THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

thelivyjr
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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr »

DON’T DRINK THE WATER! A TRUE STORY OF NUISANCE, NEGLIGENCE AND TRESPASS AND HOW A LITANY OF LIES, DERELICTION OF DUTY AND DEPRAVED INDIFFERENCE TO HUMAN LIFE IN POESTENKILL, NEW YORK, COUNTY OF RENSSELAER, RESULTED IN THE PFAS CONTAMINATION OF POESTENKILL’S GROUNDWATER: DEBUNKING POESTENKILL’S WILLFUL AND INTENTIONAL PFAS FALSEHOODS, continued ...

WE DO NOT NEED MORE TESTING AT THE TRANSFER STATION

A prime example of Councilman Wohlleber’s attempts after 20 June 2022 to continue to mislead the people of Poestenkill as to the source of the PFAS in our water is his statement about Waste Management “doing their own testing,” as if the incriminating results of that testing were somehow flawed and thus, not accurate.

That premise is faulty and untrue because the fact of the matter is that Waste Management did not do their own testing at the Poestenkill transfer station.

To the contrary, the testing was done by Barton & Loguidice according to testing specifications provided to them by NYSDEC, and as we see from the following e-mails obtained through FOIL, those tests were witnessed by NYSDEC personnel, which makes Councilman Wohlleber’s assertions about WMNY doing its own testing misleading and inconsistent with the facts in the record because on April 11, 2022, Eric Hausamann, Chief, Section D, Remedial Bureau D, Division of Environmental Remediation sent a letter 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 with copies to D. Harrington/B. O’Brien-Drake, DEC, B. Maglienti, DEC Region 4, wherein six (6) tasks were outlined to be performed as follows:

DEC requests that WMNY perform the numbered tasks below.

In the event WMNY refuses to perform the requested tasks, DEC will perform them using its authority under ECL Article 3, Paragraph 2(g), to “enter and inspect any property or premises for the purpose of investigating either actual or suspected sources of pollution or contamination."

1. Collect samples from each of the former potable water supply wells serving the two residential structures located along the east side of the property as well as any existing groundwater monitoring wells

2. Collect a sample of the wastewater within the leachate storage tank

3. Collect a surface water sample from the small pond located east of the leachate storage tank

4. Provide documentation of leachate discharged to the Schenectady wastewater treatment plant over the past 5 years, including numbers of pump out events, annual volume, and chemical analysis

5. Provide documentation on any tests for leaks related to the leachate collection system including the secondary containment associated with the buried storage tank

6. Measure the total depth of the transfer facility’s water supply well located at the front of the property and provide well installation records.


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Thereafter, on April 15, 2022 @ 2:28 PM, Warren Harris IV sent an e-mail to Eric Hausamann, wherein was stated as following confirming the six above tasks to be performed, to wit:

Eric,

As indicated in my call with you today, WM will perform the requested six tasks at the Poestenkill Transfer Station in your letter dated April 11, 2022.

We will be in touch on our sampling schedule.

Thanks

Warren


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That was followed up by an e-mail from Eric Hausamann to Susan Edwards, with copies to Sally Rushford (HEALTH); Brian Maglienti (DEC); David Harrington (DEC); Brittany M. O’Brien-Drake (DEC); Anthony J. Bollasina (DEC); and Justin Deming (HEALTH) on Friday, April 15, 2022 @ 2:30:21 PM, wherein the six tasks to be performed were again verified, including to Anthony Bollasina, PG, to wit:

Hi all.

I just got off the phone with Warren Harris, transfer station manager in Poestenkill.

WMNY has agreed to perform the sampling and other tasks outlined in the letter we sent to them earlier this week.

He anticipates collecting the samples on Wednesday 4/20 around noon.

DER will have a representative there to witness sampling activities.

Have a happy weekend,

Eric


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That was followed up by an e-mail from Warren Harris IV on Monday, April 18, 2022 @ 8:27 AM to Eric Hausamann (DEC) wherein was stated as follows with respect to the testing, to wit:

Eric,

We plan on taking the leachate tank sample and surface pond sample this Wednesday April 20th at 8:00 AM if you would like to be present.

Please let me know if you or anyone else will be on site.

Thanks

Warren


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And that e-mail was responded to as follows by Eric Hausamann (DEC), on Tuesday, April 19, 2022 @ 1:23 PM to Warren Harris IV, with copies to Brittany M. O'Brien-Drake (DEC); and Anthony J. Bollasina (DEC), as follows:

Hi Warren.

Thanks for the notice.

Two of my staff, Brittany O'Brien-Drake (who you met last month) and Tony Bollasina, will meet you at the transfer station tomorrow to observe the planned sampling activities.

Eric


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So other than the fact that the results obtained are very inconvenient to Poestenkill and its on-going whitewash, there is absolutely nothing wrong with those test results, so calling for more testing is just a dodge and a stall tactic by Councilman Wohlleber in this matter.

TO BE CONTINUED ...
thelivyjr
Site Admin
Posts: 56846
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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr »

DON’T DRINK THE WATER! A TRUE STORY OF NUISANCE, NEGLIGENCE AND TRESPASS AND HOW A LITANY OF LIES, DERELICTION OF DUTY AND DEPRAVED INDIFFERENCE TO HUMAN LIFE IN POESTENKILL, NEW YORK, COUNTY OF RENSSELAER, RESULTED IN THE PFAS CONTAMINATION OF POESTENKILL’S GROUNDWATER: DEBUNKING POESTENKILL’S WILLFUL AND INTENTIONAL PFAS FALSEHOODS, continued ...

RESPONSIBLITY FOR STATE’S RESPONSE LIES DIRECTLY WITH POESTENKILL COUNCILMAN ERIC WOHLLEBER AND FORMER SPITZER CHIEF POLICY ADVISOR JUDITH ENCK

If we go back to the transcript of the 9 November 2022 Mark Dunlea Show from The Sanctuary For Independent Media, which show is called the Hudson Mohawk Magazine, a locally-produced news hour that provides sanctuary for the discussion of a wide range of ideas and advances the organizational mission of the Sanctuary For Independent Media to use art to promote freedom of expression, including the freedom of expression of Poestenkill Councilman and self-styled Poestenkill “deputy supervisor” Eric Wohlleber to lie to the people of Poestenkill about the source of the PFAS in Poestenkill’s groundwater, we find Councilman Wohlleber stating as follows on the record, to wit:

MARK DUNLEA: (4.51) Now, I know in other situations where you have a contaminated water supply just as we saw out in Hoosick Falls a couple of years ago with PFOA you know one tries to find out well who contaminated the water supply and then try to hold them financially responsible for that.

Has there been much progress in that area to be honest state officials seem not that gung-ho about it expending a lot of resources trying to figure out where this contamination is actually coming from?

