You are here

Request That Governor Cuomo Require the Former Sperry Remington Site in Elmira, NY and All Legacy Toxic Sites in New York That Have Not Been Remediated After Five Years to Be Comprehensively Cleaned Up as Class 1 Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites

Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224


We, the undersigned, write respectfully to request that you immediately require all of the toxic site concerns associated with the former Sperry Remington manufacturing site in Elmira, NY to be consolidated into a single site that is given a Class 1 Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site designation: "Causing or presenting an imminent danger of causing irreversible or irreparable damage to the public health or the environment -- immediate action required."

This action is warranted because it has been more than 20 years since high-level toxic pollution was discovered to have migrated nearly 1,000 feet from the former Sperry Remington factory site to Miller Pond in Elmira, NY. Yet, the full scope of that contaminated property's public health and environmental hazards has neither been fully investigated and delineated nor cleaned up in strict compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements.

The delay in achieving comprehensive clean up in strict compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements is unacceptable given that Elmira High School at 777 South Main Street is built directly on the contaminated site and a responsible party is required to clean it up. In addition, a residential neighborhood adjoining the former factory site has yet to be investigated for toxic pollution threats.

As you will see from the excerpted information provided below for your review, it is inconceivable that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) which constitute hazardous waste and other contaminants which exceed clean up requirements have been identified under the Elmira High School's football field, but have yet to be removed.

A wide variety of PCBs, toxic metals and potential cancer-causing agents also have been identified above clean up requirements under widespread areas of the school grounds and in contaminated groundwater. Those wastes also have yet to be removed.

See: Government Data Documenting Environmental Health Concerns at Elmira High School

For all these reasons, we request that urgent action be immediately undertaken to make sure that members of the school community as well as the public at-large cannot come into contact with any documented toxic pollution at the site involving contaminated dirt, indoor or outdoor air pollution, tainted groundwater, surface water or any other medium.

If the responsible party does not agree to remove all toxic pollution that exceeds regulatory requirements without further delay, New York should do so with the assistance of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and seek clean up reimbursement from the responsible party or its insurers.

All sources of toxic pollution must be removed to the fullest degree possible so that the school, nearby residential homes and the surrounding environment can be fully protected from contamination hazards. It is equally imperative that any residual pollution which cannot be removed due to structural constraints must not recontaminate areas that are cleaned up.

With due respect, these common-sense safeguards obviously should have been undertaken decades ago. Unfortunately, New York's on-going failure to clean up this site on a comprehensive basis is replicated at hundreds of legacy toxic sites that are known to have polluted the environment for decades.

This grim scenario underscores the need for dramatic changes to the state's inadequate toxic clean up program. That is why we request that:

First, any toxic site which is deemed to pose public health or environmental hazards due to regulatory exceedances must be cleaned up by responsible parties according to all applicable regulatory requirements within five years. If responsible parties cannot fulfill that obligation, the site must be designated a Class 1 site: Causing or presenting an imminent danger of causing irreversible or irreparable damage to the public health or the environment -- immediate action required. Urgent action must be undertaken by state and federal environmental authorities to resolve those concerns.

Second, New York State must have sufficient toxic site and spill remediation funds to clean up "orphan sites" in a timely fashion when responsible parties do not fulfill their "polluter pays" obligations. New York must increase its pollution clean up funds through dedicated fees.

In conclusion, toxic clean up delays stretching over literally decades must no longer be tolerated in New York. "Environmental justice delayed is environmental justice denied." Toxic polluters must not be allowed to evade their clean up responsibilities at the former Sperry Remington site or similar legacy toxic sites all over New York. State environmental authorities must strictly enforce New York's toxic clean up regulatory requirements or the legal protections are meaningless.

We trust that you will find our request to be self-explanatory, but please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.

Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Total Signatory Count: 1177

Kathleen Kane Kirleis
SHS Class of 1985
71 Boylston St
Boston, MA
Kathryn Cullinan
Melody Altamura
370 Elmwood Terrace
Rochester, Ny
Anne Hughes
3189 Lower Maple Ave
Elmira, NY
Kelly McKay
704 Pennsylvania Ave
Elmira, NY
Karyn Ripley
115 Carrollton Ave
Elmira, NY
Brian Colborn
854 A Maple Ave
Elmira, NY
P J Wood
Elmira Heights, NY
Katey Hadlock
330 Morrowfield Ave
Elmira , New York
Shaun Slusser
Dillsburg, PA
Paula Zack
1605 Scott St
Williamsport , PA
Daniel Royle
729 Maple ave
Elmira, New York
Jeanne Little
539 luce street
Elmira, Ny
Fran Newman
Elmira, NY
Angela Mansfield
Corning , NY
Michael Seifert
City of Elmira Chair
Chemung County Democratic Committee
570 Beecher St.
Elmira, New York
Marianne Stone
12851 Haster Street #0D
Garden Grove, CA
Brenda Bomysoad
1025 Hoffman St
Elmira , NY
Kevin Frazer
803 Wyncoop Creek Road
Chemung, ny
Kimberly Westrick
781 Dubois st
Elmira , Ny
Sharidy Hart
805 Collins st
Elmira , NY
Emily Buck
1436 Penna ave
Pine City, Ny
Justin Seeley
6571 Olive Lane North
Maple Grove, MN
Nancy Buzzetti
326 Bonaview Ave
Elmira , Ny
Mary Anne Lester
19 Parker Drive
Elmira , New York
Kelly Heitmann
17 Annette Dr
Portsmouth, RI
Kevin Slusser
733 Kinner Hill Rd
Pine City, NY
Susan Stojakovich
Sister to SHS graduate 1990
101 Wintergreen Ave
Sicklerville, NJ - New Jersey
Debra Hugg
614 Mooreland Place
Elmira, New York
Ashley Swanger
305 a south ave
Elmira, Ny
Michael Rodabaugh
20 Acorn Ave
Pine City, NY
Eileen Farnsworth
1982 SHS graduate/alumni
21893 Larchmont Way
Broadlands , VA
Susan Crater-Wood
1062 Plymouth Ave
Elmira, NY
Michelle Austin
2410 Rimrock Rd
Billings , MT
Parnilla Carpenter
1201 Trescott Dr
Pine City, NY
Danielle Pedrick
801 Hazel St.
Elmira, Ny
Rebecca Robertshaw
1102 College Ave
Elmira, NY
Terry Lockner II
227 Chapman Pl.
Elmira , NY
Elizabeth Clarkson
332 Home Street
Elmira, NY
Rita Southard
750 Fourth Street
Winnsboro, South Carolina
Rebecca Taylor
717 Dubois Street
Elmira , New York
Eric Murphy
463 Milton st
Elmira , Ny
Christopher Pellor
, Florida
Meaghan Osterhout
473 Milton St.
Elmira, NY
Michael Rice
448 Phoenix ave
Elmira, NY
Robert Waters
`228 W. Clinton St
Elmira, New York
Laurie Kreitzer
The Villages, FL
Marie May
781 cedar st
Elmira, New york
Susan Waters
511 Highland Ave
Horseheads, NY
Samantha Baldwin
105 valley lane
Horseheads , Ny