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Posted by: BillA on Jan 29, 2015 - 01:05 AM
The Royalton-Hartland School property will also be targeted for remediation in 2015. The school shares it's western border with the properties in the “K” block. Areas of the school not previously remediated will be addressed with permission from the school board.
To view the flier sent to most Middleport residents click here.
To view the news article published in the Buffalo News click here.
To view the news article published in the Lockport US&J click here.
A letter explaining the process and emphasizing the fact property owners can decline or “Opt-Out” was sent by Chairman Bill Arnold to the property owners of the “M” and “K” blocks. A supplement to the letter provided some reasons declining could be justified. This was to balance the information given to the property owner with pro remediation information coming from the state agencies. To view the letter click on the "Read Full Article" link below.
Dear Fellow Resident,
As owners of property within the so called M and K blocks of Middleport, you should have received letters from the New York State DEC explaining their intention to examine your property and determine a plan to remediate.
The proposed process will be to first obtain permission to perform additional soil sampling, then inquire about features owners want saved, determine what areas of the property require remediation from the additional sampling, work up a plan, present the plan to the owner and then proceed with remediation.
Please keep in mind you have the right to refuse or decline anytime in this process, even refusing initial contact. Typically in the past, at any time where someone has to come onto a property, a written request to proceed has a page for the owner’s signature with two sections. One for acceptance and one to decline or refuse. The owner signs in the appropriate place. It is not clear if it will work that way this time but you will have the right to register your refusal if you wish.
Every effort has been made, especially by Mayor Westcott, to protect your rights and interests as property owners and to protect the village as best as possible. The agencies have indicated they will try to persuade you to change your mind if you chose to decline remediation. It is hoped they will not resort to arm twisting or threats but these techniques have been used in the past by parties trying to convince owners to remediate. Be aware that the DEC cannot force you to remediate. The decision is totally up to the property owner alone.
If you have questions or concerns you would be best served by contacting Sally Dews at the DEC in Albany at 518-402-9768 or E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may want to have your property remediated if:
You may want to decline remediation if:
The Agencies will provide their reasons to remediate. The following are some reasons to consider that support declining remediation.
The Agencies base their concern for Arsenic exposure on studies performed in countries such as Taiwan, Japan, Chile, Argentina and third world countries where humans were exposed to contaminated drinking water. By their own admission in a response to a public comment submitted in 2012, “there are no studies in the peer reviewed literature that demonstrate an increased risk of cancer from arsenic in soil”. Arsenic in water is in a dissolved state more easily absorbed by the body when ingested. Arsenic which has been in soil for a number of years as in Middleport has become chemically bound to other minerals such as iron and copper to form compounds not as easily broken down. Middleport residents in the areas of concern obtain their water from a municipal water system, not from wells. Consider how many glasses of water you drink over plates of soil you eat in a day.
The Agencies concern for vegetables grown in area soil is based on studies performed in third world countries where rice was grown in patties flooded with contaminated water. Their belief is if rice would uptake arsenic in this condition, it might be true for all vegetables in any growing condition. This has been shown as not true. (See studies below)
There have been numerous studies performed using Middleport soil or involving Middleport residents,a few conducted by the New York State DOH. Some of these are:
Note the studies cited in 5 and 6 above were done before the massive cleanup of the athletic field.
The Agencies choose to dismiss all of these studies relying on those conducted in Japan and third world countries based on arsenic in water not soil.
The state is targeting any residential property which has arsenic levels above the background level for the Middleport area. This level is set slightly above the state wide level because of historical land usage in the area. It was statistically calculated using soil samples from the Gasport area. This calculation did not strictly follow the guidelines stipulated in the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program and Soil Cleanup Objectives document. If it had, the calculated Middleport background would be significantly higher resulting in less required remediation.
Arsenic is a naturally occurring element in soil.
The agencies have deemed inhaling dust and exposure on the skin to be possible but remote. The main exposure pathway is ingestion, you have to ingest the soil. This may sound odd but small children do play outside in the dirt and place their hands in their mouths, but not over a long period of time (35 to 70 years and 200 to 350 days per year depending on which Agencies statistics is used).
Using data from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Daniel Watts (New Jersey Institute of Technology) estimates a 150 lb. person could ingest the equivalent of 85 peas worth of dirt at 20 ppm of arsenic contamination each day and would still be safe under the acute exposure rule. For chronic exposure it would be the equivalent of 5.1 peas a day. Double the contamination in soil and you could probably halve the number of equivalent peas per day. You will have to consider how much you are exposed to dirt in your yards and if you would ingest that amount every day, even in winter?
There is evidence from past remediation projects in Middleport that the heavy equipment used in excavating and large trucks used to haul dirt can damage the foundations and plaster of homes.
If a property owner declines remediation anytime from the initial contact or after reviewing the plan for their property, that owner or subsequent owner can ask for the property to be remediated in the future. If FMC is not on board at the time, the state will perform the remediation if state funds are available.
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All meetings run from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge, 20 Main St. in the Village. All Middleport residents and property owners are welcome to stop by anytime while we are meeting.
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