ERIC WOHLLEBER: (5.24) Yeah, you know, Mark, I've been very critical of the state's response to this and I continue to be.


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In point of fact, however, the truth is that right from the very beginning, that being January of 2021, Poestenkill Councilman Eric Wohlleber has been intimately involved with what started out as a cover-up, and then evolved into a whitewash in September of 2021, as we see in this Letter To The Editor of the Advertiser, a local newspaper, from this Petitioner titled “On PFOA in Poestenkill” on August 26, 2021, wherein was stated as follows, 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 us to this further evidence of a whitewash in the making: "During the timeframe since our last update, Supervisor Keith Hammond, Deputy Town Supervisor Eric Wohlleber, and I have been actively working with the RCDOH and the NYSDOH to further insure that the wells nearby the school are providing safe water for our residents."

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

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


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And that is exactly what has been going on in Poestenkill ever since, the continual reinforcement of falsehoods by the clever manipulation of the local media by Wohlleber and Enck, which takes us to a public notice in the September 23, 2021 Advertiser Local Government section titled “Poestenkill PFOA Community Meeting,” wherein Councilman Wohlleber makes his first public appearance as the Master of Ceremonies and Producer and Director of this on-going whitewash, to wit:

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

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

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.


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As to evidence of Councilman Wohlleber taking control of the investigation and steering the DEC away from the sacrosanct Poestenkill transfer station, a source of income for the town of Poestenkill, all we need do is to go to a State of Politics article titled "PFOAs in Poestenkill: Is it another Hoosick Falls?" by Susan Arbetter on September 29, 2021, where we have as follows on that subject, to wit:

“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
.

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Thereafter, on November 19, 2021, WGXC-90.7 FM posted an article titled “More PFOA found in Poestenkill wells” on November 19, 2021, where we had as follows concerning Poestenkill Councilman Eric Wohlleber directing 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.


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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), which faux “citizen’s group” in Poestenkill was created by Wohlleber and Enck to control communications and to act as a filter/censor of information to protect Waste Management of New York, LLC, at the Poestenkill transfer station, which faux “citizen’s group” 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.


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Those “officials,” all part of the same team of whitewashers to protect Waste Management of New York, LLC., are failing the residents of Poestenkill and wasting time, resources, and New York state taxpayer dollars precisely because Wohlleber and Enck had them running around on a wild goose chase all over creation looking for chimeras and will-o-the-wisps, as we saw in the State of Politics article titled "PFOAs in Poestenkill: Is it another Hoosick Falls?" by Susan Arbetter on September 29, 202, where Wolleber and Enck were sending the DEC haring off miles away from the Algonquin School and hydraulically down-gradient to the now-closed and extensively studied Poestenkill landfill and a private company on State Route 355 in Poestenkill, and as we see again in an October 6, 2021 writing from Daphne Jordan, State Senator, 43rd District to The Honorable Basil Seggos, Commissioner, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233 and Dr. Howard Zucker, Commissioner, NYS Department of Health, Empire State Plaza, Corning Tower, Albany, New York 12237, wherein was stated "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."

The October 6, 2021 Jordan letter to Commissioner Seggos continued by stating "(I)n 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," stating further that "(A)dditionally, Dynamic Systems, Inc., in Poestenkill should be tested and evaluated as a potential source of PFOA."

For the record, Dynamic Systems, Inc. is miles away from the affected zone around the Poestenkill transfer station and over a hundred feet lower in elevation, and never was the source.

And to see how absurd this whitewash attempt is, in a Times Union article titled “Rensselaer County expands PFOA testing in Poestenkill" by Kenneth C. Crowe II on September 22, 2021, we were informed, 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.


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Bottom line, throughout this whitewash, from its beginnings in January of 2021, to the present time, two (2) full years later, Wohlleber, Enck and all the other whitewashers have never been looking for the source, and have no intentions to do so.

TO BE CONTINUED ...
thelivyjr
Site Admin
Posts: 56846
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:40 p

Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr »

DON’T DRINK THE WATER! A TRUE STORY OF NUISANCE, NEGLIGENCE AND TRESPASS AND HOW A LITANY OF LIES, DERELICTION OF DUTY AND DEPRAVED INDIFFERENCE TO HUMAN LIFE IN POESTENKILL, NEW YORK, COUNTY OF RENSSELAER, RESULTED IN THE PFAS CONTAMINATION OF POESTENKILL’S GROUNDWATER: DEBUNKING POESTENKILL’S WILLFUL AND INTENTIONAL PFAS FALSEHOODS, concluded ...

CONCLUSION - WHAT THE LEGISLATURE HATH SOWED WE IN POESTENKILL REAP THE HARVEST OF

On November 8, 1938, §3 of Article XVII of the New York State Constitution, titled Social Welfare, was approved by vote of the people, and with good reason, as that was a time in New York state history when the ravages of Cholera and Typhoid Fever still existed.

That Constitutional article stated clearly and unequivocally that "(T)he protection and promotion of the health of the inhabitants of the state are matters of public concern and provision therefor shall be made by the state and by such of its subdivisions and in such manner, and by such means as the legislature shall from time to time determine."

In response, the New York State Legislature enacted New York State Public Health Law § 203, wherein is stated thusly:

The commissioner shall be a physician, a graduate of an incorporated medical college, of at least ten years' experience in the actual practice of his profession, and of skill and experience in public health duties and sanitary science.

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Thus we see that originally, we had a real public health professional who had to prove competence in the field before being approved as New York State Health Commissioner and being held responsible for protecting and promoting our health and well-being as citizens of New York state.

With regard to insuring the political independence of the New York State Health Commissioner, making that office supposedly immune to political meddling to protect polluters and law breakers, in New York State Public Health Law § 204(1), the New York State Legislature provided as follows, to wit:

The commissioner shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate and shall hold office until the end of the term of the governor by whom he was appointed and until his successor is appointed and has qualified.

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That the New York State Health Commissioner being held accountable to the people of New York State for protecting and promoting the health of the residents of New York State by enforcing the Public Health Law and Sanitary Code, was made incandescently clear by the New York State Legislature in New York State Public Health Law § 206, to wit:

1. The commissioner shall:

(a) take cognizance of the interests of health and life of the people of the state, and of all matters pertaining thereto and exercise the functions, powers and duties of the department prescribed by law;

(b) exercise general supervision over the work of all local boards of health and health officers, unless otherwise provided by law;

(d) investigate the causes of disease, epidemics, the sources of mortality, and the effect of localities, employments and other conditions, upon the public health;

(f) enforce the public health law, the sanitary code and the provisions of the medical assistance program, or its successor, pursuant to titles eleven, eleven-A and eleven-B of the social services law, as amended by this chapter;


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Thus, for the first twenty-four (24) years of this Petitioner’s life as a resident of the Rensselaer County Health District, this Petitioner and his drinking water enjoyed true professional public health protection.

