Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Councilman's comments on DuPont contamination anger reader

Seeks public apology
Dear Editor:
I am writing you today in regards to the article which was published in the Argus (and Suburban Trends) newspapers, "The EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) visiting Pompton Lakes." In the article I noticed that Councilman Simone had some choice words for the residents to which I and many others found embarrassing, out of line, ill-tempered, and definitely not a positive message to portray as an elected official.

Watching the minutes of the town meeting further reinforced the negative image when Mayor Cole herself had to remind Councilman Simone that this was not "fitting" for the reports portion of the meeting. I find this to be unfitting in more ways that I can count. It was so very far from professional and was clearly reflective of the "stand-offish" attitude Councilman Simone has displayed on many occasions where residents have brought up the issue of the known contamination of our town. His words I quote from the article are as follows.

"Councilman Mike Simone attended the afternoon session and he expressed that he was not happy with how some of the residents interacted with the EPA officials."

"I think it is disgraceful when people confront, antagonize, and throw out malicious comments for no real reason when the people from the EPA were here to help us," he said. "They were accosting everyone who stood up at the microphone that didn't agree with them and they talked out of turn. I have to say that I was disappointed," said Simone.

Now, if you can, imagine how the residents feel about their elected officials all but throwing them under the bus for trying to bring to light the numerous problems directly related to the DuPont contamination issue. One by one residents come to Councilman Simone looking for help and they are ignored and told that their question needs to be researched without any further explanation! Our residents’ homes are considered contaminated by numerous banks and my understanding is that the borough would no longer have accounts with these banks. That is a gesture, a simple act, but it does not help the residents who are financially locked into their homes, which are still sitting on top of contaminated soil and water.

After decades of lies, deceit, and political "shell games," we the residents, who elected Councilman Simone and his counterparts on the Pompton Lakes council to protect us, now are being subjected to his obvious frustration over the matter of righting the many, many wrongs put upon them. I ask this councilman, if you discovered that you were lied to by the number-one polluter in the world –DuPont – for decades as the residents of the Plume were regarding the vapor intrusion issues brought to light, would you not be upset at the very least if not downright irate? I am talking about the health and well-being of the borough residents he was elected to represent. Our entire community is plagued by this contamination issue and it is not going to go away – it never will, there are simply too many people who care too much to let that happen!

At this time I am expecting an explanation and apology to the community as a whole for the councilman's embarrassing and ill-tempered remarks in the papers for all to see and even more so during council meetings where residents are treated as a nuisance if they even mention the contamination. This just makes the councilman's comments all that more telling that he and many others serving this community are doing everything except helping the very real problem at hand. The topic of testing the Lakeside Middle School and its field for safety seems to be of low priority, which is again a very clear indicator that either the council does not have the willingness or fortitude to confront DuPont's toxic legacy and continue to apply pressure to ensure this polluter cleans up every inch of this town at DuPont’s expense. In my 30-plus years in this town, I played youth sports on the Barbara Drive field and every other field in the Pompton Lakes/Riverdale area. My health has declined rapidly with illness associated with living in a toxic environment.

At this time I am expecting nothing short of a letter of apology to the community as a whole for the very unprofessional and ill-tempered remarks made by the councilman – anything short of that is unacceptable. I will personally make sure this issue and the councilman's documented words and actions past and present are known to all. At the end of the day, the EPA that came to Pompton Lakes is an organization that has nothing to offer the borough except cleanup pilot studies and talk! The time for talk is over and to trust DuPont to test for any contamination issue in this town is a conflict-of-interest on all levels. DuPont is the polluter, not the residents. The EPA has been for all intents and purposes "neutered" by our governor, Chris Christie, who cares nothing for New Jersey's environment and has shown this in his lower drinking water standards, air-quality standards, and by passing environmental laws to speed up reconstruction of devastated areas of this state.

