Target: Kelsey O’Neil, EPA Community Involvement Coordinator
Goal: Make General Electric (GE) keep their promise to clean up the Housatonic River.
After promising to clean up the Housatonic River, General Electric is now telling the EPA that their rules are too strict. For over forty years, GE dumped industrial chemicals called PCBs into the river. These toxic substances have made the water unusable from Connecticut to Massachusetts. The EPA drafted an agreement holding GE responsible. Now that the draft has been updated to make GE repair more damages, they are calling it unreasonable. Tell the EPA not to back down and to continue to hold GE accountable for cleaning up the toxic waste.
The EPA’s new proposal will ensure that GE reduces an effective amount of PCBs from the 149-mile river. The submitted changes will include cleaning contaminated soil 10 miles from the plant, shipping the contamination to an out-of-state facility, and dredging over 200 acres of Woods Pond. Woods Pond has the highest concentration of carcinogens on the whole lake, yet GE says it should only have to clean 13 percent because doing more would have no environmental benefit. They also say that shipping the waste out of state is too expensive, even though Massachusetts law requires it. In their rebuttal statement they stated that “these regulations should be waived in their entirety.”
GE is not above the law and should not be given leniency on these issues. They are fighting the EPA for not abiding by the original proposal, which was in a draft state and was legally subject to change. If GE has their way, then the river might be highly contaminated forever. Demand that the EPA holds GE accountable for cleaning up the proposed toxic waste.
Dear Ms. O’Neil,
I am writing to demand that the EPA stand its ground and make GE clean up the maximum amount of toxins possible in the Housatonic River. GE originally cut disposal costs by dumping PCBs into the river. They cannot shirk costs again when it is time to clean them up. The agreement you proposed is the least that can be done by a $130 billion company.
Woods Pond has the highest level of carcinogens in the river and needs to have the proposed 200 acres cleaned. Besides this, the hazardous sediment needs to be shipped out of state as Massachusetts law states. This state’s laws should not be dismissed, especially when GE has already destroyed one of its greatest resources. The river has been unusable for four generations. Please don’t let it go on any longer. Hold GE accountable for cleaning up this toxic waste.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Sturmovik