All of that changed, however, in 1970, when the New York State Legislature created the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and stripped the Division of Water and Division of Air from the Department of Health and moved them to the newly-created NYSDEC.

Now, instead of a professional accountable to the law and the people of New York being placed in charge of the newly-created state department, the Legislature instead in New York State Environmental Conservation Law § 3-0103 saddled us with a political puppet answerable only to the governor, to wit:

The head of the department shall be the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation, who shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and hold office at the pleasure of the Governor by whom he was appointed and until his successor is appointed and has qualified.

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Where the New York State Health Commissioner was made accountable to the people of the State of New York for enforcing the New York State Public Health Law and State Sanitary Code, no such duty to enforce the provisions of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law was given to the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, who exists solely to give pleasure to the governor, as can be seen in the statutory language of New York State Environmental Conservation Law § 3-0301(1), General functions, powers and duties of the department and the commissioner, where is stated as follows, to wit:

It shall be the responsibility of the department, in accordance with such existing provisions and limitations as may be elsewhere set forth in law, by and through the commissioner to carry out the environmental policy of the state set forth in section 1-0101 of this chapter.

In so doing, the commissioner shall have power to:


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The words “shall have power to” mean that the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation does not have to enforce any laws, any rules, any regulations and cannot be held accountable by the people of Poestenkill in a court of law for a failure to enforce laws that the Legislature in 1970 made optional.

And while we are on the subject of distrust of and outright contempt for the NYSDEC in Poestenkill, let us document the dismal record of the NYSDEC of protecting our environment in Poestenkill.

As to the long, well-documented record of collusion and duplicitous conduct of the NYSDEC going back to the 1970s, the first time we in Poestenkill come across the term "regulatory insufficiency" as applied to duplicitous conduct of the DEC is in a DEC Hearing Officer's Report dated February 9, 1976 in connection with the PCBs in the Hudson River, the biggest superfund site in the USA, courtesy of the lax enforcement and looking the other way by NYSDEC itself.

This DEC hearing officer's report came just six years after the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation came into being as a result of the People of the State of New York amending the Constitution to make protection of the waters of the State a matter of statewide priority.

That Hearing Officer's Report states as follows with respect to DEC regulatory insufficiency:

In this interim opinion, the hearing officer holds that General Electric Company's (GE) discharges of PCB's (polychlorinated biphenyls) into the upper Hudson River violate the New York Environmental Conservation Law (ECL):

GE's PCB discharges are toxic substances capable of causing skin lesions, destroying body cells, adversely affecting reproduction and inducing cancer and death.

As an affirmative defense, GE asserts that its conduct is immunized from state law penalties by virtue of its being specifically authorized in a series of permits granted under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

This defense must fail, for all GE permits have contained language specifically prohibiting violation of state water quality standards.

The system seems clearly to place on the would-be discharger, whose influence with the agency might itself cause or contribute to regulatory insufficiency, the burden of insuring that the discharge violates no other federal, state or local prohibitions.


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Accordingly, as a direct result of that regulatory insufficiency by the DEC in the early-1970s, the upper Hudson River is now the nation's largest Superfund site.

So much for the mission of the NYSDEC "to conserve, improve and protect New York's natural resources and environment and to prevent, abate and control water, land and air pollution, in order to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state and their overall economic and social well-being."

Moving forward in time with respect to documented DEC regulatory insufficiency, we come to a May 18, 1993 decision of New York State Supreme Court Justice Robert C. Williams in Lascari et al v. NYSDEC et al, wherein Judge Williams stated as follows with respect to NYSDEC regulatory insufficiency in the Town of Poestenkill, Rensselaer County:

In this Article 78 proceeding, the Petitioners ask the Court to annul the Department of Environmental Conservation's ("DEC") issuance of a mining permit to R.J. Valente, Inc. and to grant them the costs and disbursements of this action.

The Court grants the relief sought.

This case concerns the issue of whether a mining operation conducted by R.J. Valente, Inc. ("Valente") may have a significant effect on the environment (6 NYCRR 617.6(g)(1)(i)).
The DEC concluded it would not; thus, it issued a mining permit to Valente without preparing an Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS").

The Petitioners ask the Court to determine that the DEC's decision to proceed without an EIS was unlawful.

They argue that when the DEC issued the permit, it did not take a "hard look" at the criteria in its own regulations for determining whether the mine may significantly affect the environment.

Having reviewed the record, the Court agrees with the Petitioners.

Thus, the Court annuls the permit.


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For the record, that NYS Supreme Court decision was upheld in 1995 at the Appellate level of New York State Supreme Court in Albany.

Moving right along from there with respect to lawlessness and duplicity and regulatory insufficiency at the DEC, we come, of course, to a sworn affidavit of Assistant New York State Attorney General Kathleen Liston Morrison dated October 14, 1993, in the Matter of Paul Plante v. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany County Index No. 4840-93, which really serves to showcase DEC duplicity and lawlessness in the Town of Poestenkill, Rensselaer County, to wit:

"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."


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Then we come to the matter of Lane Construction and Snake Mountain in East Nassau in Rensselaer County, where this Petitioner submitted a lengthy report as a New York State licensed professional engineer on behalf of the citizens who would have been affected by the project.

That report, which was never challenged or refuted by the DEC, detailed regulatory insufficiency on the part of the NYSDEC in issuing mined land reclamation permits in Rensselaer County, along with abject failure to protect groundwater.

In the end, that permit was pulled back by the DEC, because it had never been properly issued in the first place, which is further evidence of duplicity and regulatory insufficiency on the part of the DEC with respect to the issuance of mining permits by the DEC in Rensselaer County, especially as the pulling back of the permit issued to Lane was affirmed by the Appellate Court in Albany.

Then we have the Tayer Road debacle in the Town of Stephentown, Rensselaer County, which this Petitioner investigated as a New York State licensed professional engineer, where negligence, duplicity and regulatory insufficiency on the part of DEC resulted in a huge scalping operation which caused a groundwater loss to the surrounding environment of 1.3 million gallons of water per day.

As this duplicitous conduct by DEC has gone on up to the present time, at no time did the DEC make any attempt to fulfill the alleged Mission Statement of the NYSDEC, that being "to conserve, improve and protect New York's natural resources and environment and to prevent, abate and control water, land and air pollution, in order to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state and their overall economic and social well-being," or DEC's purported goal of achieving this mission through the simultaneous pursuit of environmental quality, public health, economic prosperity and social well-being, including environmental justice and the empowerment of individuals to participate in environmental decisions that affect their lives.

To the contrary, in early 1998, because this Petitioner had chosen to stand up to DEC lawlessness, this Petitioner found himself confronted in his driveway by Lt. Paul Bernstein and ECO Karen Staniewski of the DEC police force.

