Hold Electronics Company Accountable for Pollution of New Bedford Harbor

Target: EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson

Goal: Encourage electronics company, AVX, to not neglect its responsibilities in the cleanup of New Bedford Harbor

While sewage discharges and toxic dumping have been curtailed within New Bedford Harbor, frequently referred to as Buzzard’s Bay, there is still another toxic threat to the harbor that must be addressed: toxic pollution via polychlorinated biphenyls, also known as PCBs. These PCBs come from a variety of sources such as dielectric and coolant fluids. This toxic PCB pollution has compelled the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to term New Bedford Harbor a federal superfund hazardous waste site, and has been consistently listed as one of the nation’s filthiest properties since 1983. Demand that those responsible be held accountable.

While it is promising to see that the EPA is working on the issue, progress has been extremely slow. To date, only an estimated 27% of the harbor has been cleaned over a twenty-eight year time frame. One of the biggest culprits in the contamination of New Bedford Harbor is AVX, a major manufacturer of electronic components. This company came to a $366 million settlement due to their contribution to the harbor’s pollution. This amount may at first glance seem substantial, but in reality pales in comparison to what will be required. Estimates put the harbor at requiring 40 years and over one billion dollars before the cleanup will be completed.

Because the cost of removing contaminants is so high, the EPA’s current plan includes allowances for some parts of the harbor to contain as much as fifty times more toxic pollution than has been left in similar waterway cleanups in other parts of the country. This is entirely unacceptable. The company found at fault, AVX, must be held responsible for the cleanup. A payout alone is unacceptable when the waters around New Bedford Harbor have been left so polluted that citizens are warned not to eat any seafood that may come from even the vicinity of the harbor.

Hold AVX responsible for this travesty and demand they take a more proactive hand in cleaning the toxic pollution they left behind. This project is a massive undertaking and should be handled by those who ruined New Bedford Harbor in the first place.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Administrator Jackson,

While AVX has agreed to pay $366 million in a settlement with the EPA, this alone is not enough. This settlement, stemming from the horrendous toxic PCB pollution spewed into New Bedford Harbor by AVX, is merely a start to the true repercussions that must befall the electronics giant.  Toxic pollution via these aforementioned polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, were originally derived from a variety of sources such as dielectric and coolant fluids. This toxic PCB pollution has compelled the EPA to term New Bedford Harbor a federal superfund hazardous waste site. The New Bedford Harbor has been consistently listed as one of the nation’s filthiest properties since 1983.

The pollution is so excessive that to date only an estimated 27% of the harbor has been cleaned over a twenty-eight year time frame. One of the biggest culprits in the contamination of New Bedford Harbor is AVX, as it is a major manufacturer of electronic components. The $366 million settlement with AVX may on the surface appear quite substantial, but in reality it pales in comparison to what will be required. Estimates see the harbor requiring 40 years and over one billion dollars before the cleanup will be completed.

With the cost of removing contaminants so high, the EPA currently has set forth a plan which includes allowances for some parts of the harbor to contain as much as fifty times more toxic pollution than has been left in similar waterway cleanups in other parts of the country. This is entirely unacceptable. Because of this, a payout alone is insufficient. AVX must be compelled to take a more proactive hand in cleaning the toxic pollution they left behind. Hold AVX responsible by demanding that the cleanup of New Bedford Harbor be handled by those who ruined the waterway in the first place.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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