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Before the Hoosic River turned white with wastewater, it ran red with dye

LawBefore the Hoosic River turned white with wastewater, it ran red with dye

In November 2021, part of the Hoosic River, running from the Berkshires into Vermont and New York, turned a cloudy white after an improper wastewater discharge from a limestone product facility in Adams.

The incident, which was followed by dozens of other subsequent discharges in 2022 and 2023, is currently being resolved in federal court via a settlement between state officials and Specialty Minerals Inc., Attorney General Andrea Campbell announced last week.

It wasn’t the first time the 76-mile Hoosic River changed color. Nearly two decades earlier, the river ran red.

Hoosic Rover White discharge

In November 2021, Specialty Minerals Inc. in Adams violated the federal Clean Water Act and Massachusetts laws by discharging cloudy wastewater into the Hoosic River, which turned the river white, the state Attorney General’s Office says.Courtesy

On July 2, 2002, an Adams paper mill discharged an undetermined volume of three red dyes into the river, the Bennington Banner reported at the time.

A resident in Pownal, Vermont described it as “blood red.”

“It was the brightest red you’ve ever seen in your life,” Frank Burdick told the Bennington Banner, according to newspaper archives.

Local health officials said the river appeared as though it was dyed with food coloring.

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