Cuomo Administration Knew Upstate Residents Were Being Poisoned … And Did Nothing

New reports indicate the Cuomo administration tried to subvert information about a cancer-causing chemical in the water supply of the town of Hoosick Falls … and nobody seems all that concerned.

Documents obtained by Politico show the New York State Department of Health dismissing warnings from the EPA, and refusing to alert residents of the very dangerous situation.

Over a year ago, health department officials issued a ‘fact sheet’ indicating that “health effects are not expected to occur from normal use of the water” within days of a contradictory declaration by the EPA which advised residents not to drink or cook with the water.

According to a senior EPA official’s handwritten notes from a phone conference with state officials, Health Department employees “argued that their differences with the federal authorities were a matter of ‘philosophy’ and not just science.

New York’s own Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, recently launched an investigation into ExxonMobil for similar reasons involving ‘climate change’ and ignoring what he deems settled science. Will he investigate the Cuomo administration?

Worse, Hoosick Falls residents are now starting to receive blood test results which confirm fears that the contaminated water has poisoned them with cancer-causing chemicals.

Via Politico:

In the last few days, people throughout Hoosick Falls have received blood test results back that show far higher results of toxic chemicals in their bloodstream than what the state claims is the mean for the area, which is itself 11 times higher than the national number. People in Hoosick Falls say they are receiving blood tests of that are more than 50 or 100 times the national number.

The median number, 23 parts per billion, may be skewed by the inclusion of town residents with private wells who did not drink the town’s tainted water. Ominously, (Hoosick Falls residents Rob) Allen said, among the dozens of people with whom he has spoken in town, young children seem to be displaying far higher numbers than their parents.

Allen said he feels betrayed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration and by elected officials who waited more than a year to warn village residents away from drinking their water, which was tainted with PFOA by nearby facilities that made teflon products.

The dire news emerging from Hoosick Falls in the last few days confirms what many had feared. Hundreds of people, from babies to the elderly, have a dangerous level of toxic chemical in their blood stream.

How much extra #PFOA accumulated in these kids over the 1.5 years that @NYGovCuomo said NOTHING to #HoosickFalls ?

— Steve McLaughlin (@SteveMcNY) June 8, 2016

Cuomo officials have been telling reporters “that the results range from ‘non-detect’ to 200 parts per billion, which is far below some of the high numbers residents are saying they received.

CBS 6 reporter Emily DeFiciani tweeted this image of a residents blood test results which show her at “about 160x the national median of 2.08.”

#Petersburgh resident got her #PFOA blood test results back and shows about 160x national median of 2.08

— Emily DeFeciani (@CBS6_Emily) June 7, 2016

The Cuomo administration knew residents of Hoosick Falls were being poisoned, and it turns out the children were disproportionately effected. Where is the media outcry? Where are the presidential candidates demanding an investigation ala Flint, Michigan?

Surely such a travesty would create a groundswell of bipartisan activity to resolve the issue and try to find out where state officials went wrong, correct?

Sadly, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Republican Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin has been calling for hearings into the Hoosick Falls crisis, but it has mostly fallen on deaf ears.

You knew @NYGovCuomo. You knew. And you said….nothing. To the @NYSA_Majority & @NYSenate I say #Holdthehearings

— Steve McLaughlin (@SteveMcNY) June 8, 2016

McLaughlin took to social media to get his point across, even asking Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer “When the hell are you going to say or do something?”

I’m calling you put @chuckschumer @SenGillibrand. When the hell are you going to say or do something? #HoosickFalls

— Steve McLaughlin (@SteveMcNY) June 8, 2016

Thus far, nothing but crickets coming from lawmakers.

Politico reports that the concerns of residents “may as well be happening on another planet.”

Planned hearings on water quality issues have been cancelled. With the legislative session ending in just over a week, it’s unlikely lawmakers will discuss “the state’s most significant environmental crises in years.”

According to the report, politicians on both sides of the aisle literally fled from questions being posed by journalists

Senate GOP Majority Leader John Flanagan walked away from a reporter on Monday rather than answer a question as to why he had not called for legislative hearings into water quality issues around the state. On Tuesday, Basil Seggos, acting commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, left his bag behind because he skipped out of a committee hearing so quickly before a reporter could ask him questions.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers holding a press conference on a new bill that would expand testing for lead in school water supplies bristled when asked whether Hoosick Falls situation required that the legislation be broadened to include other contaminants. They ended the press conference shortly after reporters started asking about Hoosick Falls.

It’s reminiscent of a few months ago when State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, the man who used the safety of his imaginary kids to help Governor Cuomo squash fracking in New York, scurried away while “his staff physically blocked three reporters who repeatedly tried to ask the commissioner” about water issues in Hoosick Falls.

Unfortunately, the poisoned residents of Hoosick Falls and their children can’t run away from the situation the way these cowards at the state Capitol can.

They deserve better than this. It’s time to hold the hearings.

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