EPA, Beech-Nut to talk about aesbestos pile in Canajoharie

EPA, Beech-Nut to talk about aesbestos pile in Canajoharie

Source: http://www.timesunion.com, April 24, 2017
By: Larry Rulison

Discussion will focus on asbestos found at the former food plant

Beech-Nut will be sitting down with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency soon to go over an EPA administrative order that it clean up the asbestos mess at its former Canajoharie plant.

Beech-Nut had until Friday to tell the EPA whether or not it intended to comply with the order, which was issued two weeks ago after a two-year investigation.

“In accordance with the terms of the order, the respondents have acknowledged receipt of the order and have made a timely request for a conference with EPA, which will take place in the near future,” EPA spokesman Elias Rodriguez told the Times Union.

Last week, EPA crews were spraying a protective coating over mounds of toxic demolition debris and plant walls to prevent loose asbestos from blowing into the air of the small village of about 2,100 residents. The debris is there after the demolition of the plant by Todd Clifford, an Ohio developer who bought the building from Beech-Nut in 2013 and apparently took it apart for scrap.

Watchdog groups claim that Clifford may have left behind a huge public health problem.

The piles of asbestos and debris may have exposed anyone nearby to danger, said Emily Walsh, outreach director for the not-for-profit Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the inner lining of the lungs and chest wall that is linked to inhalation of asbestos.

“The asbestos debris that was left out in the open for years could have potentially life-threatening consequences,” Walsh told the Times Union. “Asbestos particles can become airborne and are toxic to breathe in. Once inhaled, the particles can become lodged in their lungs.”

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