PCB dump proposal from GE, EPA 'should be scrapped'
To the Editor: We do not need pages of scientific studies or reams of quantitative evidence to tell the public we do not want what the Environmental Protection Agency and General Electric are selling. The numbers say it all.
Public comment periods yielded 428 comments, some shouting with rage, not one in favor. The Lee town representatives voted 38-8 to renegotiate the proposal and exclude the dump. When the EPA eventually responded to the comment sessions, the response was weak and unsatisfactory — not worthy of the job costing half a billion dollars.
The current proposal is to use 50,000-100,000 truck trips over a period of 10-15 years to bring PCB contaminated material to Lenox Dale. This is not a proposal the public wants. Furthermore, it defies common sense.
The exhaust emissions alone from these trucks would be as bad as the PCBs and, on top of that, is the expensive wear and tear and maintenance on our roads and bridges. Too much truck traffic is already an issue in the county. The proposal should be scrapped and started over, and especially stating that all PCB contaminated material generated by the Rest of River project shall be transported by rail out of state to a properly licensed disposal facility.
It just happens that the railroad parallels the Housatonic River and goes right to, or close to, all identified work areas of the existing Rest of River proposal. By a ratio of 3-1, it is the most efficient and least expensive way to move heavy loads long distances. When I think about it, the railroad solves many of the major disputes associated with the Rest of River proposal.
It eliminates 50,000-100,000 thousand truck trips, it’s on the right side of the environment, it pleases thousands of citizens, and makes the eternal nuisance, thorn in the public’s side, look like burnt toast. We can leave our towns with a cleaner river and a clean slate for future generations and that matters to us. Let’s make it happen.
The writer is the town meeting representative for Lee’s District 1.