WENY News - Firm points to contamination evidence at EHS; DEC denies claims

Firm points to contamination evidence at EHS; DEC denies claims

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    ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Toxics Targeting says they've found new information proving there is still contamination at the Elmira High School, left over from the prior manufacturing site at that location. Walter Hang with Toxics Targeting held a press conference to release new information about the alleged contamination where Elmira High School now stands. Hang says he found a 1988 site assessment report directly pointing out specific areas where toxic dumping had taken place on the property.

     Meeting Thursday on possible toxins around Elmira HS

    "This really explains why the school area is so contaminated," said Hang. "But the fact  that this information has really been withheld from public review for thirty years, I think is unprecedented."

    According to Hang, toxins are still found on the property, including world war two explosives, cyanide, heavy metals and a vast array of industrial wastes. Hang says those materials are dangerous and cancer-causing if someone where to come into contact with them.    

     Presentation addresses toxic hazards at Elmira High School

    "The scale of the operation, the magnitude of the dumping, I think, the public had no idea it was this big or this bad," said Hang. "The shocking thing is this information was provided to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) thirty years ago. They waited inexplicably to take action on cleanup."

    But according to the DEC, that information is just not true.

     Recent report reveals contamination at Elmira High School
    
    "There are no exposure pathways for any of the contamination, any of the historic contamination on this site," said DEC Commissioner, Basil Seggos. "We've been active on this property for thirty years."

    The DEC claims Hang is doing nothing more than fear mongering, and they've been transparent in all their findings. They say the cleanup off-site is not complete, and they plan on holding the polluters accountable until the problem is fixed. In the meantime, DEC officials say the public is not at risk.

     NYSDEC weighs in on Elmira High School contamination

    We reached out to Elmira High School who referred us back to the DEC. They plan to continue to work with Unisys and the DEC regarding ongoing remediation efforts.
    If you'd like to learn more about how you can contact Toxics Targeting, or look at their findings, you can visit their website at: http://toxicstargeting.com/elmirahs.

     If anyone has any evidence of a problem or a concern at EHS, the DEC is asking you to call them directly at: +1 (518) 402-8000.

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