Source: https://www.troyrecord.com, April 4, 2019
By: Michael Gwizdala
According to Town of Nassau Supervisor David Fleming, the United States Environmental Protection Agency informed him a site on Route 203 tested positive for significant contamination and is believed to be connected to the Dewey Loeffel operations.
The contamination is nearly 5.5 miles from the federal Dewey Loeffel Superfund Site.
After learning of this latest development, town officlals instituted a coordinated outreach to potentially impacted residents along with contact to elected officials at every level of government. The EPA, State Department of Environmental Conservation, the State Department of Public Health and Rensselaer County Department of Health were partners in this outreach and review.
“The toxic legacy of the Dewey Loeffel Superfund Site continues to impact a community trying to heal from decades of contamination,” Fleming said. “I’m personally appreciative of my colleagues in local government for their quick response and professionalism in this most recent discovery.
“Nassau is also appreciative of the constant outreach by the EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez and his team and the DEC team led by Commissioner Basil Seggos. Their leadership, expertise and sincere concern in this most recently discovered contamination has meant a great deal.”
Representatives at the federal, state and county levels voiced their concerns on the revelation of the newly discovered contamination.
“These new reports of contamination are deeply troubling — it’s unacceptable that folks here in the Town of Nassau have to worry about whether or not their water will make them or their kids sick,” noted Rep. Antonio Delgado, who toured the Superfund Site in March. “After first touring the Dewey Loeffel Superfund Site last month, I’m returning tomorrow with my colleague, Albany Representative and Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko, to meet with Nassau leaders so we can continue the conversation about addressing this water contamination.”
“We need the EPA to use its full power to truly understand the breadth of contamination and ensure that the appropriate remedial action is taken so our communities have clean drinking water. That’s why I’m joining a number of my colleagues in pushing for $1.5 billion in funding for EPA to clean up superfund sites in Fiscal Year 2020. I will not let up in pressuring the EPA to fulfill its responsibilities to the Town of Nassau and communities across Upstate New York,” Delgado added of the need for funding and action at the federal level.
“I will continue my steadfast support of the residents of Nassau and to work with Supervisor Fleming to ensure the most timely and effective solution,” State Assemblyman Jake Ashby said of his support for Nassau residents.
“This situation is unacceptable but I know our team of federal, state, county and local officials are prepared to do whatever it takes to successfully resolve these issues,” Ashby added of the need for representatives on all levels of government to effectively address the situation.
“News of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent notification that a site in the Town of Nassau believed to be related to the Dewey Loeffel Toxic Landfill has tested positive for significant contamination is cause for concern and requires a comprehensive and thorough investigation by the EPA,” said State Sen. Daphne Jordan said, echoing the sentiments of Ashby and Delgado. “I stand with Town Supervisor Dave Fleming who has been an outspoken advocate and champion for the health, safety, and well-being of his Nassau constituents and has continued calling attention to this issue.
“The Dewey Loeffel site is a toxic dump twice the size of Love Canal. This latest discovery further underscores the urgent need for federal and state authorities to continue working together and to provide the necessary assistance and remediation for the Town of Nassau.”
“I am beyond dismayed about the recent revelations that new contamination from the Dewey Loeffel Landfill Superfund site has been discovered,” Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin added of offering the county’s full support. “The County Health Department has already provided bottled water to affected residents and stands at the ready to assist in any way to help our neighbors in Nassau.
“I will be placing a call to my former colleague Pete Lopez in the Assembly to offer our assistance to the Federal authorities in their response to this troubling news and to get an update. The county applauds the quick response of Nassau Supervisor Dave Fleming to this issue and wholeheartedly supports his continuing and unwavering advocacy for the residents of Nassau.”
“Nassau for far too long has experienced two realities for its water resources. One of unimaginable natural beauty and clean water flowing from the Rensselaer Plateau with wells yielding some of the best water you will ever have to quench your thirst,” Fleming added of the supportive efforts to solve the contamination crisis. “The other is the reality of the Dewey Loeffel Superfund Site impacting drinking water for generations around the area.
“We all deserve the same future. Our community is thankful for those in the trenches fighting with us to secure clean water and a clean environment for this generation and those to come.”
As part of this ongoing investigation by federal officials, the Town is asking anyone with information related to other properties around the Loeffel Superfund Site and surrounding communities that were utilized for trucking or other operations relating to the Dewey Loeffel Waste Dump from 1950-80 or even later, to email firstname.lastname@example.org.