Dupont & DEP Hammered by Angry Residents for Failure to Cleanup Toxic Nightmare Linked to Cancer Cluster
[Update: some cynical bastard in DHSS is trying hard to make it APPEAR that they are listening, but we are not fooled. Right click on this document “Vapor Intrusion Health Consultation” scroll down and click on “document properties” and note that the expanded area of investigation was in a document that was created 6 hours BEFORE the public meeting last night. DHSS knew their study was flawed and prepared a “expansion” BEFORE the hearing. DHSS are now trying to make that look like a concession. Just look at today’s press release: DHSS Will Expand Analysis of Cancer, Other Health Issues in Pompton Lakes – they think we are stupid.]
About 500 concerned – and rightfully angry – residents turned out at a public meeting last night to demand that their community be cleaned up; that multi-billion dollar corporate polluter Dupont be held accountable; and that the NJ Department of Environmental Protection be fired for their incompetent – at best – years of failure to enforce cleanup by Dupont.
The meeting was held to present recent findings by the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services. DHSS found statistically significant elevated rates of bladder cancers in women and lymphoma in men that live on top of the toxic groundwater plume caused by Dupont’s chemical dumping. See: ANALYSIS OF CANCER INCIDENCE IN THE POMPTON LAKES
NEIGHBORHOOD IMPACTED BY THE DUPONT GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION
Dupont dumped toxic chemicals in the Pompton Lakes community for almost 100 years, causing massive damage not only to the resident’s health, but to natural resources.
Tragically, even the Town’s namesake, Pompton Lake, is poisoned by Dupont’s chemicals; fish are not safe to eat; and natural resources and wildlife are poisoned. Yet 5 years ago, former DEP Commisioner Brad Campbell cut a sweetheart deal with Dupont for “Natural Resource Damages” at 8 Dupont toxic sites in NJ – including Pompton Lakes, who received NOTHING from this paltry settlement. Curiously, Campbell is now involved with a $5 billion deal to build a new coal powerplant plant on Dupont’s 108 acre toxic site in Linden, NJ. (see “Pigs in Linden“)
Back in July of 2008, at the invitation of Councilman Ed Meakem, I testified to the Council about how NJ’s cleanup laws put Dupont in charge and how DEP’s failure to enforce cleanup laws put their community at risk. I recommended that residents of the Town form a citizen’s group to hold Dupont and DEP accountable and hire their own independent expert to represent their interests. (see: “On a Night Like This” – and “It’s All Your Fault” which talks about Dupont’s attempt to dodge liability and blame the victims – homeowners – for Dupont’s toxic pollution:
For many years, Dupont has known – but not revealed – that toxic chemicals have seeped below the residential neighborhood surrounding the Dupont plant. But those facts now have outed and Dupont is scrambling in response to community outrage, and has promised to clean up their mess and install â€œvapor intrusion mitigationâ€ systems in homes to prevent further exposure to these toxic volatile organic chemicals.
But, in reading the fine print buried on page 17 of the Dupont plan, one comes across what appears to be a benign statement:
A building survey and chemical inventory will be completed during sample collection. The presence of consumer/household products and materials and building characteristics will be documented on a Building Survey Form (see Appendix G), adapted from Appendix B of NJDEP’s Vapor Intrusion Guidance.
You see, Dupont is suggesting It’s all your fault!
Those toxic chemicals poisoning you in your home are coming NOT from the soil and groundwater polluted by Dupont, but from UNDER YOUR OWN SINK OR GARAGE!
You see, It’s all your fault!
Under the leadership of Councilman Ed Meakem and Councilwoman Lisa Riggiola and growing out of that meeting, the local activists group Citizens for a Clean Pompton Lakes (CCPL) was formed. Last night, working with Edison Wetlands Association experts and strong support from NJ Senators Lautenberg and Menendez and Congressman Pascrell, CCPL released a 10 point action plan.
Despite being responsible for the cleanup and the focus of concern by the community, DEP did not even SHOW UP to the meeting. DEP’s absence outraged this woman, who said the meeting wasted her time: