AUDIO: Bob Jones on plans for a PCB dump in Lee, Massachusetts

The chair of Lee's Select Board wants a more comprehensive Housatonic River cleanup and reconsideration of a planned PCB disposal site in his town.

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Bob Jones, chair of the Select Board in the Town of Lee, Massachusetts, believes the process that led to plans for a PCB dump in Lee was flawed, too secretive, and undemocratic. The decision to locate a dump in a working-class community rather than in nearby tourist havens is, he says, “a perfect case of environmental injustice.”

He and others are skeptical that the Upland Disposal Facility’s protective liners and monitoring features will be sufficient to prevent eventual leaks. They also reject EPA’s contention that new bioremediation technologies that can break down PCBs in the environment are not appropriate for this project at this time.

Jones argues that perhaps as little as 30 percent of the contamination that makes the river and surrounding area unhealthy for people and wildlife will be removed. As a result, he told me, “You and I will never eat fish out of the Housatonic River.”

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