Monday, October 20, 2008

TRRAAC attorney fires back at F&M; Charges false allegations

In an Oct. 20 letter to Keith Orris of Franklin & Marshall College, TRRAAC attorney William Cluck denies that he misrepresented the contents of EPA reports he has obtained and raises a number of important questions as to whether asbestos containing materials were dumped at the proposed railyard relocation site, at the former Lancaster Brickyard north of the railroad tracks.

Cluck summarized his responses by saying "Finally, we are extremely disappointed by the defamatory comments attributed to you and Mr. Fry in the Lancaster New Era and your demand in the October 9 letter for a 'public retraction and public apology from TRRAAC regarding these material misrepresentations.' There is nothing to retract and the only apology should come from yourself and Mr. Fry.

"We note that F&M’s web site continues to publish false statements regarding TRRAAC. TRRAAC has previously written to you and requested the false allegations about TRRAAC be removed from your site. To date, you continue to misrepresent TRRAAC's positions to the public."

Did dumping cease at the north site in 1962, as the project partners have asserted? If so, Cluck asks, "How do you explain the presence of asbestos containing material from Armstrong, some of which is on the surface of the property?"

He also asks, "If dumping ended in 1962, according to the RI Report, how do you explain the presence of foundry sand in the material found in the waste on the north side, as documented by ARM Group?"

"If the north side was also used as a solid waste disposal site from 1955 until 1962, why did EPA limit its investigation to the south side?" he continues.

According to Cluck, a September 2002 Environmental Due Diligence Evaluation conducted by ARM Group, Inc, F&M's environmental consultant, should be released since it "contains critical information about the site history." "Apparently neither F&M nor DEP have this document..." writes Cluck.

He also asks that F&M provide evidence that its own dumping activities at the site in the 1980s occurred on the south side only.

Importantly, he notes, "These questions could not have been raised at the June 19, 2008 public meeting as the RI report was not available and F&M had not provided the public with the Step One document nor the 2002 Environmental Due Diligence Investigation."

The questions are important both because construction equipment disturbing the site could release harmful asbestos into the air and because if waste was disposed of at the site after 1980, the environmental standards for the project fall not under Pennsylvania Act 2, but under the stricter Solid Waste Management Act of 1968.

We believe that F&M and the project partners owe TRRAAC and the community full, honest answers to their very serious concerns regrading the potential health and environmental impacts of this project. We tire of bully boy and big lie tactics.