THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

thelivyjr
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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr »

Office of General Counsel
P: (518) 402-9522 | F:
www.dec.ny.gov

RE: PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST of 6/1/2022, Reference # W101908-060122

Date: 06/27/2022

Dear Paul R. Plante,

I write in response to your Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request seeking:

Any and all records as that term is defined in New York State Public Officers Law § 86(4) between 1 January 2021 and the present in connection with NYSDEC Commissioner Basil Seggos deputizing or otherwise making the NYSDOH a "partner" of the NYSDEC in regard to the investigation of PFAS in the groundwater in the town of Poestenkill, Rensselaer County, near the Algonquin Middle School and the intersection of NYS Rtes. 66 and 351.

Please be advised that a diligent search of the files maintained by DEC produced no responsive records.

Sincerely,

Records Access
thelivyjr
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Posts: 49460
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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr »

thelivyjr wrote: Wed Apr 20, 2022 1:40 p As to the silly games the corrupt New York State Department of Environmental Conservation plays to thwart New York State Public Officers Law § 84, which provides in clear and unambiguous statutory language that "a free society is maintained when government is responsive and responsible to the public, and when the public is aware of governmental actions," so that, "the more open a government is with its citizenry, the greater the understanding and participation of the public in government," and to further thwart "the people's right to know the process of governmental decision-making and to review the documents and statistics leading to determinations" being basic to our society, while denying that "that government is the public's business and that the public, individually and collectively and represented by a free press, should have access to the records of government in accordance with the provisions of this article," here is a prime example:

30 March 2022

Dear Paul R.:

Thank you for your Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request.

Your request has been received and is being processed.

Your request was received in this office on 3/30/2022 and given the reference number FOIL #W098850-033022 for tracking purposes.

You may expect the Department's response to your request no later than 4/28/2022.

Record Requested: Any and all records related to a site investigation, conducted in accordance with Appendix 3A of NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION DIVISION OF ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION TECHNICAL GUIDANCE FOR SITE INVESTIGATION AND REMEDIATION CHAPTER 3 SITE CHARACTERIZATION and REMEDIAL INVESTIGATION, 3.1 Site Characterization and Remedial Investigation, for PFOA containment at the Algonquin School in the Town of Poestenkill, Rensselaer County; and Any and all records related to a site investigation, conducted in accordance with Appendix 3A of NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION DIVISION OF ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION TECHNICAL GUIDANCE FOR SITE INVESTIGATION AND REMEDIATION CHAPTER 3 SITE CHARACTERIZATION and REMEDIAL INVESTIGATION, 3.1 Site Characterization and Remedial Investigation, for PFOA containment at the Waste Management Facility in the Town of Poestenkill, Rensselaer County.

April 18, 2022 at 2:56 PM

Office of General Counsel
P: (518) 402-9522 | F:
www.dec.ny.gov

RE: PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST of 3/30/2022, Reference # W098850-033022

Dear Mr. Plante,

In regard to your Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, be advised that DEC is continuing to process your FOIL request.

We estimate that DEC will complete its process by 5/5/2022.

We will notify you in writing when/if the responsive materials are available for release or if more time is required to complete your request.

If you have any questions in the interim, please call the FOIL Unit at (518) 402-9522 and refer to FOIL request #W098850-033022, or simply reply to this email.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Records Access

April 29, 2022 at 3:15 PM

Office of General Counsel
P: (518) 402-9522 | F:
www.dec.ny.gov

RE: PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST of 3/30/2022, Reference # W098850-033022

Dear Paul R. Plante,

In regard to your Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, be advised that DEC is continuing to process your FOIL request.

We estimate that DEC will complete its process by 5/27/2022.

We will notify you in writing when/if the responsive materials are available for release or if more time is required to complete your request.

If you have any questions in the interim, please call the FOIL Unit at (518) 402-9522 and refer to FOIL request #W098850-033022, or simply reply to this email.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Records Access

May 27, 2022 at 2:10 PM

Office of General Counsel
P: (518) 402-9522 | F:
www.dec.ny.gov

RE: PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST of 3/30/2022, Reference # W098850-033022

Dear Paul R. Plante,

In regard to your Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, be advised that DEC is continuing to process your FOIL request.

We estimate that DEC will complete its process by 7/29/2022.

We will notify you in writing when/if the responsive materials are available for release or if more time is required to complete your request.

If you have any questions in the interim, please call the FOIL Unit at (518) 402-9522 and refer to FOIL request #W098850-033022, or simply reply to this email.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Records Access
thelivyjr
Site Admin
Posts: 49460
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:40 p

Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr »

1 JULY 2022

Dareth Glance
Deputy Commissioner
Environmental Remediation and Materials Management
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, 14th Floor
Albany, New York, 12233-1500

RE: Hausamann Letter in 2 June 2022 edition of the Advertiser a textbook example of a licensed professional engineer in NYS being associated in a professional capacity with a practice known to the licensee to be fraudulent or dishonest in character in violation of § 29.3(a)(1) of New York State Board of Regents revisited

Dear Deputy Commissioner Glance:

To keep the record straight in here based on new information discovered through FOIL that was not available to me on 7 June 2022 when I wrote my original letter to you on this subject of conduct by subordinate of yours who a NYS licensed professional engineer that is alleged to be fraudulent, i.e., involving deception, and dishonest in character in violation of § 29.3(a)(1) of New York State Board of Regents, I would like to go back to the letter in the 2 June 2022 Advertiser, a local Rensselaer County newspaper serving the affected area in the Town of Poestenkill, Rensselaer County, proximate to the Algonquin Middle School and the NYSDEC-regulated Poestenkill transfer station at the intersection of Rtes. 66 and 351, by your subordinate Eric Hausamann, NYSPE 072068, titled “Poestenkill PFAS Investigation Update,” wherein we had as follows, to wit:

The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Health (DOH) are working directly with Rensselaer County and the Town of Poestenkill using a coordinated, science-based approach to investigate the source of PFAS contamination in drinking water in the community.

As was alleged and stated in my writing to you on 7 June 2022, which writing was also forwarded to the Office of Professional Discipline of the New York State Department of Education in fulfillment of my duty as a licensed engineer pursuant to § 29.3(a)(1) of New York State Board of Regents to report any practice known to the licensee to be fraudulent or dishonest in character to the Education Department, that statement is fraudulent, i.e., involving deception, and dishonest in character in violation of § 29.3(a)(1) of New York State Board of Regents because it is unsupported by any documentation in the files of the NYSDEC, and accordingly, it is untrue, which is made apparent by the NYSDEC response to my Public Records Request of 6/1/2022, Reference # W101910-060122 on 06/27/2022, as follows, to wit:

Dear Paul R. Plante,

I write in response to your Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request seeking:

Any and all records as that term is defined in New York State Public Officers Law § 86(4) between 1 January 2021 and the present in connection with NYSDEC Commissioner Basil Seggos deputizing or otherwise making the Town of Poestenkill a "partner" of the NYSDEC in regard to the investigation of PFAS in the groundwater in the town of Poestenkill, Rensselaer County, near the Algonquin Middle School and the intersection of NYS Rtes. 66 and 351.

Please be advised that a diligent search of the files maintained by DEC produced no responsive records.


That is with respect to the Town of Poestenkill.

The 06/27/2022 NYSDEC response to my Public Records Request of 6/1/2022, Reference # W101909-060122 shows the same result with respect to the Rensselaer County Department of Health, to wit:

Dear Paul R. Plante,

I write in response to your Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request seeking:

Any and all records as that term is defined in New York State Public Officers Law § 86(4) between 1 January 2021 and the present in connection with NYSDEC Commissioner Basil Seggos deputizing or otherwise making the Rensselaer County Department of Health a "partner" of the NYSDEC in regard to the investigation of PFAS in the groundwater in the town of Poestenkill, Rensselaer County, near the Algonquin Middle School and the intersection of NYS Rtes. 66 and 351.

Please be advised that a diligent search of the files maintained by DEC produced no responsive records.


And the same was the case with my Public Records Request of 6/1/2022, Reference # W101908-060122 with respect to the New York State Department of Health, to wit:

Dear Paul R. Plante,

I write in response to your Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request seeking:

Any and all records as that term is defined in New York State Public Officers Law § 86(4) between 1 January 2021 and the present in connection with NYSDEC Commissioner Basil Seggos deputizing or otherwise making the NYSDOH a "partner" of the NYSDEC in regard to the investigation of PFAS in the groundwater in the town of Poestenkill, Rensselaer County, near the Algonquin Middle School and the intersection of NYS Rtes. 66 and 351.

Please be advised that a diligent search of the files maintained by DEC produced no responsive records.

Sincerely,

Records Access


So there we have concrete evidence from the NYSDEC’s own files and records that when your subordinate Eric Hausamann, NYSPE 072068, published a letter in the 2 June 2022 Advertiser titled “Poestenkill PFAS Investigation Update” claiming therein that the “New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Health (DOH) are working directly with Rensselaer County and the Town of Poestenkill using a coordinated, science-based approach to investigate the source of PFAS contamination in drinking water in the community,” he was intentionally putting forward a falsehood to mislead the unsuspecting public in the Town of Poestenkill who would not know they were being given false information by your subordinate Eric Hausamann, NYSPE 072068, who signed that letter as a P.E., thus using his license to practice as a professional engineer in New York State in a vain effort to legitimize an intentional falsehood, which is fraud and dishonesty, which allegation is substantiated by the NYSDEC’s 06/16/2022 reply to my Public Records Request of 5/23/2022, Reference # W101489-052322, to wit:

Dear Paul R. Plante,

I write in response to your Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request seeking:

Poestenkill (T), Algonquin Middle School

Any and all transcripts for Zoom meetings between NYSDEC, the RCDOH, the NYSDOH, the Town of Poestenkill, the Algonquin Middle School, and others, between January 1, 2021 and February 25, 2022.

Please be advised that a diligent search of the files maintained by DEC produced no responsive records.

Sincerely,

Records Access.


This is an alleged “investigation” where nobody involved in the alleged “investigation" keeps any records pertaining to the alleged “investigation,” which means in plain and simple language that there is no “coordinated, science-based approach to investigate the source of PFAS contamination in drinking water in the community” in Poestenkill.

Further evidence that there has been no “coordinated, science-based approach to investigate the source of PFAS contamination in drinking water in the community” in Poestenkill as was falsely claimed your subordinate Eric Hausamann, NYSPE 072068, in his 2 June 2022 Advertiser letter, can be seen in this series of responses from the NYSDEC to my 3/30/2022 Public Records Request given the reference number FOIL #W098850-033022 for tracking purposes, to wit:

30 March 2022

Dear Paul R.:

Thank you for your Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request.

Your request has been received and is being processed.

Your request was received in this office on 3/30/2022 and given the reference number FOIL #W098850-033022 for tracking purposes.

You may expect the Department's response to your request no later than 4/28/2022.

Record Requested: Any and all records related to a site investigation, conducted in accordance with Appendix 3A of NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION DIVISION OF ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION TECHNICAL GUIDANCE FOR SITE INVESTIGATION AND REMEDIATION CHAPTER 3 SITE CHARACTERIZATION and REMEDIAL INVESTIGATION, 3.1 Site Characterization and Remedial Investigation, for PFOA containment at the Algonquin School in the Town of Poestenkill, Rensselaer County; and Any and all records related to a site investigation, conducted in accordance with Appendix 3A of NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION DIVISION OF ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION TECHNICAL GUIDANCE FOR SITE INVESTIGATION AND REMEDIATION CHAPTER 3 SITE CHARACTERIZATION and REMEDIAL INVESTIGATION, 3.1 Site Characterization and Remedial Investigation, for PFOA containment at the Waste Management Facility in the Town of Poestenkill, Rensselaer County.

Office of General Counsel


If in fact that had been any kind of “coordinated, science-based approach to investigate the source of PFAS contamination in drinking water in the community” in Poestenkill, those records should have been right at hand in the files of the NYSDEC, but obviously were not as we see in the following from NYSDEC on April 18, 2022 at 2:56 PM relative to that same request as follows:

RE: PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST of 3/30/2022, Reference # W098850-033022

Dear Mr. Plante,

In regard to your Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, be advised that DEC is continuing to process your FOIL request.

We estimate that DEC will complete its process by 5/5/2022.

We will notify you in writing when/if the responsive materials are available for release or if more time is required to complete your request.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Records Access


That was followed up by another response from NYSDEC on April 29, 2022 at 3:15 PM relative to that same request for records, as follows:

RE: PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST of 3/30/2022, Reference # W098850-033022

Dear Paul R. Plante,

In regard to your Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, be advised that DEC is continuing to process your FOIL request.

We estimate that DEC will complete its process by 5/27/2022.

We will notify you in writing when/if the responsive materials are available for release or if more time is required to complete your request.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Records Access


And that was followed up by yet another NYSDEC response on May 27, 2022 at 2:10 PM, again relative to that same request for information, to wit:

RE: PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST of 3/30/2022, Reference # W098850-033022

Dear Paul R. Plante,

In regard to your Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, be advised that DEC is continuing to process your FOIL request.

We estimate that DEC will complete its process by 7/29/2022.

We will notify you in writing when/if the responsive materials are available for release or if more time is required to complete your request.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Records Access


Which is patently absurd given that DER-10, section 1.3(48) of Chapter I provides that the term "project manager" means the DER staff member with primary responsibility for ensuring that an investigation or remediation was completed in accordance with the applicable sections of this guidance, using appropriate professional judgment and experience to ensure the goals and objectives of a given remedial program are achieved.
If that had in fact been done, there would be a record that could be reviewed.

