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Fairhaven Joins Fight Against EPA Harbor Cleanup Settlement

New Bedford Harbor Pollution
Mass. Dept. Environmental Protection, flickr

Fairhaven’s Board of Selectmen has joined with other elected bodies and officials in opposing the New Bedford Harbor cleanup settlement. The Board approved a letter to the Department of Justice Tuesday, taking issue with the the $366 million dollar agreement between the EPA and AVX Corporation. The deal has been heavily criticized by local advocacy groups as not being enough to remove all P-C-B contaminants from the Harbor. The Coalition for Buzzards Bay’s Mark Rasmussen says the settlement is barely enough to fund an EPA plan he calls, “the worst cleanup of a Superfund site in the country”.

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The EPA’s current plan calls for the burying of contaminants in so-called “CAD Cells” within the Harbor, as a cost and time-saving measure. State Senator Mark Montigny says the affected communities shouldnt accept the settlement, as is.

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The current settlement also doesnt include a “re-opener clause”, which would allow the EPA to seek more funds from AVX for the cleanup, if needed. The Department of Justice is now reviewing public comment and will rule on whether or not the settlement should be altered, however no timeline on that ruling has been given.

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