Weitz & Luxenberg has filed a class action lawsuit over water contamination in Petersburgh, NY. The suit alleges that Taconic Plastics Limited improperly disposed of the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in the town for years, leading it to spread into the municipal water supply and the surrounding environment.
“This company’s pollution has left its mark on Petersburgh, and members of the community will need access to a number of resources in the coming years to get their lives back on track,” said Robin Greenwald, head of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Unit at Weitz & Luxenberg. “Residents of Petersburgh need water filters, regular testing of their private wells and biomonitoring to detect illnesses associated with the chemicals Taconic has unleashed on the community, and this lawsuit seeks to provide them with all of these things.”
2005 Testing of Groundwater Near Facility Revealed Massive Levels of Chemical
The lawsuit alleges that during the manufacture of certain products, PFOA at the Taconic facility was heated to the extent that it took on a vapor form, which was then released through smoke stacks and carried by wind into the surrounding community. The lawsuit also alleges that employees at Taconic improperly disposed of substances containing PFOA in the facility’s sinks and drains and garbage bags, which were then improperly disposed of at the Petersburgh landfill. The lawsuit further alleges that Taconic knew or should have known the damage this would cause to the community.
The EPA sets the acceptable limit for PFOA in a water supply at 70 parts per trillion (ppt). The complaint filed by Weitz & Luxenberg points to how, in 2005, tests conducted by Taconic revealed PFOA concentrations as high as 13,700,000 ppt in groundwater near its facility, but at the time, the company took no steps to install carbon filtration systems on the private wells of individuals living close by.
Residents Now Have Opportunity to Stand Together Against Taconic
“The residents of Petersburgh have a right to clean water, and Taconic took that right away from them,” said consumer advocate Erin Brockovich, a consultant to Weitz & Luxenberg. “While this company can’t undo what has already been done, the community now has an opportunity to stand together and show Taconic that its actions will not go without consequence.”
Weitz & Luxenberg filed a class action lawsuit over PFOA water contamination in nearby Hoosick Falls earlier this year. That lawsuit named the companies St. Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. and Honeywell, Inc., as defendants.