From the series of responses from the NYSDEC, however, it is patently obvious that there is no such record notwithstanding that this alleged “investigation” has been alleged to be going on since 2021, and if there are no records of an investigation, then it logically follows that there is no investigation, and for a licensed professional engineer to state otherwise is dishonest.

As to Sampling, Analysis, and Assessment of PFAS - June 2021, under the heading Field Sampling Procedures, it is clearly stated that field sampling for PFAS performed under DER remedial programs should follow the appropriate procedures outlined in Appendix E for public or private water supply wells as is the case herein.

Appendix A of Sampling, Analysis, and Assessment of PFAS - June 2021 provides under the heading General Guidelines in Accordance with DER-10 guidelines to be used to assist with the development of a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for projects within DER involving sampling and analysis of PFAS to include summarizing the project scope, goals, and objectives and providing project organization including the names and resumes of the project manager, Quality Assurance Officer (QAO), field staff, and Data Validator, information which I have previously requested in 4 February 2022 writing to Ms. Susan Edwards, NYSPE 067260, Snr. Env. Eng., Assistant Division Director, Division of Environmental Remediation, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-7011 titled RE: Poestenkill PFOA Investigation, Second Request.

All of those records should exist if in fact there is an investigation, but the plain facts of the matter are that they obviously do not exist, because the NYSDEC cannot find them, and there we have revealed for all the world to see not only the fraudulent and dishonest character of the 2 June 2022 Hausamann letter in the Advertiser but the absurdity of the situation, as well.

We are to believe, based on the 2 June 2022 Hausamann letter in the Advertiser, that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has working directly with New York State Department of Health since some time in early-2021 using a “coordinated, science-based approach to investigate the source of PFAS contamination in drinking water in the community,” but that there is not one single record available to document that such an investigation has been taking place, which is patently absurd given that licensed professional engineers in New York State pursuant to New York State Education Law § 7201 perform professional service such as investigation and evaluation wherein the safeguarding of life, health and property is concerned, when such service or work requires the application of engineering principles and data, and in doing so, licensed professional engineers pursuant to § 29.1(b)(1) of the New York State Board of Regents conduct such investigations to safeguard life, health and property in compliance with substantial provisions of Federal, State or local laws, rules or regulations governing the practice of the profession, which rules and regulations in this instant matter are to be found in DER-10 Technical Guidance For Site Investigation And Remediation May 2010, and Sampling, Analysis, and Assessment of PFAS - June 2021.

The dishonesty employed by licensed professional engineers answerable to you in your chain of command and the absurdity of this amateur-hour, bush-league whitewash intended to protect the politically-powerful Waste Management of New York, LLC, are further illustrated on the record in the response of the NYSDEC to my Request for Information, FOIL request # W098922-033122, for the following records, to wit:

Any and all preliminary and final plans, documents, computations, records and professional evaluations prepared by Susan Edwards, NYSPE 067260, underlying and supporting a January 31, 2022 professional opinion issued by Ms. Edwards stating that "the data obtained from samples of the water supply well at the Waste Management Transfer Station suggests that the transfer station is not a likely source of PFAS contamination in the area," and "While there were detections of PFAS in the water sample, that fact alone does not mean there is a contaminant source on the property."

According to the NYSDEC, those records were withheld from me because they are alleged by the NYSDEC to be protected by “lawyer-client privilege,” which is an admission by the NYSDEC that Susan Edwards, NYSPE 067260 had no rational basis in fact to make those statements which are patently ridiculous on their face given the location of the transfer station and its obvious elevation above the affected zones coupled with its long history of spills and environmental abuse, but instead, wrote those words at the direction of a NYSDEC lawyer, which constitutes unprofessional practice on her part.

Susan Edwards is an engineer licensed to practice in NYS pursuant to New York State Education Law § 7202, Practice of engineering and use of title "professional engineer,” wherein is clearly stated “Only a person licensed or otherwise authorized under this article shall practice engineering or use the title ‘professional engineer,’" and thus, her conduct in this matter regarding those records is governed by § 29.3(a)(4) of the New York State Board of Regents, General provisions for design professions, where unprofessional conduct on the part of licensed engineers such as Susan Edwards shall also include failure by a licensee to maintain for at least six years all preliminary and final plans, documents, computations, records and professional evaluations prepared by the licensee, or the licensee's employees, relating to work to which the licensee has affixed his seal and signature.

There is no lawyer-client relationship at play here because as a licensed engineer, the conduct of Susan Edwards is governed by § 29.1(b)(10) of the Rules of the New York State Board of Regents which provides that unprofessional conduct in the practice of any profession licensed, certified or registered pursuant to title VIII of the Education Law shall include “delegating professional responsibilities to a person when the licensee delegating such responsibilities knows or has reason to know that such person is not qualified, by training, by experience or by licensure, to perform them.”

By the fact of Susan Edwards delegating her professional responsibilities to a lawyer, not only is it clear that she is willfully violating § 29.1(b)(10) of the Rules of the New York State Board of Regents, but § 29.1(b)(9), as well, “performing professional responsibilities which the licensee knows or has reason to know that he or she is not competent to perform.”

Further evidence of the bogus nature of this “investigation” is found in the June 1, 2022 Response of the NYSDEC to my Public Records Request of 5/8/2022, Reference # W100877-050822, to wit:

Dear Paul R. Plante,

I write in response to your Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request seeking:

Poestenkill (T); Rensselaer County; Division of Environmental Remediation; Poestenkill transfer station

Any and all records, including field notes, memos, reports, e-mails related to an inspection of the Poestenkill transfer facility as part of its evaluation of potential PFAS sources in the Poestenkill area impacting the Algonquin Middle School water supply (DER Spill No. 2100195) on March 3, 2022 by DEC staff from the Division of Remediation accompanied by Division of Materials Management staff from the Region 4 office.

Please be advised that a diligent search of the files maintained by DEC produced no responsive records.

Sincerely,

Records Access


That FOIL request was triggered by the following statement of your subordinate Eric Hausamann, NYSPE 072068 in an April 11, 2022 writing to Waste Management of New York, LLC, Attn: Warren Harris, Sr. District Manager, 424 Peters Road, Gansevoort, NY 12831, RE: Poestenkill Transfer Station, Poestenkill (T), Rensselaer County, to wit:

Dear Mr. Harris:

On March 3, 2022, DEC staff from the Division of Remediation accompanied by Division of Materials Management staff from the Region 4 office, conducted an inspection of the transfer facility as part of its evaluation of potential PFAS sources in the Poestenkill area impacting the Algonquin Middle School water supply (DER Spill No. 2100195).


If in fact they really conducted an “inspection” of the transfer facility as part of NYSDEC’s alleged evaluation of potential PFAS sources in the Poestenkill area impacting the Algonquin Middle School water supply (DER Spill No. 2100195), there should have been a record of the inspection, as to what they witnessed during the alleged “inspection.”

As was made patently clear by the NYSDEC on June 1, 2022, however, there are no such records to be found, which further serves to illustrate the fraudulent and dishonest character of the 2 June 2022 Hausamann letter in the Advertiser.

This, Deputy Commissioner Glance, is the game the NYSDEC is playing on us here in Poestenkill feeding us lies and misinformation.

Having brought that matter up to date, I will next detail for you my right to a healthful environment while responding to yours of 31 May 2022 and its attachments.

Respectfully,

Paul R. Plante, NYSPE
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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr »

Re: Freedom of Information Law Appeal- W098922-033122

Dear Mr. Plante:

This is in response to your FOIL appeal, received May 25, 2022, claiming that
Department staff denied you access to records.

The incoming request sought the following:

Any and all records related to a site investigation by the Division of Environmental Remediation, conducted in accordance with Sampling, Analysis, and Assessment of PFAS - June 2021, which document is a compilation of DER's protocols and precautions for sampling and analyzing various media, providing guidelines for preparing Quality Assurance Project Plans, criteria for laboratory consistency, and guidelines on screening sites based on water and soil results for PFOA containment at the Waste Management Facility in the Town of Poestenkill, Rensselaer County. Any and all preliminary and final plans, documents, computations, records and professional evaluations prepared by Susan Edwards, NYSPE 067260, underlying and supporting a January 31, 2022 professional opinion issued by Ms. Edwards stating that "the data obtained from samples of the water supply well at the Waste Management Transfer Station suggests that the transfer station is not a likely source of PFAS contamination in the area, " and "While there were detections of PFAS in the water sample, that fact alone does not mean there is a contaminant source on the property.

The Records Access Office acknowledged your incoming request on March 31, 2022, the same day it was received.

A response was issued on May 12, 2022, stating that responsive records had been uploaded to GovQA.

In addition, you were advised that DEC withheld certain responsive documents or portions thereof from disclosure in accordance with one or more of the following provisions of the Public Officers Law (POL):

• POL 87.2.b. Would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy under POL 89.2

• POL 87.2.g. Inter-agency or intra-agency materials

• CPLR 4503 Records protected from disclosure because of attorney-client privilege

I reviewed the records that were withheld and/or redacted.

Pursuant to this appeal, I am releasing records that did not fall within a statutory exemption under Public Officers Law.

The file has been uploaded to GovQA for your review.

For the remaining records, I have determined that Department staff properly withheld or redacted the records pursuant to Public Officers Law 87.2(a) - specifically CPLR 4503, 87.2(b) - invasion of personal privacy, and 87.2(g)- inter- or intra-agency materials.

The records withheld under Public Officers Law 87.2(a) were materials consisting of attorney-client privilege communications.

In addition, the records withheld under 87.2(b) were private email addresses.

The remainder of the records were deliberative emails between DEC staff and sister agencies, and draft, non-final documents.

Public Officers Law §87.2(g) allows the Department to redact/withhold agency records that contain deliberative material or dialogue between DEC staff and between staff at a sister agency, which is considered intra-agency or inter-agency materials which are not statistical or factual tabulations, instructions to staff that affect the public, final agency actions or determinations, or external audits.

Intra-agency and inter-agency materials are exempted from disclosure “to protect the deliberative process of the government by ensuring that persons in an advisory role will be able to express their opinions freely to agency decision makers.” (Matter of Gould v. New York City Police Dept., 89 N.Y.2d 267, 276; Matter of Xerox Corp. v. Town of Webster, 65 N.Y.2d 131, 132 (1985); and Matter of Stein v New York State Dept. of Transp., 25 AD3d 846, 847-848 (2006)).

“Consistent with this limited aim to safeguard internal government consultations and deliberations, the exemption does not apply when the requested material consists of statistical or factual tabulations or data."

"Factual data, therefore, simply means objective information, in contrast to opinions, ideas, or advice exchanged as part of the consultative or deliberative process of government decision making.” (see Matter of Johnson Newspaper Corp. v Stainkamp, 94 AD2d 825, 827; Matter of Miracle Mile Assocs. v. Yudelson, 68 AD2d 176,181).

This determination is a final agency action.

To the extent you believe you have been denied access to any records, you may obtain judicial review of this determination in accordance with Public Officers Law §89.4(b) by bringing a proceeding in court pursuant to Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Laws and Rules.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Denue, Esq.
FOIL Appeals Office

cc: Committee on Open Government
Mark Sanza, Deputy Counsel
Stephen Giunta, Records Access Office
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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr »

2 JULY 2022

Rebecca Denue, Esq.
FOIL Appeals Officer
Office of General Counsel
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, 14th Floor
Albany, New York, 12233-1500

RE: PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST of 3/31/2022, Reference # W098922-033122

Dear Ms. Denue:

I have no idea how you responded to me on 7 June 2022, because I did not get any responses from you at or around that time.

But I will take you at you word and make an assumption your response must have gotten lost in the mail, somewhere, as it never came through.

And I have checked the portal and must make another assumption that the records protected, as you say, by lawyer-client privilege are those records related to "(A)ny and all preliminary and final plans, documents, computations, records and professional evaluations prepared by Susan Edwards, NYSPE 067260, underlying and supporting a January 31, 2022 professional opinion issued by Ms. Edwards stating that 'the data obtained from samples of the water supply well at the Waste Management Transfer Station suggests that the transfer station is not a likely source of PFAS contamination in the area,' and 'While there were detections of PFAS in the water sample, that fact alone does not mean there is a contaminant source on the property.'"

That confirms what I needed to know and be able to prove, which is that Ms. Edwards had no basis in fact to make those ludicrous statements as a licensed professional engineer, but instead was doing so at the direction of a lawyer, which serves as proof of unprofessional practice by Ms. Edwards as a licensed professional engineer.

Thank you for confirming that fact for me.

Sincerely,

Paul R. Plante, PE
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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr »

Dear Paul R.:

Thank you for your Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request.

Your request has been received and is being processed.

Your request was received in this office on 7/2/2022 and given the reference number FOIL #W103324-070222 for tracking purposes.

You may expect the Department's response to your request no later than 8/2/2022.

