Searchers Stumped!

Yes, people, totally buffaloed, baffled, stupified, mystified and flummoxed, and here we are talking about a recent Times Union article entitled “Source of Rensselaer County PFOA contamination still mystery – Six rounds of testing have revealed little information about how 10 wells became contaminated” by Kenneth C. Crowe II on Nov. 30, 2021, where we Poestenkill residents with PFOA or PFOS in our drinking water who have had our quality of life destroyed, along with our property values, were informed as follows:

POESTENKILL – A source for the PFOA/PFOS contamination around the Algonquin Middle School has still not been determined after a sixth round of testing for the chemicals was completed at nearby residences, the Rensselaer County Health Department announced last week.

The county reported, “No source for the contamination has been determined during the six rounds of testing.”

“We continue to work with the state to find the source or sources for the PFOA contamination and to get more answers,” county Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas said.

The county has been working with town officials, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the state Department of Health on the testing and investigation of the PFOA/PFOS contamination.

The county said there has not been widespread testing conducted as officials attempt to identify a source of the contamination.

So after testing seventy-seven homes for PFOA, with 10 wells above ten parts per trillion, and 8 above five parts per trillion, and 11 wells testing above zero and below five parts per trillion and 23 wells with no detection, with three 3 more above the ten 10 parts per trillion limit just being added according to a Rensselaer County press release, the experts at the RCHD can still see no discernable pattern and instead remain flummoxed as to where the elusive source might in fact be.

But seriously, people, how can that possibly be?

Sound like a whitewash?

Paul Plante, Poestenkill

Governor Should Sign SB6603 to Improve Access to Care for New York’s Most Medically Vulnerable

Dear Editor,

With public health foremost in my thoughts as the Health Committee Chair for the Rensselaer County Legislature, I believe that it is incredibly important for Governor Hochul to sign State Senate Bill 6603 into law to improve access to healthcare for New York’s most vulnerable residents.

SB 6603 is critical legislation that will expand access to healthcare options available to Medicaid beneficiaries. For this reason, it passed the state legislature unanimously. Under SB 6603, Medicaid beneficiaries will be able to fill their prescription at any pharmacy – helping Rensselaer’s residents, as well as 7 million New Yorkers, access a more convenient or more trusted medical professional instead of relying on specific providers covered by their insurance.

Governor Hochul stepped into her role suddenly and immediately began to address pressing public health concerns. I am asking her to again stand up for the public health of her constituents and sign SB 6603.

This common sense public policy enjoys bipartisan support and the support of medical providers and disease advocacy groups alike. Those in Rensselaer, who face higher than average poverty rates and often suffer from chronic health conditions, deserve to have access to reliable healthcare.

Sincerely, Scott Bendett

Chair, Rensselaer County Legislature Health Committee

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