Letter: Allowing GE to dump PCBs in Berkshires is wrong

Posted

To the editor:

The city of Pittsfield and a number of towns throughout Berkshire County (Lenox, Lee, Stockbridge, Great Barrington and Sheffield), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and General Electric struck a "deal" several days ago that will allow GE to dump toxic, cancer-causing waste in a landfill right next to the Housatonic River.

Anyone who's lived in the Berkshires for any length of time knows that for years GE dumped waste into the Housatonic, forever poisoning the water and forever putting at risk and harming thousands of people who live in Western Massachusetts. The cancer-causing waste GE dumped, known as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), have been linked to causing numerous forms of cancer, neurological problems, reproductive issues for women, birth defects, deformities and permanent damage to the body's endocrine system.

We are now in the year 2020, and GE still hasn't cleaned up the river they poisoned. GE still hasn't taken full responsibility and accountability for what they did decades ago. Worse yet, GE is now in the process of building a toxic dump where they will put PCBs into the ground in Berkshire County.

The towns had previously taken the correct stance that GE must ship out of state all PCB waste to be disposed of in federally licensed facilities. However, after a recent "mediation" with GE and the EPA, the towns have now agreed in writing to allow GE to dump PCBs into a landfill right next to the river. This is pathetic and inexcusable on the part of GE and anyone involved in co-signing this corporate wrongdoing.

This should be felt as a swift slap in the face to anyone who lives or has ever lived in Western Massachusetts.

Thomas E. Bosworth,

Philadelphia, Pa.

The writer is a Lenox native who was raised in Berkshire County.

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