Record Requested: Any and all records as that term is defined in New York State Public Officers Law § 86(4) related to a briefing on 21 September 2021 Poestenkill Town residents heard by state Department of Environmental Conservation officials about the PFAS situation in Poestenkill as was stated in an Albany Times Union story on 22 September 2021 titled "Rensselaer County expands PFOA testing in Poestenkill" by Kenneth C. Crowe II.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Record Access Office
thelivyjr
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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr »

5 JULY 2022

Dareth Glance
Deputy Commissioner
Environmental Remediation and Materials Management
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, 14th Floor
Albany, New York, 12233-1500

RE: “Following the Science,” NYSDEC style; Record in support of allegation that Hausamann Letter in 2 June 2022 edition of the Advertiser is a textbook example of a licensed professional engineer in NYS being associated in a professional capacity with a practice known to the licensee to be fraudulent or dishonest in character in violation of § 29.3(a)(1) of New York State Board of Regents

Dear Deputy Commissioner Glance:

Once again to keep the record straight in here regarding my 7 June 2022 writing to yourself as the Deputy Commissioner responsible for this absurdist drama that you are alleging constitutes a legitimate “investigation” of the source of the PFAS found in the groundwater of Poestenkill in January of 2021 on this subject of conduct by a subordinate of yours who a NYS licensed professional engineer that is alleged to be fraudulent, i.e., involving deception, and dishonest in character in violation of § 29.3(a)(1) of New York State Board of Regents, what I have done for you as the superior of Eric Hausamann, NYSPE 072068, as well as the responsible public officer at the NYSDEC, is to assemble the complete record concerning this so-called “following of the science” by NYSDEC and its “partners” leading up to the statement in the 2 June 2022 Advertiser by your subordinate Eric Hausamann, NYSPE 072068, titled “Poestenkill PFAS Investigation Update,” to wit:

The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Health (DOH) are working directly with Rensselaer County and the Town of Poestenkill using a coordinated, science-based approach to investigate the source of PFAS contamination in drinking water in the community.

As was alleged and stated in my writing to you on 7 June 2022, which writing was also forwarded to the Office of Professional Discipline of the New York State Department of Education in fulfillment of my duty as a licensed engineer pursuant to § 29.3(a)(1) of New York State Board of Regents to report any practice known to the licensee to be fraudulent or dishonest in character to the Education Department, that statement is fraudulent, i.e., involving deception, and dishonest in character in violation of § 29.3(a)(1) of New York State Board of Regents, which allegation of intentional fraud and dishonesty is supported by the record that follows, as we will see from a WGXC-90.7 FM article titled “More PFOA found in Poestenkill wells” on November 19, 2021, where we had Poestenkill Deputy Supervisor Eric Wohlleber quoted on the record as follows concerning this alleged “coordinated, science-based approach to investigate the source of PFAS contamination in drinking water in the community,” to wit:

"To date, the DEC and DOH are failing the residents of Poestenkill and wasting time, resources, and New York state taxpayer dollars while these officials are still not looking for the source of the contamination,” Wohlleber said.

“FOLLOWING THE SCIENCE” - A Record of NYSDEC Fraud, Deceit, and Deception

As to the fraud, deceit and deception which underlie the present matter from the start being documented on the record in connection with this matter of this so-called “coordinated, science-based approach” to investigating the NYSDEC-regulated Poestenkill transfer station operated by the politically powerful Waste Management of New York, LLC, as the source of PFAS contamination in drinking water in the community, the factual record in this matter properly begins on October 14, 1993 with an affirmation of Assistant New York State Attorney General Kathleen Liston Morrison in the Matter of Paul Plante v. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany County Index No. 4840-93, submitted to Judge Robert Williams of Albany County Supreme Court wherein she stated under oath to Judge Williams of Albany County Supreme Court as follows with respect to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regulatory insufficiency in connection with the issuance of a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation permit for a solid waste management facility, in this case a garbage transfer station permit located at the intersection of Rtes. 66 & 351 in the Town of Poestenkill, Rensselaer County, which transfer station is hydraulically up-gradient from my water supply well for domestic purposes as follows:

"I have read the Verified Petition, the Department permit file, and the relevant statutes and regulations."

"The state respondents admit that the Department (NYSDEC) erred in issuing the permit when it had an incomplete application under Environmental Conservation Law ("ECL") Article 70, the Uniform Procedures Act, and the regulations promulgated thereunder in 6 NYCRR Part 621, the Solid Waste Management Act, ECL Article 27, and the regulations promulgated thereunder in 6 NYCRR Part 360, and failed to comply with the requirements of Article 8, the State Environmental Quality Act, and the regulations promulgated thereunder in 6 NYCRR Part 617."


end quotes

With respect to the use of segmentation by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to defeat SEQRA reviews, according to court records from that proceeding, on October 22, 1993, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Attorney Richard Ostrov sent a memo to Bill Clark and Art Henningson of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Region IV Office titled RE: BENSON BROS. ARTICLE 78 update, wherein was stated as follows with respect to the Poestenkill transfer station:

Kathleen Morrison called me today to say that the hearing in the above captioned matter was held this morning before Judge Williams.

As you remember, the Department is not opposing a nullification of the permit and remand because Plante’s arguments on lack of SEQRA review and inadequate record have merit.
Stockli, Benson’s attorney, was hopeful that when the matter was remanded, DEC would expeditiously address the new application.

It goes without saying that DRA (DEC Division of Regulatory Affairs) should not process the recently received modification request because there would be no permit to modify.


end quotes

With respect to the failure of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to consider the impacts of the drainage from the transfer station on my water supply, which was hydraulically down-gradient from the transfer station at the time the transfer station was first permitted, in that same October 22, 1993 memo from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Attorney Richard Ostrov to Bill Clark and Art Henningson of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Region IV Office titled RE: BENSON BROS. ARTICLE 78 update, that failure was stated as follows with respect to this Petitioner's well:

Kathleen (assistant attorney general) indicated that because of this judge’s personal slant toward DEC, our record should be air-tight when the new permit application is processed.

She pointed out that Plante’s basis for standing is his well’s proximity to site of one transfer station.

It appears from her review of the record that the wastewater impact of the transfer station was not adequately addressed in the record.


end quotes

That statement about “this judge’s personal slant toward DEC” is indicative and illustrative of the contempt the NYSDEC has for the concept of Rule of Law, and the Courts of the State of New York whose judges will not kow-tow to the NYSDEC and its Commissioner.

According to court records from that proceeding, a September 24, 1993 memo to DEC attorney Marc Gerstman from Kathleen Martens through Gail Kamaras, RE: Plante v. DEC (Benson Bros. Transfer Facility) stated thusly:

Rich Ostrov (DEC Regional attorney) has recommended we ask the AG for a remand of Plante v. DEC to the Department because the petitioner’s allegations concerning the application and record and SEQR review are correct.

The SEQR review was clearly deficient, and because the SEQR allegations are true, I also recommend that the case be remanded.

According to Henningson, **** staff apparently relied upon the fact that the Town of Poestenkill was lead agency for approving the planned development district (PDD) for this project.

However, in issuing its negative declaration (after an uncoordinated review) the Town apparently relied on the applicant’s inaccurate statement in its PDD application that “DEC has already rendered an initial determination that the project will have no adverse effect upon the environment.”

This information is contained in the petition and was uncovered through a separate action the petitioner has brought against the town.

So, since neither the Town nor the Department complied with SEQR, it is necessary to have the case remanded.


end quotes

About five (5) years after that, and three (3) years before the PFAS was discovered in Poestenkill in January of 2021, on 10 January 2018, I sent a writing to the Poestenkill Town Board titled “RE: PDD/Transfer station Records; Duplicity, Deceit, Endemic Corruption,” wherein was stated as follows for the record, to wit:

It has come to my attention that Poestenkill Town Supervisor Dominic Jacangelo is telling concerned town residents that there has never been any kind of spills at this site, and there is no history of groundwater contamination.

If in fact the supervisor is telling people this, and I have no doubts that he is, then he is intentionally misleading the people of Poestenkill.

That Dominic Jacangelo would know he was telling falsehoods to the concerned residents of Poestenkill is made apparent from a review of the Town records which Dominic Jacangelo claims to have researched.

Specifically, as part of his review with respect to the issue of groundwater contamination at that site, perhaps the most relevant document supervisor Jacangelo would find is a copy of an August 14, 2001 letter to Nancy M. Adams, Contact Person, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 1150 North Westcott Road, Schenectady, New York 12306 from Patrick Tomaselli, Attorney at Law, at that time the Poestenkill town attorney, re: In the Matter of the Application of WASTE MANAGEMENT OF NEW YORK LLC for a modification to an existing solid waste management permit for the POESTENKILL TRANSFER STATION, corner Rts 351 and 66, Poestenkill, NY (Application ID: 4-3838-0023-00002) to operate with the doors open.

That letter, which is in the town's files, states as follows with respect to the knowledge the Town of Poestenkill had on August 14, 2001 concerning groundwater problems at that site, to wit:

Dear Ms. Adams:

As Poestenkill Town Attorney, I received late last week a copy of your Notice of Complete Application in the above matter dated July 23, 2001, whereby the Town of Poestenkill was given until Friday, August 10, 2001, to submit to you written comments concerning the above-referenced application.

The significance and potentially adverse impacts of a change in tipping methods from direct to Indirect have also been recognized and brought to NYSDEC's attention by Renselaer County officials.

Thus, in a March 8, 1999 letter to NYSDEC's Art Henningson, Rensselaer County Environmental Management Council Director Ken Dufty, commenting on the Order on Consent then being considered to address operating conditions and outstanding violations by the permittee at the Poestenkill transfer facility, stated as follows:

"We trust that this Order on Consent will address the underlying conditions which have resulted in dozens of complaints to this office, and hope that such an Order will not result in a recurrence of the operating conditions that were prevalent last summer and fall."

"Specifically, many of the complaints we received were directed towards the 'tipping' methods employed at the plant - operation procedures that were clearly not allowed or envisioned in the permit."

"Direct tipping of waste onto the transfer station floor, rather than into secured containers on the lower level and conducted entirely within a closed structure, while a violation of the permit terms, is additionally not allowed by regulation or law. [See 6 NYCRR 360-11.4(n)(1); also 6 NYCRR 360-11.3(a)(1), (3)]"

"Many of the complaints that we receive about the operation of this facility are a result of blowing litter, vectors, stench, noise, and idling trucks."

"Most of these objections are an extension of indirect tipping and spillage of waste outside of the building - an operating condition which clearly should not be allowed."

"Additionally, there is concern by area residents that indirect tipping has resulted in, and will continue to exacerbate, groundwater contamination."

"As you know, Toluene was detected in a residential well adjacent to the station early last year."

"This discovery has heightened our resolve to make sure that more attention is given to the methods of tipping and leachate collection at the Poestenkill facility."

end quotes

For seventeen (17) years, the Town of Poestenkill has known about groundwater contamination problems at that site, so why then would Dominic Jacangelo as Poestenkill Town supervisor be allegedly intentionally misleading people, telling them there are no problems?

The people would like answers and won't accept silence or being lied to, as if this were Hoosick Falls, and not Poestenkill.


end quotes

As to that same method of indirect tipping onto the floor in violation of regulations mentioned in that March 18, 1999 letter, according to an April 11, 2022 letter from your subordinate Eric Hausamann, NYSPE 072068, to Waste Management of New York, LLC, Attn: Warren Harris, Sr. District Manager, RE: Poestenkill Transfer Station, Poestenkill (T), Rensselaer County, on March 3, 2022, it was still going on unabated, to wit:

Dear Mr. Harris:

On March 3, 2022, DEC staff from the Division of Remediation accompanied by Division of Materials Management staff from the Region 4 office, conducted an inspection of the transfer facility as part of its evaluation of potential PFAS sources in the Poestenkill area impacting the Algonquin Middle School water supply (DER Spill No. 2100195).

During our inspection, DEC noted the location of the underground leachate storage tank and associated infrastructure reportedly used to collect liquids originating from the tipping floor building.

DEC was unable to observe the floor drain since it was covered with a large pile of garbage and therefore could not confirm whether the leachate collection system was functioning properly.


end quotes

Coming forward in time to 2021, we find the deceit and deception involving licensed professional engineers using their P.E. stamps to mislead the public in an “Update on Algonquin Middle School Water Tests” in posted on the official Town of Poestenkill website in early- 2021 from Bob Brunet, NYSPE, Poestenkill Water Manager, as follows:

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”.

end quotes

Those statements, however, about PFAS in drinking water not posing a “significant health risk” and water with PFAS in it continues to “be acceptable for all uses” is not true, and it is inconsistent with a Press Release from NYSDEC Commissioner Basil Seggos and NYSDOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker on Tuesday, October 5, 2021, as follows:

DEC Releases New Guidance to Regulate PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4-Dioxane in State Waters - Guidance Builds on State's Nation-Leading Actions to Protect Public Health and the Environment and Regulate Emerging Contaminants

Draft Technical and Operational Guidance Series Available for Public Review and Comment through Nov. 5, 2021

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today released new water quality guidance values that will advance the State's regulation of the emerging contaminants Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and 1,4-Dioxane.

DEC established the new guidance values in three draft Technical and Operational Guidance Series (TOGS) documents, which are now available for a 30-day public review and comment period.

DEC is accepting comments until Nov. 5, 2021.

The new guidance values support the State's ongoing efforts to safeguard public health, prevent exposure to emerging contaminants, and ensure New Yorkers have access to clean drinking water.

Commissioner Seggos said, "New York has been at the forefront of taking actions to reduce human and environmental exposure to emerging contaminants like PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4-Dioxane."

"Today, DEC is bolstering the strict levels adopted by the Department of Health to protect our drinking water by issuing guidance values for PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4-Dioxane for ground and surface waters."

"These guidance values will protect the health of our communities and the environment by helping to prevent these emerging contaminants from entering our drinking water supplies."

The proposed guidance values released today are:

Proposed Guidance Values

Chemical DOH - Finished Drinking Water DEC - Raw Water Source

Adopted MCLs Human Health

PFOA 10 ppt 6.7 ppt

PFOS 10 ppt 2.7 ppt

1,4-Dioxane 1 ppb 0.35 ppb

Set lower than the State's maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4-Dioxane, these ambient guidance values protect source waters and provide an extra margin of safety to complement the drinking water MCLs by ensuring they are not exceeded, which could result in costly treatment for the regulated community.

State Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "New York State has adopted among the most protective drinking water quality standards and requirements for testing, notification and remediation for emerging contaminants found nationwide."

