Posted at: 11/26/2013 5:53 PM
| Updated at: 11/26/2013 6:18 PM
By: Bill Lambdin
NASSAU - For 16 years until it was made illegal about 1968, General Electric, Schenectady Chemical and others dumped various compounds into land owned by a guy named Dewey Loeffel in Nassau, Rensselaer County.
The toxic brew, including PCB's, started leaching away from the dump site and polluting nearby groundwater, as well as flowing into Nassau Lake and other waterways.
Nassau Town Supervisor David Fleming described "an absolutely beautiful community, horrifically scared, as our residents will tell you, by decades of corporate greed and government incompetence."
Property value suffered.
Residents wondered if health problems might be traced to the pollution.
Local government had little money. State and federal authorities appeared not to want answers.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency added the dump to its list of worst pollution sites in 2011.
Now they're opening a plant to treat contaminated groundwater and are pushing for more complete and much more expensive clean-up.
"We fully intend to have those companies clean up the site," said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck.
For locals it's long overdue.
"We're standing on someone's doorstep and they're in tears talking to you about the impacts on their family, whether they be health impacts or the fact that they can't sell their house," said Supervisor Fleming. "I mean (it's) the only investment that they have and their house is worthless."