Immediately upstream is a shuttered General Motors factory, now a federal Superfund site where tons of toxic waste have been removed. Tons more remain, including the 12-acre landfill that has been capped with a layer of clay and grass and declared safe, no longer a threat.
PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls - considered probable carcinogens - are the main contaminant, dumped as sludge after use as electrical equipment coolants. Studies 20 years ago documented higher than normal PCB levels in the breast milk of Akwesasne nursing mothers and more recently in adolescents; the toxins persist in human tissue for years. High levels have been found in St. Lawrence River turtles and fish, which the state cautions against eating.
"There's no question there's a legacy of PCB contamination in this area," said Judith Enck, regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and a former top environmental official for New York. "And the Mohawks have raised legitimate concerns for decades."
Monday, March 26, 2012
GM Dump Leaking PCBs on Tribal Lands
NY Mohawk: Move toxic GM dump from tribal lands
Posted by Sidra at 13:19