"Our research and efforts to safeguard drinking water will be further enhanced by the Department of Environmental Conservation's move to regulate these compounds at their source, providing even more confidence in the water quality that reaches your tap."

While the MCLs adopted by the DOH provide protection for finished drinking water, DEC's proposed guidance values will provide complementary protection of ambient waters used as drinking water sources.

To support this effort, DEC works with DOH and numerous entities, including local health departments, drinking water providers and authorities, and federal, state, county, and municipal governments to protect and clean up groundwater.


end quotes

As to who was involved in the alleged “investigation” in early-2021, that same public notice on the Town of Poestenkill website stated as follows:

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.

This is a follow-up to our February 27, 2021 report on the situation involving the Algonquin Middle School water tests.

There has been aggressive action involving various organizations, the Algonquin School personnel, the Rensselaer County Health Department (RCDOH), The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the Capital Region Environmental Laboratory (CREL), and the Town of Poestenkill organization, including the Town Supervisor, the Town Board, and the Poestenkill Water Manager.

As this team continues, we will post the latest status on this website.

But now we want to hopefully alleviate some anxiety by presenting PFOA facts regarding our situation from the NYSDOH.

This information was provided in the NYSDOH notification Message Template for PFOA where test results were less than 35 ppt, as compared to the newly established 10 ppt in NYS, one of the lowest MCLs in the nation.

The statements which the NYSDOH provided are very important.

Briefly, they are:

* Consuming drinking water with PFOA at or somewhat above the MCL does not pose a significant health risk.

* Your water continues to be acceptable for all uses.


end quotes

Thereafter, I published a letter in the Advertiser responding to those allegations by Poestenkill water manager Robert Brunet, NYSPE titled “On PFOA in Poestenkill” on August 26, 2021, wherein was stated as follows concerning this whitewash you have been deputized by Basil Seggos to be in charge of, to wit:

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 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."


end quotes

At that point, with this matter becoming public knowledge, the whitewash effort gained considerable steam as we can see in the following “Statement by County Executive McLaughlin, Supervisor Hammond and Public Health Director Wachunas on Two Samples of PFOS Found in Poestenkill” on 9/1/21, as follows:

Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin, county Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas and Poestenkill Supervisor Keith Hammond issued the following statement regarding samples showing levels of PFOA above state-permitted levels at two residences in the Town of Poestenkill:

“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,” said McLaughlin.

“Rensselaer County is also working with the Town of Poestenkill to respond to this situation, and residents should know there is a good level of cooperation between state, county and town at this point,” added McLaughlin.

“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 Hammond.

“There is good communication and cooperation between everyone working on this situation, and we will continue to be responsive to residents and property owners as we learn more,” added Hammond.

“We are continuing to assemble information and data on this issue, and working closely with New York State Department of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation to fully respond,” said county Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas.


end quotes

However, there are no records in the files of the NYSDEC that would support any of those statements about the RCDOH “working closely with New York State Department of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation to fully respond,” or the town of Poestenkill “working with the county and the state to both monitor the situation and respond where needed."

From there, we went to a Times Union article titled "Poestenkill wells test above state level for PFOA" by Kenneth C. Crowe II on September 1, 2021, as follows:

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.


end quotes

That statement about “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” is inconsistent with the record, however, as there is no evidence of NYSDEC involvement in the matter before August of 2021.

That was followed on the Town of Poestenkill website with an “Update For PFOA” on September 3, 2021, as follows:

As mentioned in our last update on the Town Website, we were planning, with the strong support of the RCDOH and the NYSDOH, to test a number of resident wells for PFOAs.

These tests were established cooperatively by the Town of Poestenkill, Rensselaer County, and New York State public health organizations after a test result came back with elevated levels of PFOA from the Algonquin Middle School in the spring of 2021.

Now that the results of the first 10 locations have been received, we are continuing to work with the RCDOH and are selecting more sites, possibly the next 10, in order to further protect the residents’ water and also as an aid to determine the source of the problem.

“We are working closely with county leaders, including County Executive Steve McLaughlin to support our residents”, said Keith Hammond, Poestenkill Supervisor.


end quotes

We still see no evidence of NYSDEC involvement at that time, which takes us to a Times Union article titled "Poestenkill PFOA contamination an issue in local legislative race" by Kenneth C. Crowe II on September 6, 2021, where the ignorant catch phrase “following the science” used by politicians and NYSDEC Executive Deputy Commissioner Sean Mahar to gull the unsuspecting public makes its first appearance in this whitewash and scam, as follows:

POESTENKILL – The four Democrats running for the Rensselaer County Legislature district that includes the town want more action by state and county officials to protect residents from PFOA contamination in drinking water found in local homes and at Algonquin Middle School.

Republican County Legislators Roby Bayly and Tom Grant said the county is working to uncover more information and is reaching out to residents about the middle school.

“We’re testing the area to see how big of a plume it is."

"We’re intending on doing more testing,” Bayly said.

“We’ll get more information and follow the science."

Rensselaer County has worked with the state Department of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation on investigating the contamination.


end quotes

Thus, we see how patently ludicrous that catch phrase “follow the science” really is in connection with this matter, especially when used by politicians such as Rensselaer County Legislator Rob Bayly, who has no professional qualifications or competency, being a heavy equipment operator, and NYSDEC Executive Deputy Commissioner Sean Mahar, who likewise has no professional qualifications, which takes us to a WNYT-TV article titled "Rensselaer County leaders discuss chemical found during water tests" by WNYT Staff on September 22, 2021, as follows:

POESTENKILL - According to both DEC and the State Department of Health, contaminant levels of PFOA discovered in private wells of two properties adjacent to the Algonquin Middle School in Poestenkill do not pose a significant health risk.

That's the good news.


end quote

And there we see that same false and misleading statement by NYSDEC that contaminant levels of PFOA discovered in private wells of two properties adjacent to the Algonquin Middle School in Poestenkill do not pose a significant health risk, which statement is false because the NYSDEC is not possessed of any evidence which would make it clear that drinking water with PFAS in it at any level “does not pose a significant health risk,” and more to the point, Basil Seggos is not a medical doctor nor is he a qualified public health professional, and thus, he has no basis to be making statements about what does or does not pose a significant health risk.

And here we see Susan Edwards, NYSPE 067260, making her first appearance in the record, to wit:

"We do know that there are a couple of industrial facilities around the area, around the school," said Susan Edwards of DEC.

"We are taking a closer look, but at this point in time there is no obvious source."


end quotes

And there we have the whitewash formally beginning, with that statement from Susan Edwards, NYSPE 067260, about “no obvious source,” when the obvious source was sitting right there in plain sight on the elevation above the Algonquin School, that obvious source being the NYSDEC-regulated Poestenkill transfer station operated by politically powerful Waste Management of NY, LLC.

As to “secret” or “private” meetings in violation of the state Open Meetings Law, we have as follows from that same article, to wit:

State and local officials provided data and took questions Tuesday night from Rensselaer County residents in a virtual town hall meeting on Facebook.

end quote

So anyone not on Facebook was excluded from that “virtual town hall,” which takes us back to that article for more background, as follows:

"We know for a fact that because of this testing that there's PFOAs in the drinking water and wells in more than one location here in Poestenkill," pointed out Eric Wohlleber, a town councilman.

"We don't know how large of a plume that is."

Wohlleber says he represents many constituents who are nervous, but not just about the findings.

"We have to remember that the state sat on knowledge that folks in Hoosick Falls were drinking contaminated water for 18 months and did not tell anyone," Wohlleber said.

"Now we're being told that yeah, there's PFOAs here in Poestenkill, but it's not that big of a deal."

"We'll do some more testing, but they haven't expanded the testing as far as I would like to see, and there's no sense of urgency."


end quotes

In response, we are going to have Susan Edwards, NYSPE 067260, back on the record with more of the whitewash, as follows:

"It may be that a particular source may not be found in this area," Edwards stated, "so what we're concerned about is making sure that the exposures are assessed and addressed as needed."

end quote

And there it is, September 22, 2021, nine (9) months ago now, and already Susan Edwards, NYSPE 067260, of the NYSDEC was pushing hard on the NYSDEC narrative that a particular source may not be found in this area, which served to deflect attention away from the Poestenkill transfer station and Waste Management of New York, LLC.

From there, we go to a Times Union article titled “Rensselaer County expands PFOA testing in Poestenkill" by Kenneth C. Crowe II on September 22, 2021, where we had more, as follows:

Town residents heard a briefing Tuesday night by county Health Department, state Health Department and state Department of Environmental Conservation officials about the situation.

end quote

For the record, “town residents” did not hear that briefing.

Only those on Facebook who knew somehow that there was going to be a briefing heard the briefing, of which no record has been found to substantiate that a briefing did in fact take place, who conducted it, and what the briefing was actually about.

As to the “cover-up” of the source of the contamination, in that same article we had further on the subject as follows:

The second round of testing that’s being done is data driven, said Richard Elder, the county Health Department’s director of environmental services.

Elder said the tests are to determine the potential exposure in drinking water rather than identifying a source of the PFOA contamination.


end quotes

There we have the RCDOH making it clear on the record that as far as the RCDOH is concerned, there was going to be no search for a source on their part, which is an important baseline statement in the timeframe with respect to “following the science,” which brings us to the following, to wit:

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.

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.

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.


end quotes

As to Poestenkill Councilman Eric Wohlleber, he was the recipient of a letter from myself copied to the Poestenkill town board and dated 6 December 2017, titled “RE: PDD/Transfer station Records; The DEC Finagle; The next Hoosick Falls,” wherein the fraud and deceit and deception and corruption underlying this matter was detailed as follows on the record, to wit:

Dear Councilman Wohlleber:

As a follow-up to mine of yesterday, which concerned itself with an official Town of Poestenkill document known in Poestenkill as “THE GREAT FLIM-FLAM” or “BAMBOOZLE” with respect to transfer station operations, at the Poestenkill transfer station, that being a copy of an August 14, 2001 letter to Nancy M. Adams, Contact Person, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 1150 North Westcott Road, Schenectady, New York 12306 from Patrick Tomaselli, Attorney at Law, at that time the Poestenkill town attorney, re: In the Matter of the Application of WASTE MANAGEMENT OF NEW YORK LLC for a modification to an existing solid waste management permit for the POESTENKILL TRANSFER STATION, corner Rts 351 and 66, Poestenkill, NY (Application ID: 4-3838-0023-00002) to operate with the doors open, wherein at p.4, Poestenkill Town Attorney Patrick Tomaselli notified the DEC that its analysis of the environmental impacts of the Poestenkill transfer station permit modification and conclusions drawn from that analysis were flawed, which they certainly were, the next relevant document would be a document headed by “FROM THE DESK OF KATHLEEN LISTON MORRISON ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL” to Art Hennigson of DEC dated September 3, 1993, and entitled “Chronology in Benson Brothers’ Transfer Station Permit Application, As Best As I Can Figure.”

That document is relevant because coming from the Office of the NYS Attorney General, it is the official record of what transpired in this matter right from May 13, 1992, when the Attorney General’s Office states as follows:

By letter from Frost & Donahue, P.C., Benson formally applies to Town Board for Planned Development District.

The letter references an application to DEC (in the past tense), mentions that DEC has met with Benson’s representatives on two occasions, and indicates that “the project is in compliance with all DEC requirements.”

That chronology concludes as follows:

April 9, 1992: A Monday, Plante commences suit by filing notice of petition with Albany County Supreme Court.

That then brings us to a September 20, 1993 memo on NYSDEC letterhead from Dec Region IV attorney Rich Ostrov to Deb Volberg RE: Matter of Paul Plante v. DEC, wherein is stated:

Region staff upon review of the (Plante Article 78) petition in the above captioned matter believe that we should request the Attorney General to seek a remand of this matter to the Department.

The allegations regarding the inadequacy of both the application and record and SEQRA review are for the most part correct.

* * * * *

With respect to that gross failure by the NYSDEC and its employees to meet the highest standards of honesty, accountability, and efficiency with respect to the issuance of that permit, and with respect to regulatory insufficiency at the DEC, in response to that Article 78 Petition, Assistant New York State Attorney General Kathleen Liston Morrison filed an affidavit dated October 14, 1993, in the Matter of Paul Plante v. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany County Index No. 4840-93, to Judge Robert Williams of Albany County Supreme Court wherein she stated under oath to Judge Williams of Albany County Supreme Court as follows with respect to DEC lawlessness and regulatory insufficiency in connection with the original Benson Brothers permit that was brought into the Town of Poestenkill as “proof” of complying with DEC regulations:

"I have read the Verified Petition, the Department permit file, and the relevant statutes and regulations."

“The state respondents admit that the Department (NYSDEC) erred in issuing the permit when it had an incomplete application under Environmental Conservation Law ("ECL") Article 70, the Uniform Procedures Act, and the regulations promulgated thereunder in 6 NYCRR Part 621, the Solid Waste Management Act, ECL Article 27, and the regulations promulgated thereunder in 6 NYCRR Part 360, and failed to comply with the requirements of Article 8, the State Environmental Quality Act, and the regulations promulgated thereunder in 6 NYCRR Part 617."

* * * * *

Speaking of regulatory insufficiency, lawlessness and duplicity by the NYSDEC, that, of course, happened to be every law and regulation which should have been applied to a proper review of this facility.

However, that never fazed the Town of Poestenkill, as can be seen from this line in that September 20, 1993 memo on NYSDEC letterhead from Dec Region IV attorney Rich Ostrov to Deb Volberg RE: Matter of Paul Plante v. DEC, to wit:

It is my understanding that Benson Bros. received its building permit and is ready to construct the transfer station.

