Toxic chemical found in water, caused by landfill.

dirty water

Casella (NEWSNY) and Chemung County held a public meeting and presented an update on what they have done since taking over operation of the landfill. They announced the presence of a chemical in the testing well at the landfill that was in exceedance of DEC standards. However, none of the Casella reps or County reps could name the contaminant. (After the meeting the engineer for Casella provided the name of the chemical to the newspaper reporter)

Here is what the Star Gazette reported: While no one during the meeting identified the contaminant to the audience, Jerry Leone, regional engineer with Casella, said the contaminant is chloroethane.

The substance showed up in the water at a level of eight parts per 1 billion. The allowed level is five parts per 1 billion, Shilling said.

Chloroethane was once used in gasoline and is still used in refrigerants and the composition of some dyes, solvents and medicines, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site.

The site says the substance can evaporate from landfills and exposure at high levels can cause a feeling of drunkenness. High levels also can cause stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and eye irritation, according to the CDC.

Many questions were raised at the meeting about the nature of the property protection plan. Some were answered. Casella indicated that if they bought property they would resell it. They denied any plans to expand the landfill zone. There was no clear answer to why a decision needed to be made by residents within 60 days.

Residents in the mobile home park near the landfill could potentially be left homeless if the owner of the park sold the property. Most of the homes are too old to move. Casella reps stated they were not aware of the park residents dilemma until recent days and would need to work on a protection plan for this group. (The maps displayed,showing the landfill, show all of the mobile homes in the park. Difficult to believe they did not know these people would be impacted)

The meeting was videotaped. If anyone is interested in viewing it, contact us.

It is sometimes difficult to summarize all that we have learned and to make sense of all of it. This takeover of the landfill has had such a great impact already. It is still unbelievable to think that our county and town representatives failed to acknowledge that it would cause any adverse impacts. What they have done to our community is unexcusable!