Local environmental advocacy group Hands Across the River Coalition, Inc. (HARC), will hold its annual meeting on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 from 6:00-7:45 p.m. at the Millicent Library, Fairhaven, MA. Election for officers will take place that night. Open to the public. Attendees are advised to use the Walnut Street entrance on lower level.
Hands Across the River Coalition, Inc. advocates for the safe cleanup of New Bedford Harbor and other contaminated sites in the Greater New Bedford area. The group provides information about the detrimental health effects caused to our community from toxic chemicals such as PCBs, DIOXIN, mercury, lead and others. HARC was formed in 1991 in anticipation of the cleanup of contamination in the Acushnet River that needed to be done in order to protect public health.
HARC’s primary goal is to ensure the health-conscious clean up of the Acushnet River which runs through New Bedford Harbor into Buzzards Bay, to monitor and advocate for the total preservation of said body of water and shoreline, educate the community about the health effects of toxic chemicals in our environment, to obtain environmental justice for generations now and in the future and to ensure a quality environment, forever, through its efforts.
The Acushnet River was known to be the #1 most PCB contaminated river in the world.
Concerns about fish consumption with PCB contaminated fish prompted the EPA to designate this site as the “New Bedford Harbor Superfund Site”. It is the largest Superfund site in all of New England.
Now, the EPA, although continuing with offsite disposal of PCB sediments from the upper harbor, is also burying 300,000 cubic yards of PCB sediments in the lower harbor near a residential area and high school in Fairhaven, MA . This is the first time in the country that the EPA is burying deadly PCB sediments in a riverbed and dangerously close to residents. This is their fight today.
HARC just released the results from their air monitoring study done with Boston University School of Public Health and the University of Iowa Superfund Research Program. This is the most comprehensive analysis ever done. The University of Iowa reported that PCB contaminated sediment from the bottom of the New Bedford Harbor is the No.1 source of airborne PCBs in the neighborhoods surrounding the port. In fact, airborne PCB emissions from the harbor are so high that researchers say it is the single largest continuous source of airborne PCBs ever measured from natural waters in the U.S. and even Canada. The study shows that people in the neighborhoods surrounding the harbor are being exposed to airborne PCBs and those PCBs are coming from the harbor and not a variety of sources.
Hands Across the River Coalition, Inc. appeals to everyone to join them in working to protect our air, soil and water, and especially, the public’s health by removing PCBs safely to an offsite TSCA, (Toxic Substances Control Act), approved landfill.
For more information, please contact Karen Vilandry (508) 951-1184 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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