* * * * *

In other words, Benson Bros. were able to launder a fraudulent DEC permit through the Town of Poestenkill to obtain both the PDD and the transfer station building permit, and the rest is now history, as Poestenkill backs the fraud that started this matter off while shutting me out of the process and retaliating against myself.

That then brings us to a memo on DEC letterhead dated September 24, 1993 to DEC attorney Marc Gerstman from Kathleen Martens through Gail Kamaras, RE: Plante v. DEC (Benson Bros. Transfer Facility) which stated thusly:

Rich Ostrov (DEC Regional attorney) has recommended we ask the AG for a remand of Plante v. DEC to the Department because the petitioner’s allegations concerning the application and record and SEQR review are correct.

The SEQR review was clearly deficient, and because the SEQR allegations are true, I also recommend that the case be remanded.

According to Henningson, **** staff apparently relied upon the fact that the Town of Poestenkill was lead agency for approving the planned development district (PDD) for this project.

However, in issuing its negative declaration (after an uncoordinated review) the Town apparently relied on the applicant’s inaccurate statement in its PDD application that “DEC has already rendered an initial determination that the project will have no adverse effect upon the environment.”

This information is contained in the petition and was uncovered through a separate action the petitioner has brought against the town.

So, since neither the Town nor the Department complied with SEQR, it is necessary to have the case remanded.

An option would be to stipulate to a withdrawal of the petition on our agreement to coordinate review with the Town and ensure SEQR is done.

* * * * *

That never happened, and as can clearly be seen here, right from the very beginning, the Town of Poestenkill was willing to sell out the residents of the Town to ensure that Benson Bros, would profit from the Town selling out the residents.

In a memo on DEC letterhead dated October 22, 1993 from Richard Ostrov to Bill Clark and Art Henningson of the DEC Region IV Office RE: BENSON BROS. ARTICLE 78 update, it was stated as follows:

Kathleen Morrison called me today to say that the hearing in the above captioned matter was held this morning before Judge Williams.

As you remember, the Department is not opposing a nullification of the permit and remand because Plante’s arguments on lack of SEQRA review and inadequate record have merit.
Stockli, Benson’s attorney, was hopeful that when the matter was remanded, DEC would expeditiously address the new application.

It goes without saying that DRA (DEC Division of Regulatory Affairs) should not process the recently received modification request because there would be no permit to modify.

* * * * *

There we see Benson Bros. trying to launder the fraudulent permit it used to get the PDD and Poestenkill building permit back through the DEC.

The memo on DEC letterhead dated October 22, 1993 from Richard Ostrov to Bill Clark and Art Henningson of the DEC Region IV Office RE: BENSON BROS. ARTICLE 78 update, then concluded as follows:

Kathleen indicated that because of this judge’s personal slant toward DEC, our record should be air-tight when the new permit application is processed.

She pointed out that Plante’s basis for standing is his well’s proximity to site of one transfer station.

It appears from her review of the record that the wastewater impact of the transfer station was not adequately addressed in the record.

* * * * *

That, of course, is a gross understatement – neither the Town nor the DEC ever gave a damn about our drinking water in the first place – we were expendable.

And with respect to us being the next Hoosick Falls, which happened because the DEC and Rensselaer County Health Departments were turning their backs and being “business friendly,” that takes us to an October 1, 1998 letter on DEC letterhead to Mr. Vince Forgione, USA Waste, P.O. Box 129, Wynantskill, N.Y. 12198 RE: Water Well Test Results, from Richard Forgea, P.E., Environmental Engineer 2, Region 4, wherein was stated:

Enclosed are the results of water well samples taken at your Poestenkill facility on March 30, 1998.

Two sets of samples were taken; one from the well adjacent to the transfer building and the other from the pond on the site.

The results indicate that no contaminants of concern are present in either location.

Trace concentrations of methylene chloride ( a solvent, prolonged skin contact with may cause chemical burns and exposure by any route can cause CNS depression while ingestion of methylene chloride can cause severe gastrointestinal irritation) were indicated in the samples from both locations.

This appears to be due to lab error.

* * * * *

That letter was copied to the Town and the NYSDOH.

That statement about lab error, however, is false, and is part of a cover-up by the Town and DEC just like in Hoosick Falls, as can be seen from a DEC Regional Laboratory telephone contact log entry with Richard Forgea dated 3/31/98, wherein is stated as follows:

Summary of Questions/Issues Discussed:

Received 3 samples without chain of custody.

No COC will be sent by DEC.

* * * * *
There was no “lab error” there – that was a finagle, pure and simple.

Without chain of custody, the lab could not verify where those samples came from, and they may well have been tap water from somewhere, and there was no chain of custody because of Forgea and the DEC, intentionally, because that was part of a cover up, if in a March 8, 1999 letter to NYSDEC’s Art Henningson, Rensselaer County Environmental Management Council Director Ken Dufty was stating “Additionally, there is concern by area residents that indirect tipping has resulted in, and will continue to exacerbate, groundwater contamination,” and “As you know, Toluene was detected in a residential well adjacent to the station early last year,” which would have been early 1998.

Since then, just as was the case in Hoosick Falls, the residents of Poestenkill have been left completely in the dark as to what kinds of poisons might be lurking in our drinking water.

Why?

Some people with children in this town who care about their children and don’t like being sold out by the Town of Poestenkill and the DEC would like to know.


end quotes

Coming back to 2021, when the whitewash was in full swing, we go to a WAMC Midday Magazine article titled "Residents Of Poestenkill Discuss PFOA-Contaminated Drinking Water" by Dave Lucas on September 28, 2021, where we had as follows:

Residents of the Rensselaer County town of Poestenkill gathered at Monday night to discuss the recent discovery of PFOA in drinking water.

Averill Park Central School District water supplies tested in January showed levels of PFOA above 10 parts per trillion at the Algonquin Middle School.

Since then the district says it has worked closely with the county, the state Education Department and Town of Poestenkill to develop a plan to address the contamination.


end quotes

And there we see the beginning of the “cover-up” phase prior to the whitewash phase beginning in or about September of 2021, which takes us back to the WAMC article, as follows:

DEC Chief of Staff Sean Mahar: "We appreciated the opportunity to join Poestenkill residents last night to provide an update on our ongoing actions to address PFAS compounds found in the Algonquin Middle School's water supply."

"Since those low level detections were found in January, state experts from DEC and DOH have worked with the Rensselaer County Health Department to develop a science based plan of action and implement that on the ground."

"That work very much is underway right now and we look forward to keeping the community updated as our efforts advance."


end quotes

There we see the entrance of now-NYSDEC Executive Deputy Commissioner Sean Mahar in the matter with his use of the catch phrase “a science based plan of action.”

A diligent search of the records by myself subsequent thereto, however, has to date revealed no evidence whatsoever of a “a science based plan of action,” which takes us back to that article for an example of what the NYSDEC does consider “following the science,” to wit:

Poestenkill Water Manager Bob Brunet says GAC's, granular activated carbon filters, which have been installed in two homes, offer a short-term option to remove the chemicals from water.

"These problems are caused by wells."


end quotes

There we see a clear-cut case of a New York state licensed professional engineer peddling a lie to the people of the Town of Poestenkill to deflect attention away from the NYSDEC-regulated Poestenkill transfer station whose operator, the politically-powerful Waste Management of New York, LLC, pays money to the Town of Poestenkill known as “turn your back money,” and as it happened, I was present at that meeting and stood up at the microphone as the first speaker to challenge that patently false statement that the problem with PFAS in our drinking water was a problem we created for ourselves by having wells instead of public water from Troy, which municipality Brunet sells water for, asking “why are we being lied to,” and “why are we being told that PFAS is safe to drink,” and “why are we being told that there is a search for a source when Richard Elder of the RCDOH was quoted as saying there was no search for a source,” at which time I was shouted down by Brunet and Wohlleber, which I am sure Sean Mahar will remember, as he told me that it wasn’t him that was lying to us.

That leads us to a WNYT-TV article titled "Poestenkill residents decry 'slow progress' in PFOA probe" by WNYT Staff on September 28, 2021, as follows:

POESTENKILL - With chemicals in their drinking water, the angst came bubbling to the surface during a standing room only meeting Monday night in Poestenkill.

The meeting at the VFW Post comes on the heels of a PFOA discovery at the Algonquin Middle School earlier this year, followed by elevated levels of the toxic substance in two nearby homes.

Unlike PFOA discoveries in Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh, which was linked to industrial sources, the origin in Poestenkill remains unknown.

"We should recognize that you're not always going to find an industrial source," said Gary Ginsburg of the state Department of Health.

"I hope many residents learned tonight the actual scientific process that we have underway here tonight," said Sean Mahar, chief of staff at the Department of Environmental Conservation.

"That was part of what we wanted to accomplish tonight, to give them an idea of how our experts are approaching this situation."


end quotes

There we see more of NYSDEC Executive Deputy Commissioner Sean Mahar and his “actual scientific process,” of which there is no record in the files of the NYSDEC, precisely because there never was a “scientific process” being employed, which takes us back to that article, as follows:

Wohlleber remains skeptical.

"I have zero confidence in DOH and DEC," he stated.


end quotes

So much for “following the science,” which takes us to a Times Union article titled "This Rensselaer County community wants answers on PFOA contamination" by Kenneth C. Crowe II on September 28, 2021, and more of the “following the science” from Sean Mahar, as follows:

POESTENKILL – Rensselaer County and state agencies are methodically expanding their study of PFOA contamination near the Algonquin Middle School, but residents want a more intense study that will test more wells and find the source of the chemical that studies show could cause cancer.

At a community meeting on PFOAs Monday night that drew 100 people to the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall, and 50 more watching online Monday, Evan Eisenhandler spoke out for determining where the contamination is in a broader area.

Sean Mahar, DEC chief of staff, reiterated that the testing is following where the science leads it.


end quotes

In light of the record, which is devoid of any “science,” that statement by Sean Mahar that “the testing is following where the science leads it” is absurd, which takes us back to the whitewash aspect, covering over for Waste Management of New York, LLC, the operators of the NYSDEC-permitted Poestenkill transfer station, as follows:

Officials said there does not appear to be an industrial source, as was found in the Hoosick Falls area.

Bob Brunet, the Poestenkill water manager, said as many as nine possible sources have been suggested, including garbage transfer stations, a former town landfill, a fire scene where foam containing PFOA may have been used, and a long-closed race track.


end quotes

For the record, the “long-closed race track” is located on the same parcel as is the transfer station, which takes us to a State of Politics article titled "PFOAs in Poestenkill: Is it another Hoosick Falls?" by Susan Arbetter on September 29, 2021, as follows:

Five years after residents of the Rensselaer County community of Hoosick Falls learned their drinking water was contaminated by the man-made toxin PFOA, the residents of Poestenkill, 25 miles to the south, have received similar alarming news.

This time, PFOA was detected in January 2021, in the drinking water at the Algonquin Middle School, as well as several surrounding homes.

Capital Tonight asked Judith Enck, a Poestenkill resident and former Region 2 EPA administrator under President Barack Obama, what was being done to find the source of the PFOA contamination.

“Virtually nothing and that’s what concerns me,” Enck said.

“Very skimpy, very slow and virtually nothing is being done to find the source of the PFOA.”

Enck and others have claimed the state and Rensselaer County are moving too slowly.

Enck has also stated that the county, not the state, is taking the lead in this investigation.

The state is painting a much different picture of the process.

“This is a priority for us,” DEC Chief of Staff Sean Mahar told Capital Tonight on PFOA contamination in Poestenkill.

Mahar pointed out that the situation in Poestenkill is different from the one in Hoosick Falls.

In fact, he said, it was only because of new regulations put into place after Hoosick Falls that the school realized it had a problem.

Those regulations kick off a process that starts with county health departments, he said.

“When we have a detection of a contaminant in the water supply that’s above the MCL (maximum contaminant level), one of our first steps is to work with the local county health department to assess that detection and make a plan of action,” Mahar explained.

In response to Enck’s allegation that the Rensselaer County Department of Health was taking the lead on addressing this contamination rather than the state of New York, Mahar said she was mistaken.

“That’s not true, Susan."

"What we’re doing is representing DEC, our partners at DOH, working with Rensselaer County."

"We have an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach to addressing PFOA in Poestenkill."

"This is a true showing of how government is working together, and is supposed to work together on issues like this.”

In an emailed statement to Capital Tonight, Richard Crist, director of operations for Rensselaer County, said that the county’s health department has made the situation in Poestenkill a priority, in spite of current circumstances.

“…we want residents to know we have heard their concerns, and are working productively and cooperatively with the state and the town on this issue.”

But the most important issue according to Enck, is finding the source of the PFOA contamination.

“We really need the Hochul administration to direct the DEC to find the source of the PFOA which requires them to do some sampling wells, which are different than residential wells,” Enck said.

“They’re going to say they are looking at residential wells."

"I think you can do two things at once.”

To that end, Enck and Poestenkill Town Board Member Eric Wohlleber sent a letter Wednesday to both the DEC and the DOH, urging them to investigate two possible sources of PFOA contamination: an unlined municipal landfill not far from the Algonquin School and a private company on State Route 355 in Poestenkill.

Mahar said the sites were something that the DEC is evaluating.

“That is one of the next steps we are moving forward on."

"As the data comes in from the private well sampling that we’re doing, that’s telling us where water flow may be occurring in the area, where contamination may exist and that pinpoints where we may need to look,” he explained.


end quotes

TO BE CONTINUED ...
thelivyjr
Site Admin
Posts: 49460
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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr »

CONCLUDED ...

And there the wild goose chase began, with the NYSDEC hunting for ridiculous sources of PFAS in the Algonquin School water supply, such as the well-studied Poestenkill landfill, which drains not towards but away from the area of the Algonquin School, and either St. Gobain or DSI on state route 355, both of which are over a hundred feet lower in elevation and again, drain away from the Algonquin School.

