As many of you know, extensive soil and ground water contamination has been found on the site for INHS’s proposed Stone Quarry Apartments project at 400-406 Spencer Road.
In public meetings, INHS has stated that they do not intend to fully clean up the site of all pollution, leaving the amount of pollution remaining in the soil at an unsafe level for planting and gardening. If it isn’t safe to garden in, it surely will not be safe for children to dig in or play on. This is not acceptable. INHS has also stated in public meetings that they plan to install barriers and screens that will require regular maintenance to remain effective at preventing the pollution from spreading further. This is not a long term solution and is also not acceptable.
The testing that was done in 2012 – accessed by Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting and described in his July 21st letter to the mayor, accessible here – shows that this contamination can be found all over the site, but also shows that quite a number of locations on the site have not been analyzed, including areas around hydraulic lifts and above-ground fuel tanks. This is also not acceptable.
Up until Mr. Hang’s letter was published – and the subsequent media attention that resulted – INHS had not submitted necessary remediation plans to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. From comments made by INHS representatives at a July 22nd Planning and Development Board meeting stating their erroneous belief that the spill reports had been closed, they likely never would have submitted these plans before starting construction had this contamination not come into public light. This is further unacceptable.
We must come together as a neighborhood and demand that this site be properly and thoroughly analyzed and cleaned up before construction begins, for the safety of those that live and work on and near the site, and for the safety of the future residents of the apartments. We must speak for our future neighbors, as they do not know they must speak for themselves.
Please, sign this petition: https://www.change.org/petitions/svante-myrick-we-request-that-the-city-of-ithaca-withhold-final-approval-for-the-proposed-stone-quarry-apartments-project-until-the-site-has-been-investigated-and-cleaned-up-on-a-comprehensive-basis
Share it on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. Email it to your family and friends. We must act now.
INHS is trying to get away with performing the minimal amount of cleanup necessary, saying they intend to remove at most one dumptruck worth of soil. To bring the levels of contamination down to levels safe enough for people to garden in, children to play on, and families to grow over, there would need to be at least 500 times more than that removed. This is shockingly unacceptable. The testing done so far show significant contamination in the soil and ground water.
Please help us get the word out to the mayor: You MUST require a comprehensive and complete cleanup of this site. Anything less is irresponsible.