THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Aug 13, 2021 1:40 p

THE ADVERTISER Letters To The Editor

Flood history of Sand Lake


August 12, 2021

With regard to the recent flooding in Sand Lake, which was indeed devastating to the local community, if one studies the history of flooding in Sand Lake over time, this is not a “new normal,” and we indeed have been here before.

I certainly remember back in the 1950’s when the eye of a hurricane passed over this area, and the bridge in Poestenkill was washed out as was the bridge on Liberty Lane in Poestenkill.

According to “Rensselaer County Floods: A Short History” by John Warren, and this is something we learned as schoolchildren when I was young, when we were expected to know something about the community we were a part of, the earliest recorded flood along the Poesten Kill was caused by the heavy rains in 1814 which swept away the tannery and bath and boarding houses in Poestenkill Village and changed the course of that kill, moving it from one side of the village, behind the Poestenkill Elementary School, to the other, where it flows today.

In September of 1890, the town of Sand Lake was described as a disaster area and in Averill Park the mill of A.J. Smart was damaged and the dam on the mill pond washed out adding to the swell of water in the Wynants Kill headed for West Sand Lake where the tenements of the McLaren mill and two grist mills were washed away along with the bridges, and as it reached the village of Wynantskill, the water demolished the barn and shop of Solomon Fesser and sent the lumber mill and a large stock of lumber owned by John F. Hayner downstream.

As to the future to prevent these disasters, as if we could somehow stop the rain or make it go away, if one looks at the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan for Rensselaer County, one finds a Sand Lake Town Notice which reads as follows: Hazard Mitigation Planning Project – The Town of Sand Lake (Supervisor Rounds) in conjunction with Rensselaer County is working together on a FEMA-approved mitigation plan with a draft plan targeted for December 2010.

So where is it?

Does anyone know?

Paul Plante

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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Aug 20, 2021 1:40 p

THE ADVERTISER Letters To The Editor

The Sand Lake Hazard Mitigation Plan


August 19, 2021

Staying with this concept of the “new normal” with respect to rainfall events in Sand Lake, should local officials be unaware of the flood history of the town, or that the town even has a history of violent floods?

Is that ignorance of reality even possible?

And for that answer, let us go to the Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan – Rensselaer County, New York Final Plan Update – July 2020, where in Section 8.17 – Jurisdictional Annex, Town of Sand Lake, we find as follows:

This section presents the jurisdictional annex for the Town of Sand Lake.

The jurisdiction’s governing body passed a formal resolution to participate in this multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plan update.

A copy of their resolution is maintained at the local government offices and at the Rensselaer County Bureau of Public Safety.

Is anyone in Sand Lake aware of that?

In Section 8.17.1 Contact Information, it further states: The jurisdiction’s resolution to participate identified a Primary Point of Contact and an Alternate for this hazard mitigation plan update.

These individuals represented the jurisdiction on the county-wide Core Planning Group and led a local team of Jurisdictional Assessment Team Members who undertook various local activities related to the plan update.

HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN POINTS OF CONTACT

Primary Point of Contact: Nancy W. Perry, Supervisor

Alternate Point of Contact: Andrew Bulmer, Councilman.

The Jurisdictional Assessment Team Members included Land Use Planner Karol O’Sullivan, Floodplain Manage Michael Wager, and City Engineer Michael Hunt.

In Section 8.17.4 NOTABLE HAZARD EVENT OCCURRENCES SINCE 2011, it states as we long-term resident of the county with working memories well know, Rensselaer County has a long history of natural hazard events occurring, and in the Natural Hazard Event History (January 2011 through December 2018), 20 flash floods and 16 floods in Sand Lake are listed, so seriously, people, can the public officials be surprised?

Paul Plante

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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr » Thu Aug 26, 2021 1:40 p

THE ADVERTISER Letters To The Editor

On PFOA in Poestenkill


August 26, 2021

And as we go from floods in Sand Lake to PFOA in the groundwater serving the Algonquin Middle School in Poestenkill, are we looking at another cover-up or whitewash in the making?

