LeROY, NY - A statement was released Thursday by Erin Brockovich's team regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's recent cleanup in LeRoy. They removed 235 barrels of waste left from a train derailment in 1971.
Read the full statement below:
"The EPA clearly dropped the ball on the largest TCE Superfund site in the country and their press release today is a feeble attempt to gloss over their abject failure in Le Roy. The Lehigh Valley Railroad derailment in 1971 was not a small event - it was a massive spill and the EPA had a responsibility to ensure that the polluter clean up the site, and remove the drums of toxic waste within 30 days of being filled. That never happened.
Instead, 235 barrels of hazardous toxic waste were allowed to sit unattended, unprotected and exposed to the elements to rust, decay and leach their toxic contents back into the environment. I'm curious to know if the EPA even reads their own press releases. On one hand, the EPA suggests they found no contamination in the barrels, but they go on to detail the contamination they did find, including TCE and cyanide.
While the EPA will try to convince the public that the levels of toxic contaminants in the barrels are low and not a concern, the sad truth is that they found any at all. And of course the levels are going to be low now after years of neglect that allowed those toxic chemicals to be reintroduced to the environment. What were those contaminant levels 5 years ago?
To make matters worse, the EPA didn't even realize the barrels of hazardous material had never been disposed of properly. We actually alerted the EPA that the rotting barrels were still there in Le Roy. They had no idea.
The EPA is failing-it is not protecting people, it is not protecting the environment and we see this type of situation play out it communities across the country. Sadly, it takes citizens like me, and the people of the impacted communities, to speak up and fix problems that should have been dealt with years ago."