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  7. PFOA Drilling to Take...

The Averill Park Central School District is working with the Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Health (DOH) as they gather information related to the levels of PFOA found in drinking water in the Poestenkill community. State and county agencies are also working to identify potential sources of contamination.

Over the course of approximately five days, from November 10-16, contractors will begin sampling PFAS is soil, groundwater, surface water, and sediment on and near school grounds at Algonquin Middle School. This week, DEC identified and flagged more than 20 sampling locations and will collect soil and shallow groundwater samples using a drill rig, and samples of surface water and sediment from the creek running along the south and west of the school will also be collected.

A large truck will be used during drilling, which will likely produce loud noises during school hours. The District is currently working with the contractor to minimize distractions for students that may occur during this process. To ensure the safety of students and school staff, areas around each drilling location will be limited to DEC field personnel and contractors.

Coordinated efforts began immediately after required sampling of the Algonquin Middle School water supply detected the emerging contaminants, specifically perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), at levels slightly above New York State’s highly protective maximum contaminant level standards for public drinking water. Out of an abundance of caution, the Averill Park School District immediately shut off drinking water fountains at the school and began providing bottled water to students and staff. The District is in the process of installing an activated carbon filtration system to remove PFAS which will go on-line in January 2022.

Questions about the sampling program may be directed to DEC at Eric Hausamann, eric.hausamann@dec.ny.gov or 518-402-9759.