And here I am referring specifically to an “Update on Algonquin Middle School Water Tests” from Bob Brunet – Poestenkill Water Manager, on the Poestenkill website, a propaganda channel, where we were first informed thusly: In our last update we quoted numerous NYSDOH statements which reassured us that the school’s water “does not pose a significant health risk” and “Your water continues to be acceptable for all uses”.

Speaking as a qualified associate level public health engineer, that right there is the language of a cover-up or whitewash, to tell us that a chemical that does not belong in the groundwater in the first place does not pose a significant health risk.

Given that Mr. Brunet is not a public health engineer, or qualified public health official, he has no rational basis to support those assurances when the public health standard says there should be no PFOA at all in that water, and the fact of the existence of the PFOA in the water is proof positive of negligence and dereliction of duty on the part of public officials, which takes us us to this further evidence of a whitewash in the making: "During the timeframe since our last update, Supervisor Keith Hammond, Deputy Town Supervisor Eric Wohlleber, and I have been actively working with the RCDOH and the NYSDOH to further insure that the wells nearby the school are providing safe water for our residents."

"As a result of this activity we have recently received a commitment from Justin Deming, Chief, Regions 4, 5 & 8 -NYSDOH, Bureau Of Environmental Exposure Investigation, that the State, with our involvement and the involvement of the RCDOH, will test at least 12 home wells in the area to reinforce that the water is safe to consume."

In other words, reinforce a falsehood, which is the essence of a whitewash, to protect the polluters!

Paul Plante

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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr » Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:40 p

THE ADVERTISER Letters To The Editor

PFOA in Poestenkill, Part II


September 2, 2021

As we Poestenkill residents affected by PFOA in the groundwater of what has been known by the Town of Poestenkill to be a critical environmental area with regard to protection of groundwater since the mid-1970s wonder who put the PFOA into the groundwater in the first place, the term “dereliction of duty” comes readily to mind, which term refers to failure, through negligence or obstinacy, to perform one’s legal or moral duty to a reasonable expectation, which takes us to depraved indifference, which is when the actions of public officials show an utter disregard for the value of human life, exhibiting a willingness to act, not because they intend to cause harm but because they do not care if their actions will result in harm, with their conduct so wanton, so deficient in a moral sense of concern, so lacking in regard for the life or lives of others, and so blameworthy as to warrant the same criminal liability as that which the law imposes upon a person who intentionally causes a crime, which takes us to § 220-1 of the Code of the Town of Poestenkill, which chapter may be known and cited as the “Municipal Water Use Law of the Town of Poestenkill,” which takes us to § 220-2, Authority and purpose, where in A, it states “This chapter is enacted pursuant to the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York,” and in section B: “Further, the purpose of this chapter is to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare of the inhabitants of the Town.”

Given the fact of PFOA in our groundwater, it is now patently clear that the Town of Poestenkill failed miserably to do its duty to the Town residents in the Algonquin school area plus all the children who attend that school to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare of the inhabitants of the Town.

Clearly, a ball has been dropped here or that PFOA would not now be in the groundwater, and we now want answers, not empty political slogans such as our water continues to be acceptable for all uses.

Paul Plante

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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr » Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:40 p

"Poestenkill wells test above state level for PFOA"

Kenneth C. Crowe II, Albany, New York Times Union

Sep. 1, 2021

Updated: Sep. 1, 2021 6 p.m.

POESTENKILL – Drinking water at two homes near Algonquin Middle School have tested for PFOA above the new state standard of 10 parts per trillion, officials familiar with the test results said Wednesday.

“We have been briefed on two samples taken in Poestenkill that show levels of PFOA above the level permitted by the state."

"The samples were confirmed by testing conducted by the Rensselaer County Health Department in conjunction with New York State Department of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation,” County Executive Steve McLaughlin said.

Rensselaer County, state Department of Health and state Department of Environmental Conservation officials have been investigating the situation since the Averill Park school district turned off the middle school’s water fountains and water taps in January when tests showed PFOA levels of 12 parts per trillion.

