E.P.A.'s Plan is sound
'Opportunity is pounding down the door'
by Robert L. Henrickson
East Nassau, New York
Having attended the public hearing in Saratoga
on December 12th, I was struck by two things.
First, how many people, politicians included, have been blinded by G.E.'s
propaganda campaign (or $$$), to a point where they cannot connect with
the reality presented in the E.P.A. proposal.
Second, the sheer size of the crowd, which overflowed the hall. Unfortunately,
the time allotment to speak was only two minutes, but there is a lot of
power in numbers.
First Read, Then Write
My message that I tried to get out in Saratoga is this: Start
by taking a look at a book entitled: Our Stolen Future, by Colborn,
Dumanoski and Myers (www.ourstolenfuture.org),
especially if you're still not sure about the cleanup. Some of this will
stand your hair on end!
Next, get a letter of support out to E.P.A.
during the agency's public comment period, as well as to Governor
Pataki and N.Y. State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC)
John Cahill for their support of the cleanup, and copy your other elected
officials. The Governor and the Commissioner are going to be under
a lot of pressure in the next few weeks to withdraw their support for the
Favors boycotting G.E.
Finally, let's get a boycott going of G.E. products!
Why do I see only one letter-to-the-editor
on HudsonWatch.net with that suggestion? The E.P.A. plan is the
opportunity of a lifetime, and G.E. is going to get away with murder if
the cleanup is stopped.
Nassau's Dewey Loeffel Toxic Waste Dump dwarfs Love Canal
If you doubt the importance of what I'm suggesting, please understand
I live in tbe Rensselaer County town of Nassau with its Dewey Loeffel
Toxic Waste Dump, named after the chemical waste hauler who created
it, and home of an admitted forty-six thousand (46,000) tons of PCB's and
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) like Xylene, Toluene, Benzine, TCE,
and DCE, etc., contributed by G.E. 80%, by Schenectady Chemicals 17%, and
by Bendix 1-2% (approximately).
For reference, Love
Canal at Niagara Falls, New York contained twenty-one thousand
eight-hundred (21,800) tons of chemical wastes.
(For more information on Love Canal, Click
A fault in the underlying bedrock
In 1980, G.E. and NYSDEC agreed the former would pay to cap Loeffel's
toxic 11-acre lagoon, which was unlined. It turns out though, that there
exists a fault in the underlying bedrock estimated to be seventy (70) feet
wide; and guess what, the contents are leaking out into the
Valatie Kill, Nassau Lake and surrounding wells.
Nothing done since discovery of leak
Since 1988 when the leak was discovered, G.E. and NYSDEC have been
duking it out over the issue of responsibility, and virtually nothing
has been done. And please, this is not in any way, shape or form how the
E.P.A. plans to place the Hudson's PCB's.
The point here, is that opportunity is pounding down the door, and if
we miss this chance, we may never get another. The E.P.A. plan is a sound
one. True, there are things that need to be worked out by reasonable people
in a rational manner, ie., Port of Albany dewatering site, but if G.E.
is allowed to walk on this one, we are walking away from our responsibility
as stewards of the land for future generations.
In my opinion, G.E. could have taken the moral high road and done the
right thing in agreeing to perform the cleanup, which would have hardly
altered their bottom line and been a real public relations coup.
$2 million a week in disinformation & lies
Instead, they decided to pour an estimated $2 million a week into a
campaign of disinformation and outright lies, ostensibly to demonstrate
to their stockholders they are defending their bottom line.
Unfortunately, the campaign appears to have been somewhat successful.
With the numbers on our side, it doesn't have to be that way. Let's
turn-off the TV, put down the beer, and get off the couch and get organized.
At the very least write some letters and boycott G.E. products!
(Robert L. Henrickson is a member of the Nassau Union
of Concerned Citizens, Inc. and a trustee on the Village Board of East
Nassau, New York. He may be reached via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org)