8/21/12 Media Advisory: Holding Massena Mayor James Hidy Accountable for Efforts to Misinform Public on Subject of Grass River PCB Exposure Health Hazard

Holding Massena Mayor James Hidy Accountable for Efforts to Misinform
Public on Subject of Grass River PCB Exposure Health Hazard:  A Public
Forum Presentation During the Regular Monthly Meeting of Massena Village

Tuesday, August 21, 2012, 5:30 PM

Massena Town Hall, Main Street, Massena, New York USA

The Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) factory located just East of
the Village of Massena, New York discharged waste water contaminated
with PCBs and other industrial chemicals into the Grass River and the
Massena Power Canal for many decades.  Heavy contamination of
sediments exists downstream from the waste water outfall on the Grass
and above the dam at the downstream end of the Power Canal.  The US
Environmental Protection Agency is currently writing a proposal for
clean-up of the Grass River.

Earlier this month, US Senator Charles Schumer and Massena Mayor James
Hidy called for rapid decision making on clean-up and attention to the
cost of clean-up so as not to unnecessarily limit ALCOA’s ability to
modernize.  The Courier Observer, Massena’s hometown newspaper
published a front page article, with a shocking quote from Mayor Hidy.
The mayor is quoted as having made a statement that would lead the
reader to conclude that a person would have to consume a very large
quantity of fish to receive an exposure to PCBs that resulted in harm
to health.

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) publishes an advisory on
sport fish consumption.  This document advises that girls and women of
child-bearing age consume no sport fish from the waters of the St.
Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.  The fish in the Grass River
downstream from ALCOA wastewater discharge points and the fish in the
part of the St. Lawrence River bordering St. Lawrence County
downstream from the mouth of the Grass are contaminated with PCBs at a
higher level than what is average for the fish of the St. Lawrence
River and Lake Ontario.  Additionally, the fish of the Grass and the
downstream section of the St. Lawrence bordering St. Lawrence County
are contaminated with average levels of dioxins and other persistent
organic pollutants (POPs).  Considering the DOH advisory for
consumption of fish contaminated at this average level, it is clear
that consumption of a single fish caught from the Grass River in the
section impacted by ALCOA PCB discharges would impose an unacceptable
quantity of disease risk.

I know that Massena Mayor James HIdy has encountered scientific
knowledge on the subject of the significant and serious damages to
health caused by background levels of exposure to POPs because I made
a presentation to Mayor Hidy and the Village Council just last year on
this very subject.  I came to know that Mayor HIdy was blind to
scientific knowledge when he showed no interest in using the power of
his office to assist with the creation of a POPs exposure minimization
educational outreach within the St. Lawrence County Public Health
Department.  After the Massena Village Council failed to take action
on a Cancer Action NY resolution that would have showed Village
Council support for the educational outreach described above, Mayor
HIdy made the statement that he was “comfortable” with the less than
complete message that was being presented by St. Lawrence County
Public Health on the subject of cancer prevention.

The St. Lawrence County Public Health Department follows the lead of
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Cancer
Prevention and Control, which presents to the public a message that
leaves out any mention of chemical carcinogens other than those in
cigarette smoke.  The message is woefully incomplete because the
chemical corporations control the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention Division of Cancer Prevention and Control.  The chemical
corporations oppose action by the federal government public health
entities to educate the public about the great body of scientific
knowledge that supports the conclusion that exposure to pollutant
carcinogens imposes a major proportion of cancer risk.

Why would Mayor HIdy make a statement designed to deceive the public?
He did it because ALCOA encourages him to attempt to deceive the public in order
to promote its agenda of low cost clean-up of the Grass River
Superfund site.  Mayor Hidy is a local government player on the
corporate team.  He is guilty of participating in the deceptions that
bad corporations and failed federal government are perpetrating
regarding the causes of cancer.  Mayor Hidy is blind to scientific
knowledge about chemical exposures causing cancer because he wants to
feel comfortable assisting ALCOA in its bad behaviors.

If there is any justice in the United States, Mayor HIdy and his team
will soon be removed from power.  The people need to think about what
is going on here.  They need to integrate their immediate conclusions
with what they know of the past and stand up and say, “Enough Already.
We have had it with all this lying and cheating.  Step down from your
places of power.  If you do not step down, we will take your power
away from you.”  The question is whether or not a large number of
people are sufficiently capable of thinking and courageous enough to
stand up to the evil ones.  It will be wonderful if there are enough
thinking, courageous people around the North Country to do this.  If
there are not, the environment of our area will continue to become
ever more polluted and disease rates will continue to rise.  I say,
“Let’s do it.”

“I will attend the August 21, 2012 meeting of the Massena Village
Council and give a five minute public forum presentation concerning
the deceptive words of the Mayor.  I encourage all of the people of
the North Country who care about the environment and health of our
region to come to this meeting and speak out for change.  The only way
to ever establish a standard of ethical behavior for political leaders
is to hold them accountable for their less than ethical words and
actions.”-Donald L. Hassig

Donald L. Hassig, Director
Cancer Action NY
Cancer Action News Network
P O Box 340
Colton, NY USA 13625


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