This Petitioner still distinctly remembers to this day ECO Karen Staniewski, a large, burly, muscular woman, getting out of the DEC police car in his driveway and dropping into what is known as a "shooter's stance" as she faced this Petitioner, with her hand near her pistol, all the time glowering and scowling at this Petitioner as if he were some kind of piece of crap or scum she would like to pump a couple of rounds into to see what kind of stopping power that pistol really did have, while the grey-haired Lt. Paul Bernstein gave this Petitioner a fatherly talking-to about all the trouble this Petitioner was getting himself into by challenging the DEC and thereby stepping on the toes of important and powerful people in the Town of Poestenkill, the County of Rensselaer, and the State of New York.

Thus, the long record of DEC duplicity and regulatory insufficiency in issuing permits and enforcing the Environmental Conservation Law in the County of Rensselaer is firmly established.

Were it otherwise, had the DEC been doing its duty, instead of dodging it and shirking it to increase the profits of businesses in NYS, the Hoosick Falls groundwater contamination fiasco could never have happened, nor could this fiasco in Poestenkill, now would the Storonske Cooperage debacle in Schodack in 1986.

Thus, in 1970, it was the Legislature of the State of New York itself that was instrumental in stripping we, the people of Poestenkill, of the public health protection we once enjoyed, with the creation of the New York State Environmental Conservation Department and the crafting of the statutory language of New York State Environmental Conservation Law § 3-0301(1) making enforcement of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law optional at the discretion of the Commissioner, and thus, it is the Legislature which bears some responsibility for the contamination of our drinking water in Poestenkill, which is quite a legacy.

Specifically, the manner in which the Legislature crafted the statutory language of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law made it optional and discretionary for the DEC to enforce the provisions of ECL § 3-0301(1)(i), wherein is stated, to wit:

It shall be the responsibility of the department, in accordance with such existing provisions and limitations as may be elsewhere set forth in law, by and through the commissioner to carry out the environmental policy of the state set forth in section 1-0101 of this chapter.

In so doing, the commissioner shall have power to: Provide for prevention and abatement of all water, land and air pollution including, but not limited to, that related to hazardous substances, particulates, gases, dust, vapors, noise, radiation, odor, nutrients and heated liquids;


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As we see in a FINAL REPORT - September 27, 2006 of U.S. EPA Region 2, State Review Program Framework – FY 2005, this at a time when CCCDW member and Whitewasher Judith Enck of Poestenkill was the Chief Policy Advisor of New York State Attorney General Eliot, because the New York State Legislature made it entirely optional for the DEC to provide for prevention and abatement of all water pollution, the DEC chose to take the Legislature at its word by not providing for the prevention and abatement of all water pollution, to wit:

Review of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Enforcement and Compliance Programs

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Overall Picture

This report documents the findings and recommendations of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) review of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) compliance monitoring and enforcement program based on the State Review Framework.

The report includes recommendations for improvement in each of the air, water and RCRA program areas, as well as, in areas of general enforcement policies and procedures applicable across all programs.

EPA and NYSDEC have agreed to work together to resolve these issues.

For the water program, NYSDEC acknowledges EPA’s findings resulting from the State Review Framework Audit and both parties have agreed that implementation of this recommendation will be negotiated via the workplan process.

It is anticipated the EPA will conduct a review of NYSDEC in two years to determine the status of the issues identified in this report.

Overarching Issues among the Enforcement Programs Reviewed

6) CWA (Clean Water Act) Suspended Penalties - The majority of the enforcement actions issued contained suspended penalties (100% suspended with a few partial suspensions).

Of fifteen (15) enforcement actions that assessed a penalty, nine (9) had some form of penalty suspension.

Of the nine suspended penalties, four were suspended entirely without any evident justification.

NYSDEC acknowledges EPA’s findings resulting from the State Review Framework Audit has indicated that it has already taken steps to issue directives regarding suspension of all penalties
.

end quotes

So in the light of DEC’s long record of environmental abuse and regulatory insufficiency, including the Storonske Cooperage debacle in Schodack in 1986, and its proven record of lawlessness in Poestenkill, specifically, should we be at all surprised that we in the vicinity of a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Department permitted solid waste transfer station have contaminated drinking water?

Of course not, which is something we have the New York State Legislature to thank for, as it was responsible for creating this lawless thug known as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, a destroyer of communities and the environment.

DATED: 1 January 2023

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

Post by thelivyjr »

Distribution of Don't Drink The Water to date:

Governor Hochul
NY Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
NY Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie
Heads of Senate and Assembly Health and Environmental Conservation Committees
Assemblyman Scott Bendett
DEC Commissioner
Region II EPA Administrator
U.S. Attorney for Northern District of New York
Rensselaer County District Attorney
Kelly Hoffman Chairwoman, Renss. Co. Legis.
Peter D. Grimm, Minority Leader, Renss. Co. Legis.
Cynthia B. Doran, Deputy Minority Leader, Renss. Co. Legis.
Thomas Grant, Renss. Co. Legis.
Leon B. Fiacco, Renss. Co. Legis.
Poestenkill Town Clerk
Algonquin Middle School Principal
Albany Times Union
Troy Record
WAMC News
Center for Independent media
TV-6 News
TV-10 News
TV-13
News
Spectrum News 1
Greg Pattenaude, spokesperson for CCCDW of Poestenkill
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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr »

28 January 2023

Charles E. Schumer
U.S. Senator
Leo O'Brien Building,
Room 827
Albany, NY 12207

Kirsten Gillibrand
U.S. Senator
Leo W. O’Brien
Federal Office Bldg
11A Clinton Ave
Rm 821
Albany, NY 12207

RE: Poestenkill (T), Rensselaer County; Water District No. 2; Requesting federal assistance for Water District No. 2 based on false pretenses

Dear Senators Schumer and Gillibrand:

With regard to the involvement of your Offices in this above captioned matter, on 9 November 2022, Poestenkill town councilman Eric Wohlleber appeared as a guest speaking on behalf of the Poestenkill town board as a Poestenkill councilman on the Mark Dunlea internet podcast called the Hudson Mohawk Magazine to announce as follows concerning this proposed Water District No. 2 in Poestenkill, as follows:

MARK DUNLEA: (2.42) Now the first water district in the town, and actually, the water tank I can see looking out my window right across the street from me, I know that was initially funded through a grant from the Obama economic stimulus program but I believe half of that was a grant but half of that you know local residents had to pay.

Is there been any discussion about you know any kind of contribution would be required by local residents and have local residents reacted to the idea they are going to be put on to a water system?

ERIC WOHLLEBER: (3.17) Right, so we had a public meeting back in July of this year and you know, if today you know we have $3.3 of the $5.5, obviously that leaves a shortfall of $2.2 million which would not be paid for and that would be something, how does the town go ahead and do that.

