Thursday, August 30, 2007

DeLauro Does Nothing on Proposed Toxic Dump

Perhaps it was because Romulan Command didn't give her an explicit directive, but Rosa DeLauro has completely let down the residents of Stratford. These residents have had to contend with the very real threat that the federal Environmental Protection Agency would dig up toxic waste from multiple sites contaminated by the former Raymark Industries, and burying and capping it in a single location in Stratford.

DeLauro, who I am told only sent a young and uninformed girl from her staff to the meetings that have been taking place in Stratford to basically take notes, issued excuse after excuse concerning the EPA. It took urging from State Representative John Harkins (R-Stratford) and State Senator Dan Debicella (R-Shelton) to get the EPA to indicate they may budge on the plan.

Harkins and Debicella issued a stinging letter this week to the EPA, asking for alternatives to be considered. Wednesday night nearly 500 residents showed up at a meeting to protest the dump. The EPA wants to create a toxic dump in Stratford that contains lead, asbestos and PCBs. And DeLauro has been AWOL during the whole process.

Finally, at last night's meeting, the EPA indicated they might budge on the issue. No thanks to DeLauro. Her office did issue a statement though. In part, it said: ""It is my sincerest hope that whatever remedy is selected, it will address the health and safety concerns of residents, as well as provide relief to the greatest number of impacted property owners." She doesn't appear to care enough to offer anymore than platitudes.

DeLauro is more wrapped up in the politics of Washington D.C. and it appears that her priorities reflect that. A review of her Congressional website reveals that her latest release this week was an effort to pile onto Attorney General Gonzalez following his resignation. She has plenty of time to break political balls, but none for the people of her district facing real problems.

That's what you get when you elect a Romulan. Maybe next time the 3rd District can elect a Klingon or Ferengie.


Paul Rohaly said...

On the contrary Rosa Delauro has been a big help to the residents! I am a resident who shares a property line of the old Raymark Ballfield (or OU4 if you work for the EPA) and am one of the people who contacted Rosa 7 years ago with my concerns on the EPA’s plan to consolidate toxic waste behind my house. The result was halting of the EPA’s plans, the formation of the Raymark Advisory Committee (RAC), and the search for alternate methods. Rosa’s has continued to pressure the EPA and CT DET for alternatives, unfortunately they have not been successful and none of the current options are acceptable to the residents of Stratford. Rosa is also the only elected official to have a representative from her office attend every RAC meeting, the second Tuesday of every month for the past seven years. I know this first hand since I am on the RAN....Rosa has been a strong alia of the public on this issue and I’m glad she is here!
I also thank John Harkins & Senator Debicella for there help as well. Both have joined the fray and we all need to work together for a resolve to this issue in a manner that does not include dumping toxic material in to residential neighborhoods where our children play!

Live Long and Prosper,

Paul Rohaly
Stratford Resident

Headless Horseman said...

Paul, thanks for your thoughts on this.

The Stratford residents I am familiar with seem to feel differently about Rosa's actions (or inaction). They paint a picture of here consistently deferring to the EPA and taking no real stand against them.

It doesn't seem to me she's been very helpful if she hasn't gotten you anywhere in seven years.

But I do hope this mess is stopped and that you and your neighbors can live free of the fear of this massive proposed toxic dump. Best wishes to you, your family and neighbors.

mccommas said...


I see what you mean. Besides looking like one she is very passionate yet lacking logic.

Delauro should retire. It’s long past time.

She is like a houseguest that won't leave no how many times you hint the party is over.

Diapers and politicians should be changed often

-- for the same reason.

Paul Rohaly said...

Letter to the Headless Horseman

I am writing as a concerned Stratford citizen to let the residents know a few details concerning the time line and political support for the residents during our efforts to resolve issues with the Raymark Cleanup.

These are some of the problems that required extensive time that were encountered by the RAC (Raymark Advisory Committee) and Congressional staffer with the EPA and CTDEP:
Difficulties in obtaining accurate costs for the projects
Errors in EPA supplied reports for OU3 Ferry Creek and OU6 The Commercial properties
Differences in standards between the EPA and the CTDEP for cleanups
Failure to respond to questions concerning liability of contaminated waste
Vague answers concerning residents rights and responsibilities of property owned next to Operating Units
Threats to add an Abutter group for neighbors residing next to a contaminated site that would not allow the owner to perform additions on his property with out EPA authority
Incorrect designation of a property that was not contaminated with Raymark waste by adding it to the Superfund cleanup plan for OU6
Gross over estimates of contamination soil on properties
Underestimated costs for remediation of properties
Failure to provide accurate costs for VOC vent systems installations into residences
Need to revisit one previously medigated sites at additional cost a second time
Need to revisit one previously medigated site at additional cost for a third time
Continuous threats to dump hazardous waste into residential areas

We asked for help from our elected representatives and got it and it is important to let the residents known who helped. During the past seven years we have received support from: Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Senator’s George Doc Gunther, Senator Dan Debicella, Representative’s Larry Miller and John Harkins, and Stratford 3rd District Councilman 3rd Gavin Forrester. These representatives have been extremely helpful and should be commended for their dedicated support and service to the residents and Town of Stratford.

Congresswoman DeLauro has met with members of the RAC at her Connecticut office and has supplied a staff member to attend every meeting and report the progress of the EPA plans. The staff members have changed three times during the RAC’s existence and each representative have been professional and added information to the meetings. The congresswoman and staffers are been a strong supporters and the congresswoman has submitted key points to the EPA Region One. Rosa DeLauro’s interest prompted the EPA to have Mr. Thomas Cook come to the RAC meeting and report directly to the members on the status of the Superfund money left to complete the Raymark properties. Senator Gunther and Senator Debicella have championed our cause in the Senate and Representatives Miller and Harkins have all supported the residents and been our voices in the House. We would be hard pressed to attempt to be heard without the personal support from these people. Locally Councilman Gavin Forrester has been very involved with the local environmental issues and especially the Raymark clean-up and upcoming Feasibility Study and Record of Decision. The record of decision will be presented to the public in a town meeting after which the residents will have a brief period to comment. The public’s attendance and comments are critically important in the process as a lack of concern will mean that they have no say in the outcome of the future of the whole Town of Stratford and the future generations. The residents must inform the EPA and CTDEP of concerns why they oppose the plans in writing and it would be advisable send a copy of your letters to the elected representatives listed.

With an upcoming election the Raymark Clean-up should be a addressed by the individuals running for office and debated in a public forum. Many Stratford residents believe the Raymark Cleanup is over, unfortunately it is not. People also think the $21 million dollars that the EPA has reported to the town residents will complete the plans they have discussed for the Ferry Boulevard properties, Wooster Park (their third return visit), and one property in Lordship on the list known as Operating Unit Six (OU6) it will not by reports from the EPA. The problem is there is a line waiting for monies to resolve Superfund issues in front of Stratford and the EPA has reported it must spend the $21 million before it can apply for more money for our problems. The additional funds may not get here for years, or maybe not at all.


Charles Perez
Ronald Mazzey
Paul Rohaly