I am expecting a timely response to this issue and I will continue to advise my many followers on various social-media sites as to the horrendous state of affairs in a town where residents, my neighbors, are being poisoned in their homes. Unfortunately, the planning of Pompton Day seems to be of a higher priority to our elected officials here in Pompton Lakes. … I can assure all elected to serve the residents, that myself and many others are keeping a very watchful eye on the people elected to look out for our well-being. Personal opinions will tend to clash but at this time the councilman's very unprofessional statement should be retracted immediately. In closing, I have no confidence in his leadership of my community. I will continue to pursue this issue until it is resolved in the form of a public retraction of the Councilman Simone’s ill-tempered and out-of-line comments.

Patrick J. Giles,
Pompton Lakes

- See more at:

DuPont pilot study underway in Pompton Lakes
A second pilot study to determine the best method to remove chlorinated solvents from the groundwater in the borough's Plume area is underway.

DuPont Project Manager Dave Epps (center) talks with Pompton Lakes Mayor Katie Cole about how the bioremediation process works. They are joined by George Nemethsr, an environmental scientist for O'Brien and Gere, on June 25.

In 2011, DuPont unsuccessfully performed its first pilot study that was designed to remove the Tetrachloroethene (PCE) and Trichloroethene (TCE), two chemicals that infiltrated the groundwater when the company operated a munitions factory in the borough from 1902 to 1994.

In the 1980s, the community learned that DuPont had contaminated the soil, groundwater, and the neighboring streams with these solvents, as well as lead, mercury, and other contaminants used in their manufacturing processes.

In the first pilot study, the company poured vegetable oil mixed with microorganisms into the groundwater in an attempt to remove the chlorinated solvents.

This is a process known as bioremediation, which uses microorganisms to reduce the chemical concentrations in the environment.

DuPont officials explained that his process uses microorganisms to break down the TCE and PCE into ethane, and the vegetable oil is the fuel the microorganisms need to live off of in order to continue to do this.

DuPont reported that this mixture was unsuccessful in the first pilot test because it would not move through the soil and come in contact with the TCE and PCE.

In this second pilot study, the company is mixing lactate with the microorganisms for a texture that is less viscous than the oil.

DuPont began this second pilot study on June 25 at the intersection of Barbara Drive and Schuyler Avenue. Officials said this area was chosen because it has the highest levels of TCE and PCE.

On that day DuPont Project Manager Dave Epps said the company will study this process for the next six months to determine its effectiveness.

Pompton Lakes resident writes protest song about the Plume

History of a cleanup

and Pete Seeger opens the show...

His name is Kenn Moutenot. He is a musician, entertainer and producer who grew up in Pompton Lakes and now lives in Bergenfield.
Over the years he has played with Dramarama, Deodato, and Buddy Miles, and is currently touring with Rick Derringer.
He will debut this song at a free gathering from 4 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 8 at Saint John's Church, 81 Christopher St., in New York City, where other artists will also perform that evening.
Moutenot explained that he was inspired to write this song after concluding that the New York-based law firm Weitz & Luxenberg, which is representing the residents of the Plume, did not have the residents' best interests at heart.
"The song is a tribute to the families of Pompton Lakes and my family of Pompton Lakes. That was the inspiration, to write the song out of frustration for unfair compensation," he said.
He said he was offered either a $1,600 settlement or medical monitoring, without holding DuPont at fault.
Moutenot said he would not agree to these terms and the law firm told him that if he did not, it would sign off on the settlement in his behalf.
"DuPont is sending these Weitz & Luxenberg lawyers to my home to try and take the lowest possible settlement, and that's their job, and I told them that right to their face, and they did not deny it, by the way," he said.
He explained that he understands that Weitz & Luxenberg is representing residents of the Plume in this lawsuit, but ultimately the law firm will be paid if and when a settlement is reached with DuPont.
He said the attorneys were pushing him to sign, and he didn't like that. So instead of getting mad, he said, he wrote a song.
"This is a song about making sure that our planet is OK for our children's children in 100 years. That is what the point is. Hey, maybe this will help bring attention and create better regulations in the future. Not that I have that much power with a song, but who knows?"
Moutenot also put together the website to explain his story and explain why he decided to write this song.
He explained that he wants the Plume residents to be fairly compensated for what they have had to endure.
According to the website, "Home and property values in Pompton Lakes Plume area are reduced considerably. Market prices show a definite decrease in Plume zone structures and property."
It then asks DuPont to consider purchasing these homes "as a gesture of apologizing and repaying losses."
The song's debut on Aug. 8 won't be the end of his fight, Moutenot said.
He will be touring with Rick Derringer and other groups along the East Coast this summer, and he will spread the word about the Plume then, and in future years.
Local activist Lisa Riggiola said she was pleased Moutenot is showing an interest in this issue.
Officials from DuPont and from Weitz & Luxenberg declined to comment.