Do we obviously go out and get a bond and then just start talking about how do we pay that back, and what the benefit unit charge would be and the town has a procedural issue.

You know the town board can establish district No. 2, or the town board can put a district No. 2 up for a vote of the folks who would be within that district which is what they did a little bit over a decade ago when they proposed district 1 and they let the voters decide whether or not they wanted that service, the voters wanted it, and now we are in a similar situation, the idea being here even let's say the two million dollars we're still actively looking for federal dollars we're hoping we can get some money we have the support of Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand we have the support of then, Congressman now lt. governor-elect, or lt. governor and governor-elect Delgado so we're hoping to get some more funding to bring that number down and then we can go to those residents and say hey this is what it would cost you if we were to put a district 2 in and move forward.


end quotes

As the enclosed report makes clear, this PFAS contamination in Poestenkill’s groundwater is as a result of wilfull gross negligence and neglect of duty by the town of Poestenkill itself, which raises the substantive question of why the federal taxpayers should be put on the hook here to pay for the intentional negligence and neglect of duty by Poestenkill, especially when the request is made based on falsehoods?

To illustrate that point, it is only necessary to go back to the transcript of the 9 November 2022 Mark Dunlea Show where we had as follows, to wit:

MARK DUNLEA: (1.17) Now I understand about a hundred houses would be included within this water district.

ERIC WOHLLEBER: (1.25) It's a little over a hundred different houses including, honestly, the middle school, the big one, but it's a little over one hundred potential houses or properties that have houses on them that would be impacted and the overall preliminary project that was provided to us was in the range of $5.5 million dollars.

Now, that's high.

That definitely is not what the final price tag will be.

Right now, the state has paid for, has agreed to put in $3.3, which represents sixty percent of the budget, we are working at the federal level to find federal dollars as well to help install a decent chunk you know for a hundred households, and also one of the things I am going to be asking the town board is to set aside a hundred thousand dollars of the COVID relief money for this project, not that a hundred thousand dollars is going to do a heck of a lot but I think it is important and I think it is a show of support and a show of unity between the federal, state and local officials.


end quotes

In point of fact, the Algonquin Middle School in Poestenkill and its public water supply are the property of the taxpayers of the Averill Park School District, a totally different taxing authority where the town of Poestenkill has absolutely no jurisdiction whatsoever.

The taxpayers of the Averill Park School District have not requested the Town of Poestenkill to provide Troy city water to the Algonquin Middle School, nor do the taxpayers of the Averill Park School District need the Town of Poestenkill to provide Troy city water to the Algonquin Middle School, because the Algonquin Middle School presently has a high-tech water purification system approved by the NYSDEC and NYSDOH and paid for by the school district taxpayers that is providing adequate potable water to the school.

Thus, the request for funding from the federal government is made based on a false premise that in some unexplained way, the taxpayers of the United States are to be burdened with further debt to provide public water it doesn’t need to the Algonquin Middle School which already has a NYSDOH-regulated public water supply.

Why would that be either fair or equitable?

Respectfully.

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

Post by thelivyjr »

31 JANUARY 2023

TO: Poestenkill supervisor Keith Hammond, Poestenkill councilwoman June Butler, Poestenkill councilman David Hass, Poestenkill councilman Harold Van Slyke, Poestenkill councilman Eric Wohlleber

RE: Debunking the Water District No. 2 Falsehoods of Poestenkill supervisor Keith Hammond in the Times Union on 8 November 2023 and Poestenkill councilman Eric Wohlleber as told on the Mark Dunlea internet podcast on 9 November 2022; Procuring state and federal funds and incurring Debt for Water District No. 2 based on False Pretenses

POINT I – THE POESTENKILL TOWN BOARD IS WELL AWARE OF THE SOURCE OF PFAS IN POESTENKILL’S GROUNDWATER

First of all, despite the continuing falsehoods of Poestenkill town supervisor Keith Hammond in the Times Union on 8 November 2022 and Poestenkill town councilman Eric Wohlleber on the Mark Dunlea Podcast Show on 9 November 2022, it is a fact that has been known by Poestenkill supervisor Keith Hammond, Poestenkill councilwoman June Butler, Poestenkill councilman David Hass, Poestenkill councilman Harold Van Slyke, and Poestenkill councilman Eric Wohlleber since 20 June 2022 that PFAS has been being imported into Poestenkill through the town-permitted and regulated Poestenkill transfer station between 2018 and June of 2022, and that some 206,379 gallons of leachate containing PFAS generated at the Poestenkill transfer station are estimated to have been discharged to the environment in Poestenkill while the Poestenkill supervisor, and the Poestenkill town board took money from the operator of the transfer station to turn their collective backs and to have the Poestenkill code enforcement officer turn his back and see nothing at all, which service they provided quite well, which is why PFAS is now in Poestenkill’s groundwater.

Further, Poestenkill supervisor Keith Hammond, Poestenkill councilwoman June Butler, Poestenkill councilman David Hass, Poestenkill councilman Harold Van Slyke, and Poestenkill councilman Eric Wohlleber have known since 20 June 2022 that there is active PFAS contamination on the transfer station property.

Poestenkill supervisor Keith Hammond, Poestenkill councilwoman June Butler, Poestenkill councilman David Hass, Poestenkill councilman Harold Van Slyke, and Poestenkill councilman Eric Wohlleber know these facts and have known these facts since 20 June 2022 because Poestenkill is a partner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which partner posted these known facts on its internet website on 20 June 2022 in the form of a report from Barton & Loguidice, consultants for Waste Management of New York, LLC, at the Poestenkill transfer station in Poestenkill, New York, which report the DEC would have shared with its partner Poestenkill as an official DEC record.

POINT II – POESTENKILL AND NYSDEC ARE “PARTNERS” IN A WHITEWASH TO PROTECT WASTE MANAGEMENT OF NEW YORK, LLC AND A SCAM TO OBTAIN STATE FUNDING FOR A WATER DISTRICT BY FRAUDULENT MEANS

Given that the Poestenkill town board has known since 20 June 2022 that PFAS has been being imported into Poestenkill through the town-permitted and regulated Poestenkill transfer station between 2018 and June of 2022, and that some 206,379 gallons of leachate containing PFAS generated at the Poestenkill transfer station are estimated to have been discharged to the environment in Poestenkill and that there is active PFAS contamination on the transfer station property because it was informed of such by its “partner” the NYSDEC, it would have to follow rationally and logically that Poestenkill’s partner in collusion the NYSDEC would also have to have known that some 206,379 gallons of leachate containing PFAS generated at the Poestenkill transfer station are estimated to have been discharged to the environment in Poestenkill and that that there is active PFAS contamination on the transfer station property.

