Encompassing the Watersheds of the Kinderhook and Claverack Creeks in the Lower Hudson Valley, New York
Full size image
Hudson Valley Links:
Logo design by John Reilly
This document was prepared for Hudson River Estuary Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, with support from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund, in cooperation with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission. The viewpoints expressed here do not necessarily represent those of NEIWPCC or NYSDEC, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or causes constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.
The below email is from Joe Battipaglia of the EPA dated May 10, 2016 to the Stockport Watershed Alliance (and others)
I wanted to share the results of some recent sampling conducted at the Dewey Loeffel Landfill Superfund site. In March 2016, the EPA collected samples from the site for the analysis of perfluorinated compounds, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The sampling results are discussed in detail below. Please do not hesitate to contact me at XXX-XXX-XXXX should you have any questions or wish to discuss the results further. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing you at the June 2nd coalition meeting.
On March 23, 2016, the EPA collected two samples from the site for the analysis of perfluorinated compounds. The samples were collected from the groundwater influent to the treatment plant and from the treatment plant effluent. The two samples were analyzed for 18 perfluorinated compounds, including PFOA. The data was subjected to standard EPA Region 2 validation procedures and protocols and, as a result of that process, it was determined that two detections of perfluorinated compounds were present in the groundwater influent sample and one detection of a perfluorinated compound was present in the treated effluent sample. For the sample collected from the groundwater influent to the treatment plant, PFOA was detected at an estimated concentration of 2.6 parts per trillion (ppt)1 and perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA) was detected at a concentration of 84 ppt. Note that these compounds were not detected in the treated effluent. For the sample collected from the treated effluent, perfluorobutanesulphonic acid (PFBS) was detected at a concentration of 2 ppt although it was not detected in the groundwater influent sample. The detections of PFOA, PFBA and PFBS are summarized in the table below and discussed further in the text below. A complete table summarizing the analytical results for perfluorinated compounds is also attached.
EPA is using the best science to develop a lifetime health advisory level for PFOA, which the agency expects to release in spring 2016. Lifetime health advisories serve as guidance and are benchmarks for determining if concentrations of chemicals in tap water from public utilities are safe for public consumption. Health advisories provide federal, state, local and tribal governments with non-regulatory guidance to make decisions in cases when a chemical is not federally regulated. When issued, the lifetime health advisory for PFOA will supersede the provisional health advisory of 400 ppt for PFOA issued in 2009.
EPA recommended that people in the Town of Hoosick and the Village of Hoosick Falls who have private wells at which PFOA has been found to be present at a level greater than 100 ppt not use that water for drinking or cooking, and instead use bottled water. EPA’s advice was a result of specific circumstances that existed in that community, including the fact that: 1) free bottled water was being made available to everyone in the community; and 2) the state health department had already offered to test, for PFOA, the private well of everyone in the Town who requested such testing. EPA’s recommendation was also based on site specific information as well as information in the most recent EPA report on PFOA toxicity which underwent external peer review in August 2014.
The detection of PFOA in the groundwater influent sample at 2.6 ppt is significantly below both the provisional health advisory level of 400 ppt issued by EPA in 2009 for short-term exposure to PFOA in drinking water, as well as the value of 100 ppt recommended to residents of the Town of Hoosick and the Village of Hoosick Falls. PFOA was not detected in the treated effluent sample.
For PFBA, the EPA has not developed a provisional health advisory level for the consumption of drinking water; however, several state agencies have developed values for PFBA under their respective state programs, which are discussed below to provide context for the concentration of PFBA detected in the groundwater influent sample. The Minnesota Department of Health has developed the most stringent of those values with a health risk limit of 7,000 ppt for the lifetime consumption of PFBA in drinking water2. The detection of PFBA at a concentration of 84 ppt in the groundwater influent sample is significantly lower than the health risk limit of 7,000 ppt developed by the Minnesota Department of Health. PFBA was not detected in the treated effluent sample.