The testing was done at about 10 residences on private wells near the school.

The middle school also draws its water from wells.

Additional testing is planned in the area around the school.

“The town is working with the county and the state to both monitor the situation and respond where needed."

"We have known this has been an issue since news of the levels at the middle school was announced earlier this year."

"Residents should know that extra testing is coming and that more information will be provided when we get it,” said Poestenkill Supervisor Keith Hammond.

PFOA is an acronym for perfluorooctanoic acid and is a variant of PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

PFOA contamination has been a major environmental issue in Rensselaer County since 2014 when PFOA contamination was discovered in municipal drinking water supplies and private wells in the towns of Hoosick and Petersburgh and the village of Hoosick Falls.

The contamination in the eastern Rensselaer County communities has been traced to manufacturing operations there.

The contamination source in Poestenkill has not been identified.

“The county will be reaching out to property owners in the coming days, and ask for patience from residents as we continue to investigate."

"We will provide timely updates so residents, property owners and those who in the area are given necessary information,” said County Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas.

Residents and property owners in the area involved can call the Rensselaer County Health Department’s Environmental Division for more information at 518-270-2655.

https://www.timesunion.com/news/article ... 09a3f12c1f

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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Sep 10, 2021 1:40 p

THE ADVERTISER Letters To The Editor

PFOA in Poestenkill, Part III


Letters To The Editor

September 9, 2021

In a Times Union article entitled “Poestenkill wells test above state level for PFOA” by Kenneth Crowe II on Sep. 1, 2021, we concerned Poestenkill residents in the Algonquin School area were informed by Poestenkill Supervisor Keith Hammond, “We have known this has been an issue since news of the levels at the middle school was announced earlier this year,” and how absolutely disingenuous that is, given that Keith Hammond has been well aware of groundwater issues in that area since the 1990’s if not earlier, and he has chosen to exhibit what is known as a callous disregard for human life and health in that very same area, where the Town of Poestenkill is taking “turn your back” money from national waste hauler Waste Management just up gradient from the Algonquin school.

Similarly the NYS DEC has also chosen to go the blind eye route in what is considered by the DEC (doesn’t even care) to be a “black air” zone, a zone in which Waste Management sets the environmental standards, as can readily be seen in a February 23, 2018 e-mail from myself to then-Supervisor Dominic Jacangelo, Subject: RE: Transfer station complaint, where I stated “Those are not ‘suggestions,’ Dominic, and Waste Management, who does not give a damn about any of the residents of Poestenkill, has no authority, jurisdiction or discretion to tell you what conditions they will allow the residents of the town residing in residential zones to have to endure as a result of their industrial scale operations in the PDD,” which e-mail was in response to a February 22, 2018 e-mail from the Supervisor which stated “Thank you for your letter. I will discuss your suggestions with DEC and the company,” to which I also responded “This is not some corrupt ‘company town’ where Waste Management determines the living conditions of people in residential zones in the town,” except it really is, and now, big surprise, we are finding that in addition to whatever other chemicals may be in our water, so too is PFOA.

Paul Plante

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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr » Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:40 p

THE ADVERTISER Letters To The Editor

PFOA in Poestenkill, Part IV


September 16, 2021

In a TU article entitled “Poestenkill wells test above state level for PFOA” by Kenneth C. Crowe II on Sept. 1, 2021, we find County Executive Steve McLaughlin, a politician, being quoted about the PFOA in the groundwater in the residential area of Poestenkill proximate to the Algonquin Middle School, which raises the question of why.

Rensselaer County is a Health District pursuant to the NYS Public Health Law by vote of the people in 1946, a fact reflected in the Rensselaer County Charter enacted in 1971, and Section 8.02 of Article 8 of the County Charter, titled Board of Health, states in clear and unequivocal language “There shall be in the Department a Board of Health whose members shall continue to be appointed by the County Legislature in the manner and for the term provided in the Public Health Law,” and of direct relevance to this discussion of the Poestenkill groundwater contamination fiasco, “The Board of Health, subject to the provisions of the Public Health Law and the State Sanitary Code, shall have the power to consider any matters that may come to its attention relating to the preservation and improvement of public health within the County.”

