Sunday, October 12, 2008

TRRAAC attorney denies F&M accusation

Editor's update: As of Thursday afternoon, we have not received the promised response to F & M from Attorney William J. Cluck.

In response to its inquiry, NewsLanc has received the following communication from William J. Cluck, Esquire, who represents The Rail Road Action &Advisory Committee (TRRAAC).

I have been tied up on two other cases this weekend and will not be able to draft a detailed response to Orris and Fry's charges until I return to town Tuesday afternoon.

However, I am told by TRRAAC that they have a videotape of my presentation and they confirm I did not say F&M dumped on the north side. I was very careful to say the former Lancaster Brickyard, as reported by EPA in its August 14, 2008 letter to TRRAAC and the 1987 DER Preliminary Assessment and the 1990 NUS inspection.

I believe the tape will be posted on Youtube with a link from the TRRAAC web site.

NewsLanc will publish Cluck's full response upon its receipt.

Below is the response to an inquiry from NewsLanc from Dulcey Antonucci of F & M's public relations department which NewsLanc had forwarded to Cluck for response: (NewsLanc had posted material from F & M's web site last week.)

Thank you for giving Franklin & Marshall College a chance to respond. I encourage you to spend some time on our Web site, where many of the misrepresentations made by TRRAAC can be corrected.

For example, TRRAAC claims that the very task of heavy construction equipment and trucks excavating the site and moving the waste would cause additional damage to the deteriorating backing, generating friable asbestos dust. This is explained here: Within the public meeting minutes on this Web page, we explain that asbestos content within the waste is indicated as being limited to waste floor tile (linoleum and vinyl flooring). Samples of the floor tile indicate that the asbestos content is non-friable, as the laboratory tests indicate it to be non-friable, organically- bound (NOB). Still, at the meeting the question is asked, What methods of dust control will be used to contain airborne asbestos associated with removal of waste from the former Brickyard site? The response is: Perimeter and work zone mister and soaker systems will be employed, as necessary, to control and eliminate work zone dust exposures and to prevent off-site migration of dust originating from the excavation, backfilling, compaction, and waste hauling activities.

TRRAAC also claims that F&M has only conducted "one twentieth" the amount of exploratory tests that normally are required to determine presence of friable asbestos. Since F&M received DEP's approval for cleanup at the site on Oct. 3, the number of samples we have taken is obviously enough to meet the standards for securing approval on a plan.

In response to the claim that F&M has been consistently giving half-truths, misinformation, incomplete information, and, in some cases, outright false information, again I would encourage you and your readers to visit the F&M Web site for the project. The homepage is here: The site includes letters received by the College from TRRAAC as well as our replies. It also has .pdf files from consultants, Township representatives and other agencies. Your readers are thus able to read all of these documents in their entirety, look at project maps, and read frequently asked question and our answers. We also list TRRAAC's 12 reasons for an alternative location and our 12 responses here:

Finally, I've attached a letter that Keith Orris sent to Dan Gillis today. This should make clear our response to Mr. Cluck's specific accusations.