Friday, February 24, 2012

Le Roy, NY: EPA moving barrels of tested soil

55 gallon drum

Since my last post (Still no definitive answer to Leroy students illnesses), testing has been done and is now completed on 235 (rotting) barrels that contained soil from wells drilled on the Lehigh Railroad Derailment Superfund site. (I am assuming here that this was when the clean-up after the railroad spill had commenced and they were making sure that the soil--then--was decontaminated.) 

According to WKBW, in 32 of those barrels of soil and rock, " some detectable concentrations of contaminants were found.  However, in all cases the levels of these contaminants were low and are below health-based levels."  In any case, these barrels were moved to a landfill that accepts hazardous waste in Belleville, Michigan.

“I am pleased the EPA is removing the barrels from this Superfund site,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee.  “The EPA must now continue testing and monitoring all areas around the site to assure residents there has been no further contamination.  Everyone in LeRoy and Genesee County must know that their community is a safe place to live, visit, work, and raise a family.”
So, even though we do have the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 'supposedly' doing their jobs...it still does nothing to get to the bottom of why these students/adult developed the strange ticks that they did. It begs to wonder if there really was/is an environmental problem there that hasn't been addressed. 

It seems that my thoughts are in line with Erin Brockovich's and her colleague Bob Bowcock's...

Bowcock’s stresses that his investigation is looking at a myriad of environmental concerns, including the natural gas wells on the grounds of Le Roy High School,  fill material used at the school, the routine complaints of fumes or odors in the school vent system, the school’s storm water system and biological and chemical concerns surrounding the school’s sports field.

According to what Brockovich told ABC, those barrels should have been moved within 30 days of them being filled, but essentially the EPA dropped the ball on that one and Le Roy fell to the wayside for all these decades (since 1970). She asserts that Le Roy is "the largest TCE (trichloroethene) Superfund site in the country" yet the EPA has failed this town and its residents.

“The EPA is failing – it is not protecting people, it is not protecting the environment,” Brockovich said.  ”Sadly, it takes citizens like me, and the people of the impacted communities, to speak up and fix problems that should have been dealt with years ago."

We can only hope that in time, something will be learned that can give the community and these teen's parents answers that they so desperately need...why/how did these almost two dozen teens become afflicted with this mystery illness.


2 comments:

  1. Geez, Belleville, MIchigan now, huh?! God help the people around that site!!! :-(

    Good post - hopefully answers & cures will follow!

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    1. Thanks, Laura. Hopefully, the contamination is slight and it won't bother anyone near the dump site. (Can't always trust what the EPA says, ya know?)

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