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New Survey Will Ask NYers Exposed To PFOA About Potential Diseases

A former EPA administrator and a former New York state health department official have teamed up with a Vermont college to conduct a health survey of people potentially affected by polluted water in the villages of Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh, and in Bennington, Vermont.  Judith Enck was the EPA regional administrator during the Obama administration who first warned Hoosick Falls residents in the fall of 2015 not to drink the water in their village because it was contaminated with PFOA, a chemical used in plastics manufacturing for decades in the area. Enck, who left the EPA during the first days of the Trump administration, is working with scientists and academics at nearby Bennington College, which is conducting the study. “The goal of this community questionnaire is to determine, are there health trends in these communities among the residents who consumed contaminated water?” Enck said. A few months after the EPA got involved, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration declared Hoosick Falls a state Superfund site. But Cuomo and his aides were criticized at the time by village residents for not acting quickly enough and for initially downplaying the crisis.

Study of sick bass in Susquehanna cites endocrine disrupters

The number of young bass that survive to become adults has plummeted in about 100 miles of the Lower Susquehanna, as well as parts of the Juniata, over the last decade. (Karl Blankenship)

 

By Karl Blankenship

Karl Blankenship is editor of the Bay Journal and Executive Director of Chesapeake Media Service. He has served as editor of the Bay Journal since its inception in 1991.  

According to the Chesapeake Bay Journal,  a recent study indicates the smallmouth bass population in the Susquehanna River are suffering a population collapse possibly connected to hormone-altering compounds and herbicides, weakening their immune systems.

The multi-year study, which involved dozens of scientists from multiple state and federal agencies as well as universities, said that exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds and herbicides, along with infections from parasites and pathogens, were the “most likely” reasons that few young smallmouth bass in the river have survived to become adults since 2005. Several studies have found evidence of endocrine disrupters, which interfere with the hormone system in animals and fish, around the Bay watershed.