With respect to this myth of “following the science,” we have as an example, as follows:

October 6, 2021

The Honorable Basil Seggos
Commissioner, NYS Department of Environmental
Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, New York 12233

Dr. Howard Zucker
Commissioner, NYS Department of Health
Empire State Plaza, Corning Tower
Albany, New York 12237

Dear Commissioner Seggos and Commissioner Zucker:

I write advocating for the DEC and DOH to undertake immediate, proactive, comprehensive steps to safeguard the drinking water for, and health and safety of, Poestenkill families in the wake of discovered PFOAs.

Specifically, I officially request that the DEC dig monitoring wells around the Algonquin Middle School to find the source of the PFOA/PFOS contamination.

I also request that DEC and DOH coordinate the immediate testing of private wells at no cost to area homeowners.

In making these requests as State Senator for the 43rd District, I add my voice to the requests already made by Poestenkill Town Board Member Eric Wohlleber, and former EPA Regional Administrator, and Poestenkill resident Judith Enck, respectively.

As you are aware, PFOA was detected in drinking water, at levels in violation of New York State Drinking Water standards, at the Algonquin Middle School in the Town of Poestenkill in January 2021.

The finding of this contamination is incredibly serious and must be responded to with the full resources and focus of state government, beginning with the agencies you lead.

Coming just a few years removed from the PFOA contamination crisis that impacted the water supply in the neighboring Village of Hoosick Falls and the Town of Hoosick – and the strong, sustained public outcry against the state and federal government’s slow initial response – it is imperative that this issue be addressed proactively and with 100 percent transparency.

The DEC needs to take every necessary step and utilize its considerable resources to identify, as expeditiously as possible, the source of the reported PFOA contamination.

I share growing community concerns over the fact that PFOA in the Algonquin School was identified in January 2021, and nine months later, the DEC still has not drilled monitoring wells in logical locations in the Town to correctly identify the source of contamination.

A small number of residential drinking water wells is not a surrogate for actual monitoring wells.

It was shared with me that just ten private residential wells were tested in August, and another ten were tested two weeks ago.

The state testing a mere 20 wells in the span of two months for locally identified PFOA contamination is simply not enough.

This important process needs to move forward in an expedited and expanded fashion.

It also was shared with me that there is an unlined municipal landfill not far from the Algonquin School and groundwater near the landfill has not been tested concerning this problem.

Accordingly, the DEC should drill test wells at or near the landfill.

Additionally, Dynamic Systems, Inc., in Poestenkill should be tested and evaluated as a potential source of PFOA.

The company in question does materials testing, process simulations, and a range of other activities and may have worked with PFAS chemicals specifically coated with PFOA.

The operation is located on a flood plain, near wetlands, and close to Newfoundland Creek.

The DEC should know if the company was formally asked to respond to its 2017 survey asking companies to voluntarily disclose if they have used, or are using, PFAS chemicals.

If the company has released PFOA into the environment, the DEC should undertake a cost recovery action to cover agency expenses related to this particular concern.

Furthermore, in the interest of safeguarding public health, the DEC and DOH should sample private wells in the affected area and do so at no financial cost to Poestenkill residents.

Thank you for your prompt attention to my requests made on behalf of the Town of Poestenkill families to help ensure their health and safety.

Sincerely,

Daphne Jordan, State Senator, 43rd District


end quotes

From there we go to a Times Union article titled "Two more Poestenkill wells exceed state PFOA limit" by Kenneth C. Crowe II on October 15, 2021, where we have more of the NYSDEC saga of “following the science,” as follows:

The county and state health departments and state Department of Environmental Conservation are seeking to determine the source of the contamination.

A third round of testing is taking place and DEC is examining the closed Poestenkill landfill.


end quotes

And from there we go to a News Channel 10 story titled "Concerns about possible water contaminates" by Jamie DeLine on October 24, 2021, where the “following the science” saga continues to play out in the media and NYSDEC Executive Deputy Commissioner Sean Mahar makes yet another appearance as an “expert,” to wit:

POESTENKILL, N.Y. (NEWS 10)—When it comes to their drinking water, neighbors in Poestenkill are terrified of the harm PFOAS or PFAS, contaminates can cause.

Since the discovery of contaminates in Algonquin Middle School’s water, everyday tasks are now causing anxiety for community members.

At this point, it’s unclear where the contamination source is.

New York State Department of Health, Department of Environmental Conservation, and Rensselaer County are working to conduct an investigation.

While not every residence in Poestenkill has been asked if their water could be tested, The DEC does encourage people to test their wells.

“The Poestenkill area, if anyone else is taking their own sampling, we encourage them to share that data with DEC, Rensselaer County DOH, and NYS DOH, so we can evaluate that as a part of our ongoing investigation,” said Sean Mahar, Chief of Staff for NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.


end quotes

And that takes us to the Town of Poestenkill website and a “12/23/21 PFOA UPDATE” by Bob Brunet, Water Manager who has also created for himself out of thin air the title of “Public Health Coordinator” for Poestenkill, where we have more of this farce of licensed professional engineers using their PE licenses to gull and mislead the unsuspecting public playing out as follows:

Supervisor Hammond and I are both very involved in the periodic Zoom update meetings with our partners in resolving this issue, the RCDOH, the NYSDEC, the NYSDOH, the Algonquin Middle School, and others.

This continuation of Zoom meetings keeps everyone updated on the ongoing status.

The DEC is working on identifying the source(s) based upon their knowledge, supplemented by Town and residents’ input.

Unfortunately, this is a slower process than many would like, but it is important to follow time-tested procedures.

From: Robert L. Brunet, P.E.–Water Manager / 811 /Public Health Coordinator

Date: November 10, 2021


end quotes

There is, however, no evidence to be found in the record of the NYSDEC, the NYSDOH, the RCDOH or the Town of Poestenkill following any “time-tested” procedures other than the time-tested political procedures of telling bald-faced lies to the public to mislead and deceive them and make them believe something is happening, such as a “by the book” investigation of groundwater contamination in Poestenkill, when it is not.

That then takes us back to the Town of Poestenkill website for another “10/12/21 PFOA UPDATE” by Bob Brunet, Water Manager/Public Health Coordinator for yet more of this farce and absurdist drama being pawned off on us by the NYSDEC and its “partners” as a “coordinated, science-based approach to investigate the source of PFAS contamination in drinking water in the community,” to wit:

This update includes a copy of the Community Update recently issued by the NYSDOH-DEC regarding the PFOA/PFOS situation and what is being done by the various involved agencies.

We have hosted a number of recent Community Meetings, the most recent at the VFW on Saturday, 10/9/21.

The meeting was led by Judith Enck, former EPA Administrator, and attended by Supervisor Keith Hammond and Legislator Robin Bayly and approximately 75 individuals.

Also attending was Rob Hayes from Environmental Advocates who handed out his fact sheet on PFOAs.

The attendees strongly stated that:

1 - They wanted to thank Poestenkill Deputy Supervisor Eric Wohlleber for his leadership role in this PFOA issue.

2 - They were concerned with the length of time between the Algonquin Middle School initial testing and the current testing status.

3 - They wanted significantly more testing in a shorter timeframe.

4 - They wanted more test monitoring wells at strategic locations which might have used PFOA in the past to help determine the cause of the problem.

Robin Bayly stated that the county would be increasing the testing and said that the county was working closely with the town and the other governmental agencies involved.

Judith Enck said that is important that the DEC test for all 29 PFAS chemicals they are capable of testing for.

She further believes that the scientific community would likely be recommending a lower standard for PFOA of between 0 to 2 PPT and that an “outside citizens” organization was necessary.

If you have any questions please contact: Robert Brunet, P.E. at rlbrunet@cisbec.net, waterpoest@nycap.rr.com, or 518-283-5100 EXT 110.


end quotes

Which takes us back to the Times Union and a story titled "New PFOA/PFOS positive result in Poestenkill" by Kenneth C. Crowe II on November 14, 2021, as follows:

POESTENKILL – The Rensselaer County Health Department reported Friday that one new property tested above the state permitted level for PFOA/PFOS and a source for the contamination has not yet been identified.

The county and state agencies are investigating to determine if there may be multiple, unrelated sources for the contamination.


end quotes

That revelation in the November 14, 2021 Times Union article about a source for the contamination has not yet been identified, despite the “coordinated, science-based approach to investigate the source of PFAS contamination in drinking water in the community” the county and state agencies are using to investigate to determine if there may be multiple, unrelated sources for the contamination takes us to a NYSDEC COMMUNITY UPDATE NOVEMBER 2021 - PROTECTING POESTENKILL’S DRINKING WATER AND INVESTIGATING PFAS CONTAMINATION, wherein we were informed as follows with regard to the “coordinated, science-based approach to investigate the source of PFAS contamination in drinking water in the community,” to wit:

The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Health (DOH), and the Rensselaer County Department of Health (RCDOH), are working together to protect the public health and environment of the Poestenkill community.

To update the community on the ongoing efforts to protect drinking water supplies and investigate potential sources of contamination, DEC, DOH, and RCDOH are holding two public availability sessions on Wednesday, Dec. 8, from 3 to 5 p.m. and again from 6 to 8 p.m.

At the availability sessions, DEC, DOH, and RCDOH experts will staff individual stations on the various aspects of the investigation and agency response, providing opportunities for local residents to ask questions of experts one on one.

Like an open house, residents can arrive and depart at any time during the sessions.

Join representatives from DEC, DOH, RCDOH, and the Town of Poestenkill to learn about efforts to protect drinking water supplies and investigate PFAS contamination.

The State and County’s comprehensive investigation began after DOH-required public water supply sampling at the Algonquin Middle School detected the emerging contaminants per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), specifically perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), at levels slightly above New York’s public drinking water standards for these emerging contaminants of 10 parts per trillion (ppt).

Potential Source Investigations

Waste Management Transfer Station.

A sample from the water supply well located at the transfer station was collected and analyzed for PFAS compounds in September.

No exceedances of drinking water standards were found.

Further investigations at the transfer station may be warranted depending on the results of DEC’s investigation efforts in the area.

DEC, DOH, and RCDOH experts will continue to keep the community informed about the area-wide activities throughout the process and are always available to answer questions from residents.

Please see “who to Contact” below for key points of contact.

WHO TO CONTACT

DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
Susan Edwards (518) 402-9779

DEPT. OF HEALTH
Justin Deming (518) 402-7882

RENSSELAER COUNTY DEPT. OF HEALTH
Rich Elder (518) 270-2632


end quotes

Rich Elder of the Rensselaer County Department of Health listed as an “expert” there is the same Rich Elder who was quoted in a Times Union article titled “Rensselaer County expands PFOA testing in Poestenkill" by Kenneth C. Crowe II back on September 22, 2021, telling us at that time that there was no search on-going for a source, as follows:

The second round of testing that’s being done is data driven, said Richard Elder, the county Health Department’s director of environmental services.

Elder said the tests are to determine the potential exposure in drinking water rather than identifying a source of the PFOA contamination.


end quotes

As to Rich Elder being treated as an “expert” by the NYSDEC when he is not possessed of any knowledge or credentials that would qualify him as an “expert,” that subject was raised by myself as a New York State licensed professional engineer in a 4 December 2021 writing to Ms. Susan Edwards, NYSPE, Assistant Division Director, Division of Environmental Remediation, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-7011, RE: COMMUNITY UPDATE, NOVEMBER 2021, PROTECTING POESTENKILL’S DRINKING WATER AND INVESTIGATING PFAS CONTAMINATION, Two Public Availability Sessions Scheduled for Dec. 8, 2021; Addendum to initial question submittal for DEC expert on 8 Dec. 2021; My response to your reply on 1 December 2021, as follows:

Dear Ms. Edwards, NYSPE:

First of all, on behalf of the children in Poestenkill who have no voice of their own in this matter of PFOA in their drinking water, let me take this moment as a responsible, law-abiding citizen who is a grandfather and Poestenkill resident for over seventy (70) years and who further is a New York state licensed professional engineer qualified by exam to practice in New York state as an associate level public health engineer who sincerely believes that the sole purpose of licensing engineers in New York state and the sole duty of such licensed engineers is to protect and safeguard the life, health and property of the people of the state, to thank you for taking the time you did to respond to my communication to you in this above matter dated 24 November 2021 in the supercilious, arrogant, haughty, condescending, disrespectful and insulting manner you did, where you simply blew off as irrelevant all of my comments and concerns about PFOS in my drinking water, and instead chose to treat me with undisguised contempt as if I were retarded, moronic and stupid, which is the best evidence I can now provide to my fellow townspeople in Poestenkill similarly situated as I am with PFOS in my well to demonstrate to them exactly how they too are going to be treated by the DEC on 8 December 2021 at this so-called "community meeting" on PFOA the DEC is holding at the Algonquin school, given that you responded to my questions as a New York state licensed professional engineer further qualified as a senior environmental engineer, which according to 6 NYCRR 637.6(d) is a position responsible for planning, directing and administering all environmental programs, or has responsible charge of all engineering functions in an agency having regulatory responsibility for a political subdivision of less than 100,000 population or, under administrative supervision, has responsibility for the same or similar functions for segments of an environmental conservation program in an agency having regulatory responsibility for a political subdivision of 100,000 or greater population, who now holds the position of Assistant Division Director of the Division of Environmental Remediation of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation since October of 2021, which means you are speaking for the Department and with the voice of Commissioner Seggos and Governor Hochul when you insult me and dismiss me as a mental defective, which also sends a very powerful message to me personally as to the treatment I would expect to find waiting for me if I were so stupid as to attend the DEC function on 8 December at Algonquin school in person, which takes us to the "ambush" nature of this Flim-Flam in Poestenkill on 8 December as detailed in your 1 December 2021 reply to me, to wit:

The topic of the availability sessions is specific to the PFOA found in the area, actions that are being taken to determine any impact and the potential source of these compounds.

