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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Toxic Dump - New Hartford, N.Y. - See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

Concerned Citizens sent a FOIL request to the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (D.E.C.) to see just how much they knew regarding the history of this dump and how much information they have in their possession regarding this dumpsite. They provided us with all kinds of information...letters, emails, reports, and pictures. It even looks like they were aware that the Dump was ordered closed in 1961...they provided us with a copy of Judge Ringrose's decision along with one of the newspaper articles that we previously posted.

In fact, even the Town of New Hartford was aware of Judge Ringrose's decision. We found the July 5, 1961 Town Board minutes that said:
Town Attorney Robert E. Morris announced that a decision has been rendered by Justice Ringrose that the Scullys had been ordered to cease dumping operations.
So the question is why did the D.E.C. and the Town allow the Scullys to keep dumping as late as 1973 according to the Lockheed Martin website.

Here is a slideshow of some of the 190 pictures that D.E.C. provided us:


We spoke to one of the homeowners adjacent to the dumpsite; this family has been housed at the Radisson for the past 9 months courtesy of Lockheed Martin...and they remain there as of this blog. They provided us with an Observer Dispatch article from an April 11, 1994 - We've been very lucky at this site. This article was written 33 years after the court ordered the closing of the dump...and the clean-up continues to go on today. The 1994 OD article says:
"According to all the studies that have been done -- there is no (PCB) migration to any private resident wells, the results have come out clean" said Peter Ouderkirk, the DEC project manager overseeing the cleanup. "We are very comfortable with the cleanup. We have done extensive groundwater monitoring."
So if they did such extensive monitoring in 1994, how come they are back at the site again, digging and hauling away soil?

The 1994 OD article goes on to say:
The city-owned Southern Reservoir is situated about 1/4 mile from the site. Utica Water Board Principal Engineer Donald Weimer said contamination of the water supply is "impossible".
So if that is the case, then how come on November 5, 1988, just about the time the D.E.C. and State first stepped in to test the site, the New Hartford Town Board bonded for $170,000 for the construction of a water supply system in and for Cascade Drive; the bond paid for by all residents of the Town of New Hartford?

The 1994 OD article also says:
DEC has classified the site...as a class 2 hazardous waste site. "If left unremediated it poses a significant threat to the environment or public health", the DEC report states.
Another home at 210 Valley View Road was purchased by Lockheed Martin last summer. Why?

Can we really believe any of our town "leaders" when they tell us this dump is now clean. Look at the byline in the 1994 OD article...State and City officials are downplaying the problems at a site contaminated by toxic pollutants.

How come Town Officials never made it public that representatives from Lockheed Martin, the D.E.C. and the Health Department would be at the February 25, 2009 Town Board Meeting to discuss the Scully Toxic Dump site? Isn't this a public concern? Coincidentally, the discussion was scheduled right about the time that Concerned Citizens and WTVH Channel 5 started asking questions for a news story. They all said that people in the area were kept informed of the situation; yet a person who lived directly downhill of the site never received one piece of mail from anyone regarding the site.

And just as important, how come, according to a February 25, 2009 Observer Dispatch article quoted Stephen Litwhiler, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation as saying:
“We would have no restrictions for use,” Litwhiler said. “There is no contamination left.”
We 'Googled' several other toxic waste dump sites and they all have restrictions placed on them as far as future development...yet this site has none. Why?

We have FOILed the Town of New Hartford for the file they have on the Scully site. Town residents deserve answers, particularly those in the area of the Scully dump. How many people bought homes in that area and had no idea that there was a toxic dump in their backyard? And all along the town, the D.E.C., the Dept. of Health and Lockheed Martin were well aware of the situation! This is unconscionable.

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