South Edmeston resident Dale Brownell, who had blamed Chobani’s water use for problems his family had pumping water with their well, said he was skeptical of the testing authorized by the SRBC because it was performed by a company hired by Chobani, Plumley Engineering of Baldwinsville.
“It’s not surprising to me that a company hired by Chobani is saying that Chobani passed the test,” said Brownell, noting his family refused to participate in the test.
Obleski defended the testing regimen, calling Plumley well-qualified to conduct the testing and noting that its engineering license requires it to abide by ethical standards.
A Plumley representative, who declined to give his name, said the testing was completed by his company along with the engineering firm of Haley & Aldrich as part of an application by Chobani to put a new well on line.
The Plumley representative said: “It was the opinion of the two firms — Haley & Aldrich and Plumley Engineering — that the most likely cause (for the water shortages reported by some residents) was either bad well formations or the recent drought.”
Asked whether the tests could be accurate when they were performed months after the residents reported the water shortages, the Plumley representative stated: “There is no definitive test that is going to tell you an absolute for anything.”
Any conclusions that are made as a result of the examination of the test data, he said, will be made by the SRBC.
“We’ve given them thousands of pages of data, and they are combing through them right now,” he said. “They really do do their due diligence.”