Today Congressman Dan Maffei and U.S Senator Charles E. Schumer released a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regarding Wastebed 13 in Camillus, New York. Rep. Maffei and Sen. Schumer asked the EPA and the DEC to conduct a health assessment to determine potential impacts for residents of the Golden Meadows development in Camillus.
Residents of the neighborhood are extremely concerned about the plans to move sediment from Onondaga Lake to Wastebed 13 for storage. While the importance of cleaning up Onondaga Lake is undeniable, Rep. Maffei and Sen. Schumer said that we need to understand all of the potential of storing chemicals near residents' homes before moving forward.
Congressman Maffei said: "Cleaning up Onondaga Lake has been an issue for our community for decades, and we want to make sure the work continues. However, residents who have recently moved to the area have very legitimate concerns about the effects of additional chemical waste storage in their neighborhood. We're asking the EPA and DEC for due diligence in keeping our neighbors informed as we continue to clean up Lake Onondaga."
Senator Schumer said: "There is no denying that cleaning up Onondaga Lake is of critical importance, but we have to go into the process with our eyes wide open and a complete understanding of the consequences. Residents have a right to know what's going to be put in their back yard, and what the consequences are."
A copy of the letter is below.
Environmental Protection Agency
Administrator Lisa P. Jackson
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
In the town of Camillus, New York there is a growing concern regarding the waste remediation plan between Honeywell International, Inc., the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Specifically, residents are worried about sediment from Onondaga Lake that will be stored in an existing wastebed in Camillus (Wastebed 13) owned by the company under a proposed remediation plan. It is our understanding that the EPA and DEC both signed on to this plan in 2005. In the subsequent years, more residential housing developments have been built close to Wastebed 13. Those residents and elected officials in the Town of Camillus are worried about the potential impact that the Wastebed 13 sediment consolidation area will have on public health and quality of life. We fully understand the importance of the ongoing cleanup of Onondaga Lake. Yet, as elected representatives we must also strongly prioritize the health and welfare of the citizens which we serve. Therefore, we are asking that the EPA and DEC conduct a health assessment study to determine if the sediment consolidation area at Wastebed 13 will have any negative effects on the residents of Camillus.
Residents of the Golden Meadows development have asked our offices to assist them in acquiring clear information about this plan. We request that the EPA and DEC conduct a health assessment study with information including, but not limited to, the specific chemicals that will be placed in the sediment consolidation area, the quantities of such chemicals, any potential for leaching and plume migration, the site classifications for hazardous waste under NYS Environmental Conservation Law for Wastebed 13 both before and after this plan is carried out, and if this will fully protect the health of local residents.
Although, the current plan has been developed over the past decade, many of the residents only moved to this area within the past 2-3 years. They would like more specific information on how this plan will affect their health and their neighborhoods. It is important that this process continues to be transparent and that residents are provided with the information that they need on this plan. Please contact our offices with any follow-up questions.
Charles E. Schumer
Daniel B. Maffei