Team Dupont Pilloried On Pollution Permit in Pompton Lakes (again)
Pompton Lakes is a Communty At the Breaking Point
â€œThe liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group.â€Â ~~~Â Franklin Delano Roosevelt
[Update: 11/18/10 – watchÂ New Green Media video of public hearing:Â “Pompton Lakes Residents Fight Back”
Against a backdrop of religious iconography, MondayÂ night DEP held a public hearing that exposed moral depravity and again raised the question: Does Dupont own DEP?
Why would DEP even consider – no less agree with -Â billion dollar corporateÂ giant Dupont’s request to save a few thousand dollars on groundwater monitoring costsÂ in an effort to be even less accountable to the people of the communityÂ Dupont has poisoned?
Just the opposite should be happening. Dupont should be forced to expand soil and groundwater monitoring to:
- identify the sources ofÂ groundwater pollution, which an Oct. 10 EPAÂ letter admittedÂ remain unknown after 22 years of work at the site;
- determine the presence of some of the 500 unregulated chemicals that DEP has found in NJ public water supplies, and
- test for pollution at over 200 known contaminated locations on the Dupont site that have not yet been cleaned up (DEP calls them “areas of concern”).Â
I usually write wonky policy stories, and try toÂ use photosÂ orÂ stories about people with integrity, and only as necessary to support the policy arguments. In fact, I sometimesÂ criticize main stream jounalists for lazily using the emotional manipulation of visual images and human interests stories as an excuse for analysis andÂ real investigative journalism.
ButÂ the stories I heard (again) from residents on Monday night’s DEP hearing were compelling and need to be told.
Vojo Congura’sÂ two kids had to watch their 46 year old mom suffer and die anÂ agonizing death from cancer.
They now fear for their own health and don’t go in the basement any more.
Vojo’s homeÂ borders the Dupont property.
Before he found out aboutÂ the Dupont toxic pollution, he invested his life’s savings in his home. He madeÂ improvements,Â expecting to retire on the increasing value of his only asset.
In 2008, his home was valued at $600,000 – but now he can’t sell for $150,000, a quarter of that.
Insead of a comfortable retirement, he got something else from Dupont.
His wife is dead, family suffering, and his life’s savings, hopes and dreams smashed.
All as a result ofÂ Dupont – who has poisoned his home and he believes killed his wife – with toxic chemicals that are migrating off the Dupont site.Â Here’s what Vojo advisedÂ DEPÂ to do:
â€œstep on their throats like they stepped on ours.â€
And Vojo Congura is not the only one destroyed and suffering in Pompton Lakes.
If they had anyÂ integrity or social responsibility, Dupont would haveÂ already agreed to withdraw this application.
But, that’s not likely soÂ folks should contactÂ DEP Commissioner Bob Martin and EPA Regional Administrator Judy Enck and demand that they enforce the cleanup laws, fulfill their commitments to restoreÂ transparency and accountability, and deny Dupont’s request.
Lets get Dupont moving with cleanup, not coverup.Â