Notwithstanding, the NYSDEC and Poestenkill have both elected to double-down on the lies and falsehoods they are putting forth about the source of the PFAS in Poestenkill as we clearly see in an Albany, New York Times Union article titled "Poestenkill receives $3.3 million state water grant but still doesn't know PFOA source" by Kenneth C. Crowe II on November 8, 2022, one hundred forty-one (141) days after it had informed Poestenkill that the source of the PFAS was the Poestenkill transfer station, to wit:

DEC said it is evaluating and finalizing its findings.

"The Poestenkill investigations are aimed at determining if a discrete source of PFAS is present in the area, or if the PFAS are derived from potentially multiple non-discrete sources, such as residential and private septic systems," a DEC spokeswoman said.


end quotes

The statement by the un-named DEC spokeswoman on November 8, 2022, one hundred forty-one (141) days after the NYSDEC had informed Poestenkill that the source of the PFAS was the Poestenkill transfer station, that the Poestenkill investigations are aimed at determining if the PFAS are derived from potentially multiple non-discrete sources, such as residential and private septic systems, is ludicrous and absurd on its face, and goes to show just how very stupid and ignorant this farce of a cover-up by Poestenkill and NYSDEC really is.

POINT III – DESPITE HAVING KNOWLEDGE ON 20 JUNE 2022 THAT THE SOURCE OF THE PFAS CONTAMINATION IN POESTENKILL WAS THE POESTENKILL TRANSFER STATION, ONE HUNDRED FORTY-ONE DAYS LATER ON 8 NOVEMBER 2022, POESTENKILL SUPERVISOR KEITH HAMMOND WAS STILL SPINNING THE FALSEHOOD THAT THE SOURCE WAS NOT KNOWN

As to the falsehoods and outright lies Poestenkill town supervisor Keith Hammond keeps peddling about not being able to find the source of the PFAS in Poestenkill’s groundwater despite the fact that Hammond has been well aware of where the source is since 20 June 2022, the latest example can be found in the Albany, New York Times Union article "Poestenkill receives $3.3 million state water grant but still doesn't know PFOA source" by Kenneth C. Crowe II on November 8, 2022, one hundred forty-one (141) days after Hammond was appraised that the source was the Poestenkill transfer station, where we have as follows, to wit:

POESTENKILL – The town has received a state grant that will pay for 60 percent of the estimated $5.5 million cost to create a municipal water district that would serve the area around Algonquin Middle School where PFOA/PFOS contamination has been found in local wells.

The source of the contamination has yet to be discovered and testing is still taking place.

Hammond said he has been in contact with the state and the agencies are continuing to work on the contamination issues.

He said he doesn’t anticipate there will be an industrial source for the contamination.


end quotes

Hammond does not anticipate an industrial source will be found precisely because Hammond and his “partners” the NYSDEC, the NYSDOH and the RCHD are fighting a losing battle to keep that source covered up with their whitewash, which is concocted out of cobwebs, moonbeams and outright lies.

POINT IV – CREATION OF WATER DISTRICT NO. 2 UNDER FALSE PRETENSES

In that same Times Union article where we find Poestenkill supervisor Hammond blatantly lying to the people of Poestenkill about not being able to find the source of the PFAS contamination because he is too busy trying to keep it covered up, we also find as follows concerning Water District No. 2, as follows:

POESTENKILL – The town has received a state grant that will pay for 60 percent of the estimated $5.5 million cost to create a municipal water district that would serve the area around Algonquin Middle School where PFOA/PFOS contamination has been found in local wells.

The town has planned a $5.55 million water district for the middle school and about 100 residences in the surrounding area.

The state Environmental Facilities Corp. recently awarded the town a Water Infrastructure Act grant of $3.33 million toward the creation of the district.

"It is through our combined efforts that we will overcome the challenge that the PFOA contamination presents in our community's water."

"I look forward to continuing to work with our residents and funding partners to create a water system that will be able to provide safe potable water to our children and residents for years to come," Hammond said in announcing the receipt of the grant.

Hammond said the town is seeking additional federal and state grant money to pay for the rest of the project.


end quotes

As we will see in the following section, however, the Algonquin School, which has its own NYSDOH-regulated public water supply to serve the school community, has absolutely no need whatsoever for water from Poestenkill.

Thus, Hammond and Poestenkill are seeking state and federal money based on false pretenses which is fraud.

POINT V - THE ALGONQUIN MIDDLE SCHOOL HAS NO NEED OF OR REQUIREMENT FOR WATER FROM POESTENKILL

With regard to the statement by Poestenkill supervisor Hammond on November 8, 2022 that the town of Poestenkill has planned a $5.55 million water district for the middle school and about 100 residences in the surrounding area, in point of fact, and one would think the supervisor of the town of Poestenkill would be aware of this, the Algonquin Middle School in Poestenkill and its public water supply are the property of the taxpayers of the Averill Park School District, a totally different taxing authority where the town of Poestenkill and Keith Hammond have absolutely no jurisdiction whatsoever.

More to the point, the taxpayers of the Averill Park School District have not requested the Town of Poestenkill to provide Troy city water to the Algonquin Middle School, nor do the taxpayers of the Averill Park School District need the Town of Poestenkill to provide Troy city water to the Algonquin Middle School, because the Algonquin Middle School presently has a high-tech water purification system approved by the NYSDEC and NYSDOH and paid for by the school district taxpayers that is providing adequate potable water to the school as is obvious from the following public record, to wit:

NYSDEC COMMUNITY UPDATE

NOVEMBER 2021

PROTECTING POESTENKILL’S DRINKING WATER AND INVESTIGATING 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).

The school is currently installing a granular activated carbon (GAC) system to filter the PFOA and other PFAS and effectively treat the contaminants to provide clean water to the school community.


end quote

Making it patently obvious that Poestenkill itself was well aware that the Algonquin School was installing a GAC system to provide “clean” water to the school community is a 12/23/21 PFOA UPDATE: BY Bob Brunet, Water Manager/Public Health Coordinator, on Poestenkill’s own website where was stated as follows:

The Algonquin Middle School is in the final testing phases of the newly installed GAC systems (by the DEC) and expect to be operational with the new systems in January 2022.

end quote

Then we had another news release by NYSDEC on the school’s GAC in February of 2022, as follows:

NYSDEC COMMUNITY UPDATE FEBRUARY 2022

POESTENKILL PFAS INVESTIGATION

Updates: New Investigation Summary Reports

Beginning in December 2021, the school installed a granular activated carbon (GAC) system to provide effective long-term treatment of the contaminants to ensure clean water for the school community.

System startup and flushing of the school’s distribution system continued throughout January and into February 2022.

The school district is currently working with the RCDOH to test the water and make the system operational.


And that was followed by a WAMC article titled "Officials provide Poestenkill PFAS update" by by Lucas Willard on February 25, 2022, where we had as follows:

A POET system has been installed on the middle school but the school remains on bottled water.

Richard Elder is Rensselaer County’s Environmental Health Director.

“So that system is up."

"We are still in the startup phases of it,” said Elder.

Elder said tests show the system to be working effectively and estimates it will be fully operating within 1 to 2 months.


end quotes

Given that in February of 2022, this according to Poestenkill’s “partner” the NYSDEC, the granular activated carbon (GAC) system the Algonquin School installed in December of 2021 would provide effective long-term treatment of the contaminants to ensure clean water for the school community, it is patently obvious that by November of 2022, there was no reason whatsoever for Poestenkill to have to create a $5.55 million water district for the middle school.

And Keith Hammond has no authority or jurisdiction or right of any kind to force the taxpayers of the Averill Park School District to have to buy water from Poestenkill and by extension, Brunswick and the city of Troy, to serve the Algonquin School when according to the NYSDEC and RCHD, the Algonquin School already has it own adequate public water supply.

Thus, Hammond is seeking state and federal money based on false pretenses, that being that somehow, Poestenkill has an obligation to incur debt to service the Algonquin Middle School with water.

POINT VI -THERE IS NO REASON TO BELIEVE TROY CITY WATER WILL PROVIDE SAFE POTABLE WATER FOR OUR CHILDREN AND RESIDENTS FOR YEARS TO COME, AND EVERY REASON TO BELIEVE IT WON’T

With regard to the statement by Poestenkill supervisor Hammond on November 8, 2022 that he looks forward to continuing to work with funding partners to create a water system that will be able to provide safe potable water to our children and residents for years to come, there is absolutely no reason to either think or believe that the Tomhannock Reservoir, a surface water body which provides water to the city of Troy, is capable of providing safe potable water to the children and residents of Poestenkill for years to come, and the proof of that statement is found at page three of the June 20, 2022 Barton & Loguidice Report on the Poestenkill transfer station, which report Keith Hammond has been well aware of since 20 June 2022, where is stated in plain language readily comprehensible to a lay person like Keith Hammond as follows, to wit:

Mr. Warren Harris
Waste Management – Poestenkill Transfer Station
9002 NY-66
Poestenkill, New York 12018
Re: Poestenkill Transfer Station – Response to NYSDEC Request for Information
File: 1242.079.006

Dear Mr. Harris

Low level PFAS detections of PFOS and PFOA were identified in the surface water sample from the small on-site pond at concentrations of 7.6 ppt and 2.9 ppt, respectively.

Based on available data presented in literature, low level detections observed in the surface water are anticipated in urban areas due to the ubiquitous nature of PFAS compounds.


end quotes

If based on available data presented in literature, low level detections of PFOS and PFOA are anticipated in the surface water of urban areas, which would definitely include the Tomhannock Reservoir, due to the ubiquitous nature of PFAS compounds, then there is every reason to believe that the Tomhannock Reservoir is already contaminated with PFAS, or soon will be, which is simply trading one source of contaminated water for another at a higher price that is less secure than a groundwater source.

POINT VII – DESPITE HAVING KNOWLEDGE ON 20 JUNE 2022 THAT THE SOURCE OF THE PFAS CONTAMINATION IN POESTENKILL WAS THE POESTENKILL TRANSFER STATION, ONE HUNDRED FORTY-TWO DAYS LATER ON 9 NOVEMBER 2022, POESTENKILL COUNCILMAN ERIC WOHLLEBER WAS STILL SPINNING THE FALSEHOOD THAT THE SOURCE WAS NOT KNOWN

As is the case with Poestenkill supervisor Keith Hammond, it is a matter of record that on 20 June 2022, Poestenkill councilman Eric Wohlleber knew for a fact that between 2018 and June of 2022, some 206,379 gallons of leachate containing PFAS generated at the Poestenkill transfer station are estimated to have been discharged to the environment in Poestenkill while the Poestenkill supervisor, and the Poestenkill town board took money from the operator of the transfer station to turn their collective backs and for the Poestenkill code enforcement officer turn his back and see nothing at all, which service they provided quite well.

Notwithstanding, however, like supervisor Hammond in the Times Union on 8 November 2022, Poestenkill councilman Eric Wohlleber chose double-down on his lies and falsehoods by appearing as a guest speaking on behalf of the Poestenkill town board as a Poestenkill councilman on the Mark Dunlea internet podcast called the Hudson Mohawk Magazine on 9 November 2022 to announce to the listening audience that the source of PFAS in Poestenkill’s water remained unknown when the source was clearly known by councilman Wohlleber one hundred forty-two (142) days earlier on 20 June 2022, to wit:

MARK DUNLEA: We're joined by Eric Wohlleber who is a member of the town board in the town of Poestenkill which happens to be the town that I live in as a former town board member and over the last year, two years, there have been concerns about some PFOA forever chemical contamination has been found in some of the water sources, drinking wells close to the Algonquin Middle School and recently it has been announced that state has awarded a grant to the town to help construct an extended water system for some of the residents.

Eric, can you bring us up to date, what is going on with this water situation in Poestenkill?

ERIC WOHLLEBER: (0.42) Sure, thanks Mark, yeah, we were informed late last week that um, New York state has provided a grant to the town of $3.3 million dollars can be used for a District #2 water district in Poestenkill.

We currently have a water district in Poestenkill, but this would be a new district that would encompass the area around the middle school which is where we discovered the forever chemicals back in January of 2021.
*****
MARK DUNLEA: (4.51) Now, I know in other situations where you have a contaminated water supply just as we saw out in Hoosick Falls a couple of years ago with PFOA you know one tries to find out well who contaminated the water supply and then try to hold them financially responsible for that.

Has there been much progress in that area to be honest state officials seem not that gung-ho about it expending a lot of resources trying to figure out where this contamination is actually coming from?

ERIC WOHLLEBER: (5.24) Yeah, you know, Mark, I've been very critical of the state's response to this and I continue to be.

That being said, certainly we appreciate this grant, we appreciate the opportunity it affords our residents the opportunity that it afford the town to try to address this issue, but putting a water district 2 in without finding a source is not helpful because we could be in the same spot five years down the road, where um, we find this contamination a quarter mile down the road or a half mile down the road.

We have to find the source so that we know who is affected.

The state has done very little testing, we've asked them to look at certain locations, certain business area that would be, it would make sense where this might come from, and the state has not wanted to do that and has proved not wanting to do that and we're now coming on two years, and so, appreciative of the money but the reality is we could go spend 5 million dollars tomarrow and then find out a year or two down the road that it's literally a quarter mile down the road or a half mile down the road and the state is still, you know, looking, says they're looking for something while they have a blindfold on and that's the frustration I have.

We have to find the source.

We have to know what the plume is.

And we have to begin remediation and the water district is only one part of that.