Plume area residents filed a lawsuit against DuPont shortly after they learned that the chlorinated solvents tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) were entering their homes from the groundwater.

These solvents got in the water when DuPont operated the Pompton Lakes Works facility from 1902 to April 1994.

Products manufactured at the facility included explosive powder containing mercury and lead, detonating fuses, electric blasting caps, metal wires, and aluminum and copper shells.

The manufacturing operations and waste management practices contaminated soil, sediment, and groundwater both on-site and off-site.

This contamination was made known to the community in the 1980s and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection ordered DuPont to conduct a cleanup – a project that still goes on today.

In 2009 test results showed that this water is emitting high levels of TCE and PCE vapors into the air.

Since this time, the company has been arranging with every homeowner in the affected area to test the air and install a system that would remove these vapors from each home.

Residents were also hit with some bad news when a health study compiled by the New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services (NJDHSS) showed that there were high levels of certain cancers in this area.

Although the NJDHSS did not link these cancers to these vapors, they are known carcinogens.



Date: Thursday. AUGUST 8th. 2013

Time : 6 - 10 pm

Location : Saint John’s Church

81 Christopher Street . Greenwich Village New York City

Corner 7th Avenue South make Right onto Christopher building on Right side of street second building on North corner.
Admission is FREE - FREE STREET PARKING after 6 PM
Peace Poll Ceremony 7PM
Superb star studded event featuring legendary musical artists ,
eco matters , thoughts of remembrance for those lost during the attack 69 years ago HIROSHIMA & NAGASAKI.

Artist Line up at about 8:00 pm

Pete Seeger ( Invited )

Spook Handy ( Activist - Songwriter ) ( Invited )

Bobby DiBlasio " Take it From Me " Solo Acoustic 12 String

Debuting song for Pompton Lakes residents titled

" DuPont's Henchmen"

Kenn Moutenot Vocals

Featuring special guest artists on this song only !

Juma Sultan ( Jimi Hendrix, Archie Shepp , World Artist)

Hand Percussion Master

Dean DeCastro ( Guitars for God ) Acoustic Guitar

Charles Torres ( Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer )

Bass Guitar

Mike Garbe (Adrenalize) Drum Set

Gigantic Special Thanks to:

Pastor Mark

Producer - Organizer HIROSHIMA - NAGASAKI : SuZen

Phil Sauers President of World Water Rescue Foundation

Sharon Benson - composer of "Water Not Weapon's "

Robert Forenza - Hugg A Planet

Good News Planet TV

Robert Spiegel - Edison Wetlands Association

Lisa Riggiola- Citizens For A Clean Pompton Lakes

Susana Basterrica Peace Vigil 2013 Central Park NYC

James Cannings

Chris VanderEssen Psyncus Project Artistry

Yasgur's Farmers

CameoHD Film Production

Proceeding will also feature folk legend

Peter Yarrow of ( Peter, Paul & Mary fame )

PLUS other guests and artists will follow until about 10:30 pm

We are open to everyone and thank you for

understanding later performance times.

Have faith this will be an evening to remember !

All star guests performing important songs of the day , plus debut of

song inspired by the ongoing POMPTON LAKES verses DUPONT case.

A composition involving the story of 90 years toxic dumping in New Jersey.

Read the story , hear the song , get full information about this event at

anytime. This show will be everything from

moments of silence to uplifting dance songs and sounds of praise !

Be with us on this hot Summer night in the most fantastic city in the world. Artist line up and more details at

story page of

web site ! Thank you much for your support and please download song

so may sing along with us at this spiritual event !

May God keep blessing all of us. See you there !!!

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