USA: EPA to Hold Two Meetings on Grasse River Cleanup
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has scheduled two meetings so the public can provide input on the proposed Grasse River cleanup.
“It’s important for the EPA to hear us on this issue,” said Tribal Chief Randy Hart. “One way is for us to participate in the public meetings. The other is to write to the EPA.”
The EPA has proposed partially dredging and then capping the remaining PCB-contaminated sediment in the Grasse River. The Tribe’s Environment Division is urging the EPA to take a more proactive cleanup approach. “If we are able to properly restore the habitat, it will provide benefits to both human health and the natural environment,” remarked Ken Jock, Director of the Environment Division. “This type of action would benefit both the Akwesasne community as well as those who live along the river and other communities downstream.”
Other tribal officials have expressed their concerns about the potential adverse health impacts of PCB contamination. “As a people, the Mohawks at Akwesasne have always known that the advancement of technology and industry would spell disaster for our people,” noted Ron LaFrance, Tribal Chief. “Now is the time that the EPA hears our concerns and objections.”
Approximately seven miles of the Grasse River has been polluted by PCBs and other hazardous substances. “I think we have to look ahead to the future,” remarked Paul Thompson, Tribal Chief. “What’s going to happen in 100 or 200 hundred years? We owe it to the next generations to make sure that they won’t be facing the same problems that we’re trying to fix right now. That’s why we’re encouraging people to attend the public meetings to voice their opinions.”
The EPA has scheduled a series of meetings both in Akwesasne and Massena. The first two meetings will be held in Akwesasne: a public information session on Monday October 29, 2012 at the St. Regis Mohawk School from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and a public meeting at the Senior’s Center from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. They will hold two more meetings in Massena on Tuesday October 30, 2012: a public information session from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and a public meeting from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Both of these meetings will be held in Board Room #30, at the Massena Town Hall, 30 Main Street in Massena. The afternoon public information meetings on both Monday and Tuesday are where the EPA displays information and has informal conversations with attendees. Attendees can express their opinions at the public meetings, held in the evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Press Release, October 18, 2012