Mohawk Land Endangered by GM Toxic Dumps

MOHAWK LAND ENDANGERED BY GM TOXIC DUMPS
reprinted from
The People
August 12, 1995

MOHAWK LAND ENDANGERED BY GM TOXIC DUMPS

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the process of bowing to General Motors' pressure to permit it to dump 171,000 cubic yards of toxic PCB-contaminated wastes from their Central Foundry Division Superfund Site on their property without proper safeguards and cleanup, although this action will seriously endanger the land and residents of the nearby St. Regis Mohawk reservation along the St. Lawrence River in upstate New York.

The EPA will be waiving both state and federal regulations to allow dumping of these wastes in an area that has not been properly approved, has no bottom liner, and does not have the required leachate control system. The Mohawks have complained that EPA's gratuitous gift to General Motors will result in "raising the PCB treatment threshold for soils with de-watered sediments from 10 ppm to 500 ppm." They have charged EPA with "environmental racism" to save General Motors $15 million to clean up the pollutants their plant has produced.

Endangering the soil and well water of the nearby Indian community, putting their children and future generations at risk of cancer and other disorders, and making areas of their reservation unfit for farming and habitation are evidently less important to the federal government than saving a large capitalistic enterprise the trouble of cleaning up its mess properly. As always, the moneyed interests come first, and people last.

-- B.G.