* * * * *
Where has that been disclosed to anyone in Poestenkill, that they are going to be limited in what they can ask about on 8 December 2021?

What about all of the people in Poestenkill such as myself who want to know what is going to be done to restore to us the potable water we once had?

Are those questions off-limits, then?

Which takes us back to your 1 December 2021 reply to me, as follows:

At the Availability Sessions, there will be staff from all three agencies including engineers, geologists, toxicologists, health specialists and research scientists available to answer questions.

* * * * *

In the light of the contemptuous nature of your 1 December 2021 reply to me, where you write me off on behalf of the NYSDEC and its Commissioner as a mental defective, and given that you are the "leader" of these people who are very likely now infected with your poisonous attitude towards us, that is not good enough to tell us that "At the Availability Sessions, there will be staff from all three agencies including engineers, geologists, toxicologists, health specialists and research scientists available to answer questions."

We want and are entitled to the curriculum vitaes of each of them in a timely manner BEFORE 8 December 2021, and we want to know what role each and every one of them plays in this alleged "comprehensive investigation" so that we can determine if they really are experts in anything, which would allow us to formulate our questions accordingly.

And we want the FULL DISCLOSURE we are entitled to as to exactly what set of rules, regulations or technical guidance are driving this so-called "investigation," which seems very much a clown show to me based on a recent Albany 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 learned the latest in this comic opera farce, to wit:

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.”

So far, the county has announced test results for 77 homes.

Of these, 10 homes have reported results over 10 ppt.

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

The county Health Department, DEC and the state Health Department have scheduled public sessions from 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 8, at Algonquin Middle School to discuss efforts being made to protect drinking water and the PFOA/PFAS investigation that is being conducted.

* * * * *

So after testing seventy-seven homes for PFOA, with ten (10) wells above ten parts per trillion, and eight (8) above five parts per trillion, and eleven (11) wells testing above zero and below five parts per trillion and twenty-three (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 RCHD still remains totally stumped, baffled and flummoxed as to where the elusive source might in fact be, with rumors of a couple of promising sites in Missouri, a few more in Montana, because that is uphill from us, and the most likely sources being in Outer Mongolia, which takes us back to your 1 December 2021 reply to me, to wit:

The topic of the availability sessions is specific to the PFOA found in the area, actions that are being taken to determine any impact and the potential source of these compounds.

* * * * *

Given that just eight (8) days before the 8 December 2021, PFOA meeting, on 30 November 2021, the Rensselaer County Department of Health was reporting that it has no clue about where the PFOA could be coming from, maybe even from outer space, what is it that we can expect your experts to tell us on 8 December 2021 when we ask them about the potential source of these compounds?

Will they know what the RCHD clearly does not know?

In which case, why doesn't the RCHD know anything if your experts know different?

And that takes us to this Richard Elder, who you are pawning off on us as one of your "experts" on 8 December 2021, supposedly one of the most outstanding and highly respected public health engineers there is in America serving as Associate Public Health Engineer and Director of Environmental Health in the Rensselaer County Health District, and an expert not only on the modeling the mass transfer characteristics of plug flow of PFOA in groundwater as well as diffusion and transport of PFOA in groundwater, but on the bioaccumulation of PFOA in human beings as an Associate level public health engineer since public concern about PFOA has increased since its detection in blood serum and breast milk of humans, and as Rensselaer County Health District associate public health engineer, it is Mr. Elder's duty to provide guidance to the general public in regard to environmental health problems such as Poestenkill is now confronted with, 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.

As a licensed professional engineer who has actually spoken to this Elder, or rather, had him speaking on the phone to me when he called me at home a week or so ago to inform me that I had PFOS in my well, and that he wasn't concerned about it, so I am on my own, that contaminated water being "good enough" for me in his opinion, I do not believe for a moment that he is any kind of expert in anything, nor do I believe that he is licensed as an engineer or qualified to practice as an associate level public health engineer, nor will I accept him as such without proof that he is what you say he is, which brings us to § 29.1(b)(10) of the Rules Of the New York State Board of Regents which defines unprofessional conduct by licensed professional engineers such as yourself as delegating professional responsibilities to a person when the licensee delegating such responsibilities knows or has reason to know that such person is not qualified, by training, by experience or by licensure, to perform them; and § 29.3(a)(1), General provisions for design professions, which defines unprofessional conduct by licensed engineers such as yourself as "being associated in a professional capacity with any project or practice known to the licensee to be fraudulent or dishonest in character, or not reporting knowledge of such fraudulence or dishonesty to the Education Department."

Foisting off a non-engineer on us as an expert in public health matters who is qualified to practice as an associate public health engineer, as Elder in fact claims to be, a professional position requiring a valid license to practice as a professional engineer in New York, is unprofessional practice on your part, if in fact you are claiming him as your expert, which would evince a lack of moral fitness on your part to practice the profession.


end quotes

For the record, Ms. Edwards, PE, never responded to that letter, which takes us to a WGXC-90.7 FM article titled “More PFOA found in Poestenkill wells” on November 19, 2021, where we had as follows concerning this “coordinated, science-based approach to investigate the source of PFAS contamination in drinking water in the community,” to wit:

Kenneth C. Crowe II reports in the Times Union that two more water wells in Poestenkill have tested above the state levels of 10 parts per trillion for PFOA.

That's now 10 wells poisoned with "forever chemicals" since PFOAs were first discovered in January in water at the Algonquin Middle School in Rensselaer County.

Judith Enck, a former Region 2 administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Poestenkill Councilman Eric Wohlleber, who are both on the steering committee of Concerned Citizens for Clean Drinking Water, met with Gov. Kathy Hochul Nov. 18 about the issue.


end quotes

There we have Poestenkill “Deputy Supervisor” Eric Wohlleber, supposedly a member of the “team” along with NYSDEC involved in the alleged “coordinated, science-based approach to investigate the source of PFAS contamination in drinking water in the community,” being tied directly to the leadership of the sham citizen’s group Concerned Citizens for Clean Drinking Water (CCCDW) that is supposedly holding NYSDEC and the Town of Poestenkill to account with respect to this alleged “coordinated, science-based approach to investigate the source of PFAS contamination in drinking water in the community,” which takes us back to the WGXC-90.7 FM article, as follows:

"I am hopeful that Governor Hochul and her administration are taking this issue seriously, and (are) committed to ensuring a more open and transparent approach between [the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of Health], and local residents."

"To date, the DEC and DOH are failing the residents of Poestenkill and wasting time, resources, and New York state taxpayer dollars while these officials are still not looking for the source of the contamination,” Wohlleber said.

The Rensselaer County Health Department, the DEC, and the state DOH will hold a public forum from 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 8, at Algonquin Middle School to discuss the issue.


end quotes

From there we go to a Times Union story titled "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 November 30, 2021, to wit:

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.


end quotes

With regard to the absurdist drama nature of this alleged “coordinated, science-based approach to investigate the source of PFAS contamination in drinking water in the community,” and keeping in mind that in a WGXC-90.7 FM article on November 19, 2021 titled “More PFOA found in Poestenkill wells,” Poestenkill Deputy Supervisor Eric Wohlleber, who is also on the steering committee of the sham citizen’s group CCCDW, had stated "To date, the DEC and DOH are failing the residents of Poestenkill and wasting time, resources, and New York state taxpayer dollars while these officials are still not looking for the source of the contamination,” that takes us to a Rensselaer County press release titled “12/2/21 – Seventh Round of Testing for PFOA/PFOS in Poestenkill Finds Three New Samples in Residential Properties,” where we have as follows:

The county and state have been investigating the possibility of multiple, unrelated sources for the contamination.

“Even after seven rounds of testing, no source of the contamination has been determined."

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

“Residents should know the county continues to work cooperatively with the state and the town to provide an effective response to this issue."

"Residents can call our office at 518-270-2632 if they have additional questions,” added Wachunas.


end quotes

In the light of Poestenkill Deputy Supervisor Eric Wohlleber having previously informed us on 19 November 2021 that "(T)o date, the DEC and DOH are failing the residents of Poestenkill and wasting time, resources, and New York state taxpayer dollars while these officials are still not looking for the source of the contamination,” the statement by Mary Fran Wachunas of the RCDOH 2 December 2021 that “Residents should know the county continues to work cooperatively with the state and the town to provide an effective response to this issue" is absurd and serves to further illustrate the farcical nature of the alleged “coordinated, science-based approach to investigate the source of PFAS contamination in drinking water in the community.”

Which takes us to a Troy Record article titled "Three new samples of PFOA/PFOS found in Poestenkill" by Record Staff on December 5, 2021, to wit:

POESTENKILL, N.Y. — A seventh round of sampling of properties in Poestenkill for PFOA has been concluded, with three new properties found to have levels of PFOA above the state-permitted levels, county officials announced.

With the conclusion of the seventh round of testing, a source for the contamination has still not been discovered.

The county and state have been investigating the possibility of multiple, unrelated sources for the contamination.

“Even after seven rounds of testing, no source of the contamination has been determined."

"We are continuing to work with the state to find the source or sources for the PFOA contamination and to get more answers,” Rensselaer County Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas said in a recent news release.

No source for the contamination has been determined during the seven rounds of testing.

The lack of a source has restricted the ability for widespread testing.

Town officials have been informed, along with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the state Department of Health.

“Residents should know the county continues to work cooperatively with the state and the town to provide an effective response to this issue."


end quotes

And that takes us to a Spectrum article titled “Lack of answers on water contamination frustrates Poestenkill residents" by Spencer Conlin on December 9, 2021, where NYSDEC Executive Deputy Commissioner Sean Mahar, who has been “following the science,” makes another appearance on the record, to wit:

Nearly a year after levels of contamination were discovered in the Rensselaer County town of Poestenkill, officials have still not pinpointed the source of the toxic PFAS chemicals, leading to growing frustration among residents and town officials.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has been investigating the contamination since January.

“We started around the school because that was our first site of a detection,” DEC Chief of Staff Sean Mahar said.

He said gathering a snapshot of private wells around the school is a critical step in determining the area’s hydrology and finding the source of the PFAS.

“We started to look at some other facilities that residents have told us to look at, including Dynamics Systems and Saint-Gobain, however, they’re miles away from the school,” Mahar said.

Some in the community said the work is not happening fast enough.

“We’re no closer today than we were in January to finding the source,” Town Councilman Eric Wohlleber said.

He said the response from the county and state health departments and DEC has fallen short, and he’s calling on them to expedite additional testing, which is costing some residents more than $300 to complete.


end quotes

They were no closer to finding the source on 9 December 2021 because they were not looking for a source on 9 December 2021, having already ruled out the obvious source, that being the NYSDEC-permitted Poestenkill transfer station operated by the politically powerful Waste Management of New York, LLC, as we see by going to a NEWS 10 article titled "DEC launches new web page on PFOA contamination in Poestenkill" by Sara Rizzo on December 22, 2021, as follows:

POESTENKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has launched a new web page for information on the PFOA contamination in Poestenkill.

The source of the contamination has still not been found.

The web page includes maps on the testing locations and a map showing potential sources for the contamination.

It also includes some properties that were tested for PFOA and were found not to be sources.

These include Poestenkill Landfill and the Waste Management Transfer Station.


end quotes

And POOF, just like that, based on nothing, all of a sudden, big surprise, the NYSDEC-regulated Poestenkill transfer station operated by politically-powerful Waste Management of New York, LLC, is no longer a suspect, which is proof positive of just how effective this whitewash has been for them, as was intended, which brings us to a NEWS 10 story titled "Officials no closer to finding source of PFOA contamination in Poestenkill, says councilmember" by Richard Roman on January 8, 2022, as follows:

POESTENKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) – PFOA and PFAS have been detected in several wells in Poestenkill, including Algonquin Middle School.

PFOA was originally found in the middle school in January 2021.

However, officials have yet to find a source for the contamination.

Poestenkill Town Councilmember Eric Wohlleber said the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is no closer to finding the source of the contamination than they were a year ago.

Wohlleber is calling on the DEC and New York State Department of Health (DOH) to provide a list of potential sources of the contamination that will include a plan of suggestions provided by the residents of Poestenkill, to dig monitoring wells along with testing results.

“We must find the source of the contamination, identify the area which is impacted and begin the remediation process, as soon as possible,” said Wohlleber.

“At the current pace, NYSDEC and NYSDOH show no eagerness to seriously identify the source, and have not shared a plan which will set residents’ concerns at ease that the necessary steps are being taken.”

“In one-year, our residents have witnessed a lackadaisical effort by the NYSDEC and NYSDOH to ensure we have safe drinking water."

"Our residents are not asking for special treatment, just the same support, and urgency which was given to our neighbors in Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh,” said Wohlleber.

The DEC said they have taken immediate action to address PFAS in Poestenkill and are thoroughly investigating any potential sources for the contamination.

“Responding to drinking water contamination in Poestenkill, or any community in New York, is always a top priority for the State."

"We have been on the ground in this community since the contamination was first detected at Algonquin Middle School to immediately address any potential exposure to PFAS contamination and protect public health."

"In the year since, our experts are working directly with the county and the town in a coordinated, science-based approach to investigate this issue and take action."

"We have extensive investigative work underway in this community to evaluate any potential sources of groundwater contamination in the vicinity of the Middle School, and have already preliminarily ruled out several potential sources including the transfer station and Poestenkill landfill."

"We look forward to continuing to keep residents and officials informed throughout the process.”

