This photo was taken on May 6, 2016, showing a barge mechanically dredging PCB sediments in New Bedford Harbor close to a residential area of Fairhaven and high school.
The contractor was hired by the EPA to lift PCB contaminated sediments out of the water which can cause some of the PCBs to become airborne. PCBs are definite carcinogens as rendered by the International Research Agency on Cancer in 2014.
The Fairhaven Board of Selectmen, after the recommendation of the Town Planner, approved this project without proper vetting and a public hearing. Obviously, the BOS was not concerned with public health or a decrease in property values as a result of this EPA’s CAD cell project close by.
The EPA is burying 300,000 cubic yards of PCB sediments in a hole in the riverbed that they call a CAD cell (Confined Aquatic Disposal) just yards away from the Oxford Village area of Fairhaven. The term is misleading as it simply refers to an unlined hole in the riverbed that the EPA dredged out a year ago to bury contaminated sediments.
This project is a year long which means a year long of exposure to PCB contaminated air from this project. Nowhere else in the entire country is this being done. Even Governor Chris Christie would not allow it in New Jersey’s Passaic River.
The EPA’s air sampling has already shown an increase of PCBs in the air from the project. Higher levels are expected to climb as the project continues. This can also contaminate the soil nearby so it’s not recommended that anyone plants a vegetable garden to avoid eating contaminated crops.
Karen A. Vilandry, President, Hands Across the River Coalition, Inc.
To download this week’s issue: https://fairhavenneighborhoodnews.com/2016-2/