On August 11, 2011, Larry Thompson entered the GM Powertrain Superfund
site and proceeded to excavate the Toxic Mound, an illegal industrial
waste landfill that EPA had decided to leave in place on the site.
The Toxic Mound industrial landfill had no liner. It is located
adjacent to the Akwesasne Reserve. Water stands on the reserve within
a short distance from the base of the Toxic Mound. This water has
been found to be contaminated with PCBs. There is much suffering and
death from diseases that are associated with PCB exposure amongst the
people of Raquette Point and the rest of Akwesasne.
Larry Thompson had consulted with his Clan Mother and it was her
position that the Toxic Mound must be removed from the GM Superfund
site. Considering the many years of inaction on clean-up and the EPA
decision to leave the Toxic Mound, Larry chose to take action on
The New York State Police responded to a complaint of an intruder at
the Superfund site. Mr. Thompson was arrested and charged with
criminal mischief, criminal trespass, reckless endangerment and
resisting arrest. A Grand Jury was convened and decided to indict Mr.
Larry Thompson has chosen to represent himself. A trial date has been
set for December 11, 2012. St. Lawrence County Judge Jerome Richards
will be presiding. It is Mr. Thompson’s intention to argue that New
York State courts have no jurisdiction over him due to the fact that
he has never given up any of his primal sovereignty. Mr. Thompson
considers himself to be a member of a tribal group of people that
refer to themselves as Onkwehonwe, which means pure people. The
Onkwehonwe have never made any treaties or pacts with New York State
or the government of the United States.
St. Lawrence County benefited from the economic activity that took
place in connection with the industrial facilities located along the
St. Lawrence River between Massena and Akwesasne. St. Lawrence County
government bears responsibility for minimizing the harm that will
result from the polluting of the region with industrial chemicals.
The St. Lawrence County Public Health Department should commence an
educational outreach designed to warn the residents of Akwesasne and
Massena of the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) exposure health
hazard. By telling the people of this region the whole Truth of food
supply contamination, much of the ongoing exposure to POPs could be
eliminated. Most people are still unaware of the presence of POPs in
the meats, fish, eggs and dairy products that are available in
supermarkets. They think that by avoiding eating the fish and
wildlife of the area they are eliminating their exposures to PCBs.
Minimizing ongoing exposures is a critical part of minimizing harm.
Exposure to industrial chemicals has imposed a terrible burden of
disease upon the people of Akwesasne. Many, many people who live
downwind and downstream from the ALCOA facilities and the former GM
Powertrain facility in St. Lawrence County have died from cancer,
diabetes and heart disease. Scientific knowledge has accumulated,
which provides a solid foundation for concluding that exposure to
industrial chemicals caused this. The people of Akwesasne are under
an assault that consists of industrial chemical exposures.
Corporations that used hazardous substances including PCBs and mercury
are responsible for this assault. The governments of New York State
and the United States are also responsible for this assault because
they failed to control the corporations that were using the hazardous
chemicals. Government responsibility for this assault also arises
from government’s failure to warn the residents of Akwesasne of the
health hazard constituted by persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
contamination of the mainstream food supply. All of the animal fats
present in foods available in supermarkets, including: meats, fish,
dairy products and eggs are contaminated with POPs. In 2010, the
World Health Organization (WHO) published a report titled, “Persistent
Organic Pollutants: Impact on Child Health”. WHO calls for a
worldwide effort to minimize the exposures that children receive to
POPs. WHO states that populations residing in the vicinity of POPs
contaminated sites such as the GM Powertrain Superfund Site should be
given first consideration for action to minimize their POPs exposures.
Donald L. Hassig, Director
Cancer Action NY
Cancer Action News Network
P O Box 340
Colton, NY USA 13625