- DEC EXECUTIVE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SEAN MAHAR


end quotes

There we have the emergence of the catch-phrase “a coordinated, science-based approach to investigate this issue and take action," as NYSDEC Executive Deputy Commissioner, based on nothing at all but a whim, confirms for us on 8 January 2022 that the NYSDEC-regulated Poestenkill transfer station has been ruled out by NYSDEC as a source, which takes us to a CBS 6 article titled "One year after PFOA/PFAS found in Poestenkill, town official calls for more to be done" by J.T. Fetch on January 8, 2022, to wit:

POESTENKILL - It has been one year since elevated levels of potentially dangerous PFAS chemicals were found in drinking water in the Rensselaer County Town of Poestenkill, and local officials are still pushing for the state to do more to find the source.

Local officials say on January 7, 2021, NYS officials learned that there were elevated levels of PFOA/PFAS in the well water serving the Algonquin Middle School.

However, DEC says they remain committed to finding where the chemicals are coming from, and say the testing process has been a phased and targeted approach by the county and the state.

DEC officials also say they're continuing to follow the science:

"These again are very low level detections of these emerging contaminants, just above the MCL."

"The data that we have so far doesn't lead us to believe that there's a larger plume or potential source of this contamination, but that's what we have to figure out right now, and that's why we're doing the investigation work exactly the way we are."

"We're letting science be our guide,” said Sean Mahar, an Executive Deputy Commissioner with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.


end quotes

And there we have more “following the science” by NYSDEC, while “letting science be our guide,” which “science” served the needs of politically-powerful Waste Management of New York, LLC, operators of the NYSDEC-permitted Poestenkill transfer station quite well, as it removed them from the list of suspects, even though they were the only obvious source, which takes us to a NEWS 10 article titled "Source of PFOA in Poestenkill still unclear after 8th round of testing" by Sara Rizzo on January 19, 2022, as follows:

POESTENKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) — After eight rounds of PFOA testing in Poestenkill, officials still have not found the source or sources of the contamination.

Officials said the source of the contamination has still not been found.

The county and state have been investigating the possibility of multiple, unrelated sources.

“Residents should know the county continues to work cooperatively with the state and the town to provide an effective response to this issue."


end quotes

And from there we go to a WAMC article titled "Officials provide Poestenkill PFAS update" by Lucas Willard on February 25, 2022, as follows:

State health and environmental officials provided an update on an ongoing investigation into PFAS contamination to Poestenkill residents Thursday night.

The investigation into PFAS contamination in an area surrounding the Algonquin Middle School continues.

Officials provided an update Thursday on a Zoom call organized by the Concerned Citizens for Clean Drinking Water group.

Nearby commercial facilities have been identified by the State Department of Environmental Conservation as potential sources of the contamination, but those sites have not yet been investigated.

DEC says it will investigate if testing at the middle school indicates a migration of pollution from one or more of the businesses.

Brittany O’Brien-Drake is a DEC geologist:

“Overall, the data we collected during this preliminary investigation did not indicate an obvious source on or off the school property, however additional sampling is warranted,” said O’Brien-Drake.

Sampling has also led DEC to conclude two manufacturing facilities located two miles north of the middle school are not contributing to the school’s well pollution.

Sampling from monitoring wells at a Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Facility showed low-level concentrations of PFOS and PFOA.

DEC and DOH do not believe further action is required at the Saint-Gobain location.

DEC says while the PFAS contamination at DSI is not impacting drinking water supplies near the middle school, more sampling will be conducted to identify potential exposures near the Superfund site.


end quotes

And from there we go back to the Times Union and a story titled "Source of PFOA/PFAS contamination still hunted in Poestenkill" by Kenneth C. Crowe II on February 26, 2022, where we have the following on “following the science” while letting “science be the guide,” to wit:

POESTENKILL – State and Rensselaer County agencies are planning more work as they attempt to locate the source of the PFOA/PFOS contamination around the Algonquin Middle School, where a filter system is being installed on the school water system.

The community’s worries about PFOA/PFOS contaminating private wells began about a year ago when the substances were found in tests of the school’s drinking water.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation delivered its latest community update Friday and the Concerned Citizens for Clean Drinking Water held a Zoom meeting Thursday night attended by 50 people to hear from town, county, DEC and state Health Department representatives about the situation.

“At this time, DEC has not identified a potential source of the contaminants impacting groundwater at the Algonquin Middle School water supply or private drinking water supplies in the area, and additional field activities are being developed and implemented."

"DEC and DOH will continue to keep the community informed throughout the process,” DEC reported Friday.

The Poestenkill landfill site and the manufacturing sites for Dynamic Systems Inc. and Saint-Gobain on Main Street/Route 355 are not believed to be sources of the contamination in the vicinity of the school.


end quotes

And from there we go to a “NYSDEC COMMUNITY UPDATE - FEBRUARY 2022 - POESTENKILL PFAS INVESTIGATION,” as follows:

Updates: New Investigation Summary Reports

The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Health (DOH), and the Rensselaer County Department of Health (RCDOH), are working together to protect the public health and environment of the Poestenkill community.

The following is an update from the November 2021 community update.

Potential Nearby Sources of PFAS

Nearby commercial properties that are being considered as potential sources of PFAS due to the nature of their operations include Valente Lumber, Cooper’s Used Auto Parts, the WM Transfer Station, Haas Manufacturing, and a former car wash.

DEC remains open to conducting sampling on these properties with the owner’s consent.

Should the results of the ongoing investigation at the Algonquin Middle School indicate that contamination is migrating onto the school property from one or more of these businesses, DEC will take appropriate actions to investigate the source.

At this time, DEC has not identified a potential source of the detections of emerging contaminants impacting groundwater at the Algonquin Middle School s water supply or private drinking water supplies in the area, and additional field activities are being developed and implemented.

WHO TO CONTACT

DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

Eric Hausamann (518) 402 9759


end quotes

Which takes us to another publication of the NYSDEC titled “NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION - Poestenkill PFAS Investigation - NEARBY PROPERTY INVESTIGATIONS WORK PLAN (SPILL NO. 2105197), POESTENKILL, NY, MAY 2022, Kathy Hochul, Governor | Basil Seggos, Commissioner,” as follows:

As outlined in the May 2022 Community Update; DEC requested Waste Management of New York (WMNY), the operator of the Poestenkill Transfer Station, to collect and analyze samples for PFAS from the underground leachate collection vault, the small pond, two former drinking water supply wells, and from any existing groundwater monitoring wells (if present).

WMNY agreed to this request and those samples were collected and are now being analyzed.

DEC also requested that WMNY provide documentation of leachate discharged to the Schenectady wastewater treatment plant over the past five years and results of any tests for leaks related to the leachate collection system.

WMNY agreed and completed the sampling tasks.

Once a final report is received, DEC will review and determine if additional sampling is warranted.

If it is warranted, the sampling methodology will be performed as outlined in this workplan.

DEC is currently focused on collecting samples as outlined in this work plan on or near the Hass Manufacturing property, the Historic Car Wash location, the Coopers Tire Disposal area, and the Valente Lumber property.


end quotes

As we have already seen from the NYSDEC’s own records, however, as was reported in my writing of 1 July 2022, the statement that WMNY took samples from two former drinking water supply wells is patently false based on the field notes of Anthony Bollasina, P.G., to wit:

4/20/22 8 A.M.

Walked to the vacant houses on the eastern side of the property to see the former water supply wells.


end quotes

And from there we go back to the Times Union to an article titled "Poestenkill home wells to be retested for PFOA/PFOS contamination - Source of pollutants linked to cancers and other health problems in humans has still not been identified" by Kenneth C. Crowe II on May 17, 2022, where we have as follows:

POESTENKILL – Private wells that were just under the state’s drinking water standard for PFOA/PFOS contamination will be retested as state and local agencies continue to grapple with determining the source of the pollutants, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

DEC issued its first update Monday since February on the continuing investigation of the PFOA/PFOS contamination in the area surrounding the Algonquin Middle School, which first identified the pollution of its water supplies in early 2021.

“The plan is for the county and the state to team up to resample properties that were indicated as having some level of contamination but under the state minimum contamination limit."

"We expect there will be up to 20 of those properties,” Richard Crist, the county director of operations, said Tuesday.

“At this time, DEC has not determined a source of the detections of PFOA and PFOS impacting groundwater at the Algonquin Middle School or private drinking water supplies in the area,” DEC said in its latest statement.

The agency said it would continue to work on identifying where the pollutants originated.

Judith Enck, a former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator and adviser to the Concerned Citizens for Clean Drinking Water, said the investigation needs to pick up its pace and scrutinize industrial sites for potential sources.

“It’s moving much too slowly."

"The agency has been fixated on suggesting that the middle school may be the source, which I don’t think is correct."

"There are other potential sources in town that DEC needs to step up on,” Enck said.


end quotes

Which brings us June 2, 2022, and the Hausamann letter in the Advertiser titled “Poestenkill PFAS Investigation Update” and this untrue statement, to wit:

The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Health (DOH) are working directly with Rensselaer County and the Town of Poestenkill using a coordinated, science-based approach to investigate the source of PFAS contamination in drinking water in the community.

end quote

That statement that the NYSDEC is working with the Town of Poestenkill using a “coordinated, science-based approach to investigate the source of PFAS contamination in drinking water in the community,” is untrue because Poestenkill Deputy Town Supervisor Eric Wohlleber, who would know because NYSDEC calls Poestenkill one of its “partners,” or a member of its “team” has stated on the record above that there is no attempt by the NYSDEC to find the source, which is the same conclusion a review of your records leads one to, and once again, Deputy Commissioner Glance, there is the game the NYSDEC is playing on us here in Poestenkill feeding us lies and misinformation with New York state licensed professional engineers attempting to put credence to the lies in the minds of the unsuspecting public with their engineer’s licenses.

So once again having brought that matter up to date, I will next detail for you my right to a healthful environment while responding to yours of 31 May 2022 and its attachments.

Respectfully,

Paul R. Plante, NYSPE
thelivyjr
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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr »

FROM THE NYSDEC RECORDS:

FROM: (name redacted for privacy reasons)

TO: R. Elder, RCHD; Justin Deming NYSDOH; Eric Hausamann, PE NYSDEC; Brittany O'Brien-Drake NYSDEC

CC: Robert L. Brunet, PE; Keith Hammond; Greg Pattenaude; Eric Wohlleber; Judith Enck; Phil LaRoque

SUBJECT: Information regarding wells at Transfer Station

DATE: Friday, February 25, 2022, 3:46:13 PM

Quick introduction - I am a member of the CCCDW and am the guy Bob Brunet mentioned about the maps.

I have spoken to Rich Elder and Justin Deming before.

I believe it was Eric Hausamann but maybe Brittany O'Brien who mentioned what might happen next at the transfer station and you asked if anyone had any information on whether there were any test wells on the property.

I cannot answer that for you, but what I do know, and perhaps you don't, is that the property was at some point I think in the 1980s granted a change to a Planned Development District.

I know very little about what that means but I know it was somewhat controversial here in town.

It allowed for lots within the property to be lived on as well as the garbage facility run by the owner, Benson Brothers.

Keith Hammond probably has lots of information on this.

The tax map PDF version for the property for Poestenkill shows these lots although without the earlier knowledge I would never have known what they meant.

You can see the lots marked 1, 2 and 3 in what is now the treed area and pond that was mentioned last night.

Aerial maps show some rooftops and local people tell me that there were houses there that people lived in.

So my point is that if people lived there they either had wells of their own or they somehow tapped off the well at the southwest corner.

I have no further information about them.

I will say that I found out about this when I started to use maps using the NY State GIS property parcel data.

Long story but that data still shows the property owned by Benson Brothers, with a PO Box in Chicago.

It does seem that someone tried to contact them there for a well test and got no response and then contacted Waste Management directly.

Again having 35 years of experience in software and 30 in GIS software, I am well aware of "data being wrong."

However, finding this made me investigate.

The small triangular property across the street which you identified as the location of the former car wash is also listed as being owned by Benson Brothers.

If you knew this already, sorry but someone asked about "wells" and there probably were some at some point.
thelivyjr
Site Admin
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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr »

thelivyjr wrote: Sun Jun 26, 2022 1:40 p Reference No: W103020-062622

Dear Paul R.:

Thank you for your Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request.

Your request has been received and is being processed.

Your request was received in this office on 6/26/2022 and given the reference number FOIL #W103020-062622 for tracking purposes.

You may expect the Department's response to your request no later than 7/26/2022.

Record Requested: Any and all records as that term is defined in New York State Public Officers Law § 86(4) for the period between 1 January 2021 and 27 September 2021 related to a response from DEC to an invitation extended to DEC by the Town of Poestenkill, which invitation was the subject of an article in THE ADVERTISER LOCAL GOVERNMENT titled Poestenkill PFOA Community Meeting dated September 23, 2021, wherein was stated "A Community Meeting is scheduled in Poestenkill, Rensselaer County to discuss PFOA found in drinking water at local school and nearby homes," and "Representatives from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, NYS Department of Health, and Rensselaer County Health Department have been invited to participate."

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Record Access Office

Office of General Counsel
P: (518) 402-9522 | F:
www.dec.ny.gov

RE: PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST of 6/26/2022, Reference # W103020-062622

Dear Paul R. Plante,

In regard to your Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, be advised that DEC is continuing to process your FOIL request.

We estimate that DEC will complete its process by 8/26/2022.

We will notify you in writing when/if the responsive materials are available for release or if more time is required to complete your request.

If you have any questions in the interim, please call the FOIL Unit at (518) 402-9522 and refer to FOIL request #W103020-062622, or simply reply to this email.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Records Access
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