POINT VIII – ON 9 NOVEMBER 2022, POESTENKILL COUNCILMAN ERIC WOHLLEBER WAS WELL AWARE OF THE SOURCE OF THE PFAS AND RESPONSIBLITY FOR STATE’S RESPONSE LIES DIRECTLY WITH POESTENKILL COUNCILMAN ERIC WOHLLEBER AND FORMER SPITZER CHIEF POLICY ADVISOR JUDITH ENCK

In point of fact, despite Councilman Wohlleber’s weak and pathetic protestations of ignorance as to the source of PFAS in Poestenkill’s groundwater on 9 November 2022 in his continuing attempts to mislead the public in order to protect Waste Management of New York, LLC, the truth is that right from the very beginning, that being January of 2021, Poestenkill Councilman Eric Wohlleber has been intimately involved with what started out as a cover-up, and then evolved into a whitewash in September of 2021, as we see in this Letter To The Editor of the Advertiser, a local newspaper, from this Petitioner titled “On PFOA in Poestenkill” on August 26, 2021, wherein was stated as follows, 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 us to this further evidence of a whitewash in the making: "During the timeframe since our last update, Supervisor Keith Hammond, Deputy Town Supervisor Eric Wohlleber, and I have been actively working with the RCDOH and the NYSDOH to further insure that the wells nearby the school are providing safe water for our residents."

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

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


end quotes

And that is exactly what has been going on in Poestenkill ever since, the continual reinforcement of falsehoods by the clever manipulation of the local media by Wohlleber and Enck, which takes us to a public notice in the September 23, 2021 Advertiser Local Government section titled “Poestenkill PFOA Community Meeting,” wherein Councilman Wohlleber makes his first public appearance as the Master of Ceremonies and Producer and Director of this on-going whitewash, to wit:

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

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

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 evidence of Councilman Wohlleber taking control of the investigation and steering the DEC away from the sacrosanct Poestenkill transfer station, a source of income for the town of Poestenkill, all we need do is to go to a State of Politics article titled "PFOAs in Poestenkill: Is it another Hoosick Falls?" by Susan Arbetter on September 29, 2021, where we have as follows on that subject, to wit:

“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.


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Thereafter, on November 19, 2021, WGXC-90.7 FM posted an article titled “More PFOA found in Poestenkill wells” on November 19, 2021, where we had as follows concerning Poestenkill Councilman Eric Wohlleber directing 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.


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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), which faux “citizen’s group” in Poestenkill was created by Wohlleber and Enck to control communications and to act as a filter/censor of information to protect Waste Management of New York, LLC, at the Poestenkill transfer station, which faux “citizen’s group” 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.


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Those “officials,” all part of the same team of whitewashers to protect Waste Management of New York, LLC., are failing the residents of Poestenkill and wasting time, resources, and New York state taxpayer dollars precisely because Wohlleber and Enck had them running around on a wild goose chase all over creation looking for chimeras and will-o-the-wisps, as we saw in the State of Politics article titled "PFOAs in Poestenkill: Is it another Hoosick Falls?" by Susan Arbetter on September 29, 202, where Wolleber and Enck were sending the DEC haring off miles away from the Algonquin School and hydraulically down-gradient to the now-closed and extensively studied Poestenkill landfill and a private company on State Route 355 in Poestenkill, and as we see again in an October 6, 2021 writing from Daphne Jordan, State Senator, 43rd District to The Honorable Basil Seggos, Commissioner, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233 and Dr. Howard Zucker, Commissioner, NYS Department of Health, Empire State Plaza, Corning Tower, Albany, New York 12237, wherein was stated "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."

The October 6, 2021 Jordan letter to Commissioner Seggos continued by stating "(I)n 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," stating further that "(A)dditionally, Dynamic Systems, Inc., in Poestenkill should be tested and evaluated as a potential source of PFOA."

For the record, Dynamic Systems, Inc. is miles away from the affected zone around the Poestenkill transfer station and over a hundred feet lower in elevation, and never was the source.

And to see how absurd this whitewash attempt is, in a Times Union article titled “Rensselaer County expands PFOA testing in Poestenkill" by Kenneth C. Crowe II on September 22, 2021, we were informed, 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.


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Bottom line, throughout this whitewash, from its beginnings in January of 2021, to the present time, two (2) full years later, Wohlleber, Enck and all the other whitewashers have never been looking for the source, and have no intentions to do so.

CONCLUSION – POESTENKILL TOWN SUPERVISOR KEITH HAMMOND AND POESTENKILL COUNCILMAN ERIC WOHLLEBER ARE RUNNING A SCAM TO PROCURE STATE AND FEDERAL FUNDS FOR A PROPOSED WATER DISTRICT ON FALSE PRETENSES

In New York state, when a town board like that of Poestenkill wishes to establish a water district, the town board must adopt a resolution making four determinations which vary depending on whether the district is being established upon petition of property owners (Town Law Article 12) or as is the case in this instant matter, by board motion subject to permissive referendum requirements (Town Law Article 12-A; see also Town Law Article 7).

In the case of a district or extension on petition of property owners (Town Law Article 12), the resolution must contain determinations of the town board that (1) the petition of the property owners is signed, and acknowledged or proved, or authenticated, as required by law and is otherwise sufficient (Town Law § 194[1][a]), and [2] it is in the “public interest” to grant the relief sought in the petition (Town Law § 194[1][d]).

In the case of a district or extension on board motion (Town Law Article 12-A), the resolution must contain determinations of the town board that (1) the notice of hearing was published and posted as required by law and is otherwise sufficient (Town Law § 209-e[1][a]) and [2] the establishment or extension of the proposed district is in the “public interest” (Town Law § 209-e[1][d]).

In addition, the town board must also make the following determinations under both Article 12 and 12-A proceedings:

* That all property and property owners within the proposed district or extension are benefited by the district or extension; and

* That all the property and property owners that are benefited by the proposed district or extension are included within the limits of the district or extension.

In either case, the Poestenkill town board first of all cannot make a determination that all the property and property owners within the proposed district are benefited by the district; and more to the point, the Poestenkill town board cannot make a determination that the establishment of the proposed district is in the “public interest,” because it is not in the public interest to make the taxpayers of the Averill Park School District have to pay for the establishment of a water district in Poestenkill that provides them no benefit, given the Algonquin School in Poestenkill, a key part of the Hammond/Wohlleber Water District No. 2 proposal already has a granular activated carbon (GAC) system that the experts, the NYSDEC and NYSDOH and RCHD guarantee will provide effective long-term treatment of the contaminants to ensure clean water for the school community, which is a guarantee the town of Poestenkill cannot make.

Thus, seeking state and federal funds based on the establishment of a water district to serve the Algonquin Middle School in Poestenkill is nothing more than a scam to defraud the taxpayers of New York and the United States of America.

Respectfully,

Paul R. Plante, NYSPE
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