Letter: Lee residents right to oppose dump site

Lee residents right to oppose dump site

To the editor: Your Feb.

4 editorial on the proposed dump in Lee again indicates your support for this project. It also fails to address its flaws. Everyone wants the Housatonic River restored after years of polluting by General Electric Co.

Everyone laments the years of procrastination in doing so. Responsibility should not be laid at the feet of the citizens of Lee and the Berkshires. Clearly the years of foot-dragging, ineffective proposals and backpedaling lie with GE and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The latest ruse is to blame Lee residents and their town representatives for objecting to being lied to, misrepresented and left out of the entire process. The “Rest of the River” debacle pulled in selectmen or their agents from five towns and Pittsfield to enter into closed-door negotiations with a highly politicized EPA and GE, the very entity that polluted the river. The result will save GE millions of dollars in transportation expenses and independent oversight to remove the toxins from Berkshire County.

Lee Selectman David Consolati said, “We don’t have to like it, but we have to deal with it.” The people of Lee disagree. A handful of laypeople (selectmen and their reps) took their instruction from GE and the EPA and signed off on a toxic chemical dump in the Berkshires, being told this was the best deal we could get. Nonsense.

None of them had to sign off on this agreement, and worse yet we believe these people had no right to place a chemical dump in a town of 6,000 people without their consent. To learn more about this legal fight, please visit cleanthehousatonic.com. On Facebook, “NO PCB ACTION GROUP.” To donate, GoFundMe: “No PCB DUMPS in Berkshire County.”

The people of Berkshire County deserve better than this. There are, already in existence, certified sites outside of the Berkshires where the waste could be transported by truck or rail. There are, already in existence, proven and effective means for treating or destroying PCBs, but the process costs more than dumping them in Lee.

The residents of Lee and the Berkshires are worth the expense. Robert H. Jones Jr., Lee

The writer is a Lee town representative from District 2.

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