New Bedford Activist Pushes Morse Site Cleanup [TOWNSQUARE SUNDAY]
When it comes to environmental justice in New Bedford, John "Buddy" Andrade doesn't mince his words. He is critical of the slow pace of the cleanup at the former Morse Cutting Tools site at Wing and Pleasant Streets.
During an appearance this week on Townsquare Sunday, Andrade said the Morse site has been an issue for more than 30 years. An initial cleanup done by the property owners cleaned the site above ground, but underground contamination still remains.
Andrade said the City of New Bedford has now received an $800,000 grant to asses the site and come up with a plan for its reuse. He's hoping that people who live near the site will have a say about its future.
"The groundwater is still contaminated, and it trickles down through Bay Village and the Gomes School and back into the harbor, so what did the initial cleanup really do?" he said. "We put a band-aid on a significant contamination source, and nobody cares because it's the Black community."
Andrade said he will raise the Morse issue with state environmental officials on April 13 when they will visit the city and tour the Morse site.
Andrade is also concerned about job opportunities for the minority community and others. The Old Bedford Development Corp. and other organizations are hosting a forum on April 11 at the Waypoint Events Center on MacArthur Drive entitled "Access2Opportunity." It's a discussion about job opportunities in the city, as New Bedford begins several new economic development projects, including the development in the North Terminal and offshore wind.
Andrade's interview can be heard here:
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