11/17/05 Lake Township Re: Formal Legal Comments

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in Letters | 0 comments

To: INTERESTED PARTIES OF UNIONTOWN IEL SUPERFUND SITE 11/17/05

 

Re: LEGAL DOCUMENT SUBMITTED BY LAKE TWP TO US EPA ON THE CLEANUP CHANGES PROPOSED IN 1999.

What evidence was presented after this was issued that caused the Lake Trustees to override these very strong statements, both legal and technical? It is 6 years later, and the public still doesn’t have this vital information, and Congressman Regula has told CCLT he is deferring to Lake Township concerning the Plutonium issue and other man-made radiation that could impact the area’s water supply.

Not long after this document was sent to US EPA for formal comment, the Twp. did a 180 degree turn away from the legal and technical positions presented in this report. CCLT and others were stunned and mystified by the dramatic switch. Because this document makes a strong case that EPA was acting arbitrary and capricious, the sudden “flipflop” by the Lake Trustees after this report was submitted was very troubling. They didn’t merely change their position. Trustee Ruley & her supporters began viciously attacking our citizens group and experts, bizarrely attempting to discredit us, ironically because CCLT maintained the same opinions put forth by attorneys and technical experts hired by the Trustees!

Extremely puzzled, we wrote Sue Ruley, Twp. Trustee, seeking concrete evidence as to what caused her to suddenly embrace the polluters’ and EPA’s opinions. We asked whether she had new independent information that supported this switch. (She had been a big proponent of independent testing vs. the PRPS, even citing publicly Tom Grumbly’s recommendation regarding double blind studies). …Ruley’s written reply indicated the Twp. Did not possess such evidence. We wondered, did it have anything to do with the Twp. being listed as a possible Third Party Defendant with the Army and others? When the Justice Dept./US EPA released its findings from an 8 month secret investigation into the former landfill owner, Charles Kittinger’s Federal Court testimony of allegations of the government disposing Plutonium cores into IEL, CCLT obtained legal depositions of Mr. Kittinger’s testimony.

In these depositions, we believe we found additional clues into why the township may have gone the other way. The PRP’s attorney raised several key questions about possible liability issues regarding the Twp, And local Health Dept., I.e, the lagoons built at IEL for liquid disposal and the permitting process. While such concerns regarding liability may exist, did it justify abandoning the technical advice put for by Bennett & Williams onbehalf of the Twp.? (NOTE: We believe the Bennett/Williams 1999 report included extremely serious concerns, including, but not limited to, whether LOW FLOW was properly implemented during sampling, that may have caused significantly skewed test results for metals, vocs and radiation – thus affecting the cleanup – because the 1998 test results were heavily relied upon in opening the Record of Decision.)

And, if a potential liability existed, shouldn’t Ms. Ruley and others have recused themselves regarding the IEL? Instead, they pushed their new agenda. Didn’t this constitute a possible conflict of interest? A recent Repository article reported that the Tusc. Watershed may impact 13 counties. USGS indicated IEL drains toward the Tusc. The health of thousands of people may be at risk by what is buried in IEL. Yet, the Twp. even supported the sealing of 33 test wells, although the Monitored Natural Attenuation must rely on such test wells to tell what the contamination is doing at the site. The public has a right to know.

 

COMMENTS OF THE BOARD OF LAKE TOWNSHIP TRUSTEES ON THE PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE REMEDY AT THE INDUSTRIAL EXCESS LANDFILL SUPERFUND SITE

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