For PFBS, a detection was observed in the treated effluent, but not in the groundwater influent sample. This is not atypical and could occur under several different scenarios. Two potential explanations include variability of influent groundwater concentrations and desorption of PFBS from the treatment system’s activated carbon units as more highly-sorptive chemicals compete for adsorption sites and adsorb to the activated carbon while displacing PFBS3. PFBS was detected in the treated effluent sample at a concentration of 2 ppt. The treated effluent discharges to the Valatie Kill, which is not utilized as a drinking water source. While a surface water quality standard does not exist that can be applied to the Valatie Kill, adverse effects to human health would not be expected for recreational exposure to PFBS at a concentration of 2 ppt based upon the lower toxicity of short-chained perfluorinated compounds, such as PFBS. Because the variability of influent groundwater concentrations is one potential explanation for the detection of PFBS in the effluent, but not in the influent, PFBS may be present in site groundwater at low concentrations. While the EPA has not developed a provisional health advisory level for the consumption of PFBS in drinking water, as with PFBA discussed above, several state agencies have developed values for PFBS under their respective state programs, which are discussed below to provide context for the sampling results at the site. The Minnesota Department of Health has developed the most stringent of those values with a health risk limit of 7,000 ppt for the lifetime consumption of PFBS in drinking water2. The detection of PFBS at 2 ppt in the treated effluent sample is significantly lower than the health risk limit of 7,000 ppt developed by the Minnesota Department of Health.
In summary, the detections of PFOA and PFBA in the groundwater influent, as well as the detection of PFBS in the treated effluent, are not believed to pose an unacceptable risk to human health based upon the best available science. The toxicity of perfluorinated compounds, such as PFOA, PFBA and PFBS, is an area of continuing active scientific investigation. Federal and state regulators are currently working to develop toxicity assessments and regulatory levels for the evaluation of these chemicals. The EPA will continue to monitor scientific progress on these chemicals and provide additional information as it becomes available.
1- Estimated due to data validation
2- Human Health-Based Water Guidance Table. Minnesota Department of Health, n.d. Web. 10 May 2016. http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/risk/guidance/gw/table.html
3- PFCs in Minnesota’s Ambient Environment: 2008 Progress Report. January 2009. Report Coordinator: Summer Streets, Primary Contributors: Mindy Erickson, PhD, Mark Ferrey, Paul Hoff, Laura Solem, PhD, Summer Streets. 520 Lafayette Road, Saint Paul, MN 55155.www.pca.state.mn.us
46% Good News about Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) project
WAVE specimens were collected by volunteer Stream Spotters and/or Fran Martino from 14 study sites during July through September 2015. All but one site is located within the Greater Stockport Creek Watershed. 54% of the watershed sites appeared to be compromised with IWL score results that ranked in the “poor” category. Two sites (15%) ranked as “fair”; the remaining 4 sites (31%) were ranked as “good.” The Izaak Walton League (IWL) rating uses the presence of various macroinvertebrate groups, combined with estimated tolerance values for these groups, to calculate an index of water quality. The IWL narrative score ranges are <11 Poor; 11-16 Fair; 17-22 Good, and 22 Excellent. There is no upper limit for the Excellent range.
Columbia County Sportsmen’s Federation Youth Outdoor Education Program paddle the creek
Participants learned canoe paddling basics and hauled in some fish with a seine net during the summer of 2015. The annual youth program offers everything from trap shooting, to archery, turkey calling and hunter safety instruction and much more. Kids are signing up already for 2016!
Stockport Watershed coordinator recognized by EPA with Environmental Champion Award in April 2015
Judith Enck, EPA regional administrator, right, and Donovan Richards, New York City Council presenting award to Fran Martino, center, accompanied by her companion dog, Loki at ceremony at the Ted Weiss Federal Building in New York City. A Legislative Resolution was adopted in the New York State Senate on June 16, 2015 in recognition of watershed protection and education efforts.
