PCBs have been found for the first time in the village’s public water supply, according to Mayor Ernest Martin.
“The levels remain well below the New York state maximum contaminant level of 500 nanograms per liter,” according to a statement issued by the mayor. “Therefore, the water provided by the village of Stillwater remains potable and well under and within the [state Health Department] standards.”
The PCBs were found in tests of village wells by the state Health Department, which did not immediately return a call.
The state was testing the wells as part of a monitoring program in connection with planned dredging of the Hudson River to remove PCB contamination. The massive dredging project, which is scheduled to begin next year, is being done by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It is being paid for by General Electric Co., whose capacitor plants in Hudson Falls and Fort Edward were the original source of the PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, in the river.
The village draws its water from wells near the river, and local leaders have expressed concern that the water supply might be contaminated by the dredging. Prior tests of the wells by the village did not detect PCBs. The village water system also supplies part of the town of Stillwater.
The village will hold an informational meeting on these issues at 7 p.m. July 29 at Stillwater High School.
Under current EPA plans, there is no provision to link Stillwater to the Troy water system or another public supply in the event of contamination.
The EPA is proposing to link Waterford and Halfmoon, which draw their drinking water directly from the Hudson, to the Troy water system.
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