A Hoosick Falls resident whose grandchildren’s blood tests revealed extremely high levels of a cancer-causing toxin, explained to Governor Cuomo that “we are his Flint.”
The statement was a reference to the water crisis in Flint, MI, which has garnered a national spotlight and outrage from presidential candidates, something yet to be seen here in Hoosick Falls.
“Children in Flint, Michigan,” Democrat Bernie Sanders said, “in the United States of America, in the year 2016, are being poisoned.”
Similar public outcry has been at a minimum in New York. The children of Hoosick Falls spent roughly 18 months being poisoned as well, with a cancer-causing chemical known as PFOA in the water supply. The Cuomo administration and city officials knew about the tainted water, but failed to inform residents.
Hoosick Falls resident Loreen Hackett pointed out the similarities between Flint and Hoosick Falls at the State Capitol yesterday.
Via the New York Times:
In recent weeks, those in and around Hoosick Falls have been receiving the blood test results, and the news, for some, has been troubling: On Wednesday, several who came to Albany reported test levels as much as 100 times the national average. Such results have reignited fears in Hoosick Falls, and infuriated residents like Loreen Hackett, who denounced Mr. Cuomo and the state’s reaction, particularly in light of other water contamination crises in places like Flint, Mich.
“We are his Flint,” said Ms. Hackett, holding a photograph of her grandchildren, Corey and Alyssa, both of whom tested at more than 50 times the national average.
Reports have shown the Cuomo administration tried to subvert information about PFOA in the water supply in Hoosick Falls.
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.
Politico’s analysis revealed that “hundreds of people, from babies to the elderly, have a dangerous level of toxic chemical in their blood stream.”
The administration and city officials knew residents were being poisoned and the children were disproportionately effected as they “seem to be displaying far higher numbers than their parents.”
As reporter Scott Waldman explains, there are children in Hoosick Falls with chemicals in their blood who would be perfectly healthy if not for state and local officials covering up the crisis.
There are babies in Hoosick Falls w/high PFOA levels, who would have none if state and local govt warned properly https://t.co/3SHvltDK3G
— Scott Waldman (@scottpwaldman) June 8, 2016
Senate Health Committee Chair Kemp Hannon, actually claimed ignorance on the Hoosick Falls water crisis which has been ongoing for years now.
“I haven’t heard,” Hannon told CBS 6 reporters. “That’s not my district and no one has written so I don’t know if what you’re saying is accurate or not.”
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 this week, it’s unlikely lawmakers will discuss “the state’s most significant environmental crisis 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 cowards at the state Capitol have.
They deserve better than this. It’s time to hold the hearings.