Chairman Pat Grattan speaking for the Columbia County Board of Supervisors requested that a task force be formed to monitor the treated discharges associated with the Dewey Loeffel Landfill Superfund Site. Ed Simonsen, Chairman of the CCEMC will spearhead the group. This would include communicating with the EPA, advising the BOS regarding potential issues concerning discharge(s), and other groundwater related issues. The initial meeting was held on April 4th when the group discussed their action plan, and devised a list of questions to be presented to the EPA. Some members of the task force visited the Superfund Site on April 17th for a tour of the waste treatment facility with representatives from EPA. The group also visited the USGS stream gage located nearby on the Valatie Kill. A second meeting of the task force was held on April 22nd when the group discussed additional sample sites to be determined in northern Columbia County. According to Mr. Simonsen, "The analysis of recent discharges from the treatment plant appear normal and acceptable." The task force will continue to meet as long as necessary.
Shown in the photo from left to right are:
Watershed on Wheels Bus Tour
The Watershed on Wheels bus tour led by Fran Martino brought municipal leaders from Columbia and Rensselaer Counties together on June 9th for a tour of the Stockport Creek Watershed. Featured highlights included a visit to the headwaters of the Kinderhook Creek in Hancock, Massachusetts; a discussion about innovative livestock grazing and watering practices with Larry Eckhardt at Kinderhook Creek Farm in Stephentown; and presentations by Gary Wall, USGS Hydrologist on stream flow data, and mapping resources discussed by Don Meltz, GIS & Planning Consultant. The tour of the 517 square mile watershed, the second largest tributary watershed to the tidal Hudson River, concluded at the mouth of the Stockport Creek with Dan Miller, DEC Hudson River Estuary Program “where the whole day came sharply into focus - breathtaking .... all the dots lining up beautifully in global connectivity, and how important it is for all the communities in the watershed,” remarked tour participant, Sally Baker of Philmont Beautification, Inc.
This event was made possible through a grant made to Hudson Basin River Watch, Inc. by NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program.
Download a Powerpoint presentation of the tour here (2MB)
Trees For Tribs Planting
Congratulations to our two newest "Trees for Tribs" participants! Trees and shrubs were planted along the Wyomanock Creek in Stephentown, and also at the Taghkanic Creek in the Town of Taghkanic (see photo below).
The Wyomanock Center in Stephentown recently planted over 100 trees and shrubs along the Wyomanock Creek. Wyomanock Center promotes sustainable living and environmental education on property consisting of 75 acres of mixed field, woodland and wetland. In the uppermost reaches of the Stockport Creek Watershed, the Town of Stephentown is located in Rensselaer County, and 99% of the town is located within the watershed boundary. Visit www.wyocenter.org for information about events held at Wyomanock Center.
Our second location for spring planting occurred along the Taghkanic Creek behind the Town Hall Building on Route 82. More than 175 trees and shrubs were planted with help from students from Hudson High School and other community volunteers. 91% of the Town of Taghkanic is located within the Stockport Creek Watershed.
STOCKPORT CREEK WATERSHED SIGN CAMPAIGN
To better understand the watershed concept, and strengthen the connection people have with the Kinderhook, Claverack, Taghkanic, Valatiekill, Wyomanock, and other numerous streams and waterways that empty into the Stockport Creek, we have embarked on a name-recognition campaign. As you travel within the boundary of our 517-square mile watershed, you’ll be seeing our new signs prominently displayed at town and village halls, businesses, residences, and other locations. If you would like to participate by displaying a sign on your property, or know of a good location that will draw some attention, please contact Fran@stockportwatershed.org.
(Signs are vinyl, double-sided, 18 x 24 with metal stakes; permission from property owner and adherence to local sign permits required)
On May 26th, members of the Columbia Greene Community College Adult Learning Institute (ALI) learned about the Stockport Creek Watershed and tested water from the Kahseway Kill on campus. (Photo Credit: Margaret Choinsky-Farrell)
NEXT ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING
The regular monthly meetings of the Stockport Creek Watershed Alliance are on temporary hiatus until further notice.
Applicants to join the Advisory Committee are accepted year-round.