Foxes in the eco-henhouse
Regarding the April 17 front-page article “In advice to Trump, industry targets EPA”:
As a 9-year-old playing in rural East Nassau, N.Y., I stumbled on a glistening puddle, and thinking its bluish sheen pretty, prodded it with sticks. When told about this discovery, my mother ordered me to stay away from the area, which contained poisonous chemical waste. This area in East Nassau is now known as the Farrel Property Superfund site.
East Nassau is seven miles from the Dewey Loeffel Landfill Superfund site, where General Electric and SI Group dumped 46,000 tons of chemical waste from 1952 to 1970. For decades, local and state officials tried to deal with the site. Finally in 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency made a $10 million deal with GE and SI Group to clean up the site. The full extent of contamination of the local aquifer, groundwater and residential wells is still being assessed.
The Trump administration plans to reduce the EPA’s regulatory power. Without EPA regulations, how will corporations be made accountable to clean up or prevent future chemical dumping grounds and kept from harming communities by potentially causing cancers, lupus and other conditions resulting from pollutants? Lori Barth Choudhury, Alexandria
I suppose it’s no surprise that the Trump administration has invited industry to weigh in on regulations. But even in these cynical days, it shocks me that the Pavement Coatings Technology Council is still lobbying to limit research on the environmental effects of coal tar when used as a parking lot sealant. I followed this issue for many years as a public affairs representative for a trade association in the transportation industry.
Coal tar has been known to be a human carcinogen for more than 50 years. It is a Group 1 carcinogen, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Aside from the coal industry’s desire to sell this toxic byproduct, there is no conceivable rationale for its use in parking lots or anywhere else.
Coal tar is a threat to the environment and to the health of the workers who apply it. If more research in this area is needed, I hope it goes forward. But to many, the evidence is already clear enough to ban this unsafe product from the market. Margaret Cervarich, Frederick