Thursday, February 18, 2010

Toxic Legacy: When a Cleanup isn't Enough

By Tara Lafemina

People do not seem to care about each other. I do not get how and why a large corporation, or anyone for that matter, can hurt an entire community and not blink an eye. When the Toxic Legacy articles brought light to what Ford Motor Company did to the people of Ringwood, it was disappointing, although not surprising.

Ford decided to illegally dump their paint sludge, which has arsenic and lead, around a residential community. Actually, they dumped anywhere they could find. Why would they dump in an area where the paint sludge would eventually emerge on peoples’ front lawns? Even if they dumped the paint sludge in the middle of a forest, I still do not agree with that, but you really must have no remorse if you do it in people’s yards.

The town of Ringwood, New Jersey and the government once again have caused me to shake my head at humanity. I do not even know what to say about Ford and what they did.

I would really like to know what they were thinking. Ford claimed to clean their hazardous waste from the land; this was enough for the EPA to believe. Should at least double checking sites be part of the EPA’s job?

The high rate of cancer in the area should have tipped people off. This alone should have been more than enough reason for a full investigation. If I was a leader of a community that had a very high rate of cancer and other rare diseases, I would want to know why. It amazes me how blind and uncaring our leaders could be. Many people seem to take this out on the government, well how about our local governments? Our local leaders are the ones we are neighbors with, have something in common with. I think that the Toxic Legacy case should have been more important to the leaders of Ringwood. If it were, this mess may have not as been severe. Their town was counting on them and it was their responsibility to tend to their town. They should be ashamed for letting an entire community suffer.

Since the Native American Ramapoughs live in the Ringwood area, they are another reason why an investigation should have taken place. Was Ford dumping their waste in this area an act of hate or just a coincidence?

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