So why are we hearing from Steve McLaughlin, who has no authority, jurisdiction or discretion in the Health District, nor is he a qualified public health professional.

Why aren’t we hearing from the Board of Health?

This is their responsibility.

So where are they?

In 1949, the RCHD established a Division of Environmental Hygiene headed up by a NYS licensed professional engineer whose duties include providing guidance to the general public in regard to environmental health problems such as we are now confronted with in Poestenkill, as well as being responsible for the enforcement of the provisions of the Public Health Law and local and State Sanitary Codes in relation to environmental health matters.

So where is he or she?

Why are we hearing from these politicians instead of public health professionals?

Paul Plante

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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr » Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:40 p

THE ADVERTISER LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Poestenkill PFOA Community Meeting


September 23, 2021

POESTENKILL – A Community Meeting is scheduled in Poestenkill, Rensselaer County to discuss PFOA found in drinking water at local school and nearby homes.

PFOA has been found in drinking water wells at the Algonquin Middle School in Poestenkill and nearby residential wells.

The public school has shut off water fountains in the school since learning of this drinking water problem.

PFOA is a toxic chemical that, if consumed, can cause serious health problems.

It is the same chemical that was found in drinking water in Hoosick Falls and Petersburg, also in Rensselaer County.

A community meeting will be held to discuss the latest information and what needs to be done to address this problem.

The meeting will be held on Monday, September 27 at 7pm at the Poestenkill VFW at 25 Veterans Street, Poestenkill.

Everyone in attendance is asked to wear a mask, as doors and windows will be open to aid ventilation.

Speakers include:

Robert Brunet, Poestenkill Water Manager

Representatives from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, NYS Department of Health, and Rensselaer County Health Department have been invited to participate.

Judith Enck, former EPA Regional Administrator and resident of Poestenkill and Michele Baker, NY Water Project will be presenting as well.

If you have any questions please contact – Poestenkill Town Councilman Eric Wohlleber at ewohlleber@poestenkillny.com.

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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr » Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:40 p

THE ADVERTISER Letters To The Editor

PFOA in Poestenkill, Part V


September 23, 2021

As to Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin, who has no public health credentials, intruding into a public health matter in Poestenkill, a town in an established Health District pursuant to the NYS Public Health Law, where Steve has no authority or jurisdiction pursuant to Local Law No. 2, 1971, A Local Law Adopting a County Charter For The County Of Rensselaer in Accordance With The Provisions of The Municipal Home Rule Law of The State of New York, he is the same Steve McLaughlin who on 2 March 2020, 54 days AFTER the CDC issued a January 8, 2020 Public Health Alert about COVID to state and local health officers, state and local epidemiologists, state and local laboratory directors, public information officers, HAN coordinators, and clinician organizations, but not Steve, notwithstanding, Steve issued a political press release of his own to the people of Rensselaer County, many of whom are now dead, entitled “Rensselaer County Officials Working with State and Federal Officials on Coronavirus Issue,” which press release informed people that with confirmed cases of coronavirus in the nation and the state, Rensselaer County health officials had taken part in calls with the Centers for Disease Control and the New York State Department of Health regarding the issue, and at that time, Federal and state health officials had termed the spread of the illness nationally and in the state as “isolated” cases so that there was no need for undue concern or worry and that Rensselaer County officials had been informed that New York State remains at a low risk for coronavirus, this just before old people in Rensselaer County started dying like flies and New York state became the epicenter for the COVID outbreak that killed 54,271 people in the state with 12,913 COVID cases in Rensselaer County alone, so believe in Steve regarding this PFOA matter in the town of Poestenkill at your peril.

As for me, I’m taking a pass.

I want to hear from a real professional, not Steve!

Paul Plante

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