Just curious to know if homeowners and realtors are required to disclose that the property being sold is in a superfund site.I know laws differ from state to state. I'm not sure on NY. I think it's irresponsible for a realtor who has lived just off the site for many, many years to sell a home to a young family and give no disclosure of what they have under their new home. By the way Howard, it was the little girl from the movie that had the baby, not her daughter.
Brockovich no-show, but Bowcock provides information on possible environmental dangers in Le Roy
Submitted by Howard Owens on August 23, 2012 - 9:48am
Bob Bowcock spent much of his time at the American Legion Hall on Wednesday evening talking about the Lehigh Valley Train Derailment Site and spilled TCE at a community meeting originally billed as a joint appearance by Bowcock and Erin Brockovich.
Brockovich didn't make the trip. According to Bowcock, she developed a staph infection following a hospital visit with her pregnant daughter.
About 100 people attended the event, plus pretty much every news outlet in Batavia, Rochester and Buffalo.
Bowcock said his goal for the meeting was to empower the community with knowledge and help them seek answers for apparent environmental hazards in their community.
While he said he considers the identified dangers real and significant, he doesn't believe they are connected to the tic outbreak among mostly Le Roy High School students last year.
He also hasn't ruled out an unidentified environmental cause.
He noted that the girls who have been treated by medical doctors have gotten better and the girls who were treated by mental health doctors have gotten better.
"Why they got better, I don't know," Bowcock said. "I don't think any one scientist can articulate (why)."
The three environmental concerns for Bowcock in Le Roy are the derailment site, MTBE (an outlawed gas additive) found in water wells on Harris Road, and the natural gas wells on school property.
Bowcock made it clear, he considers the EPA's handling of the Superfund site on Gulf Road both slipshod and irresponsible.
The spill should have been remediated decades ago, he said.
"It's a situation that's not good," Bowcock said. "It's not healthy," adding, "I think the EPA should be ashamed of themselves. They need to get out here and they need to get serious."
Lehigh Valley Railroad is a multimillion-dollar holding company, Bowcock noted. There are homeowners who have seen their property values decline, potentially, because they must disclose TCE contamination below the surface of their homes. More than a dozen of them must constantly run noisy filtration systems.
The property owners, he suggested, should be compensated for their losses, possible related health problems and time, aggravation and any of their own expenses for dealing with contaminated water.
Bowcock said there should be extraction wells in the area, drawing up contaminated water and "cones of depression" to help draw the water out. The water should then be treated and the contaminates incinerated.
"Not one gallon of water has ever been treated at that site," Bowcock said.
Though it's never been statistically documented, people in the Limerock area believe just about every home within the plume area has had one or more cancer patients.
Bowcock noted that scientists have criteria for identifying "cancer clusters," but nowhere in the United States has a "cancer cluster" ever been scientifically validated. He doesn't expect that to be the case in Limerock.
"If every household in a community has a cancer patient, if that's the case, I wouldn't call it a cancer cluster," Bowcock said. "I would call it a catastrophe."
At one point during the meeting, Bowcock introduced a representative from the environmental law firm Weitz & Luxenberg.
Brockovich has been a paid spokesperson for Weitz & Luxenberg.
Asked about any possible perception that Bowcock's community meeting might be an infomercial for Weitz & Luxenberg, Bowcock said that certainly wasn't an impression he intended to leave.
"I actually kind of went out of my way to downplay it, if anything," Bowcock said. "I didn’t allow her to speak. I introduced her only after somebody asked 'who’s the girl sitting next to you?' If the perception is we were doing an infomercial for a law firm, I wouldn’t know what we were doing an infomercial for, because there’s been no decision made that we would even litigate."
On the Harris Road issue, Bowcock noted that the DEC was out on Harris Road yesterday for the first time getting its own water samples from the possibly contaminated wells.
As for natural gas wells on Le Roy School District property, Bowcock said he didn't care what kind of extraction was being used, whether fracking or some other method, they are natural gas wells and the district needs to be fully transparent about what's going on with them.
"There are six natural gas wells on school property that need to be regulated in a format or a formula that the community is comfortable with," Bowcock said.
Bowcock did praise the district for being far more transparent in the past several months than he at one time expected and said he believed the district would do the right thing.
On any environmental issue, Bowcock stressed that while the meeting was meant to bring some sense of closure on a number of lingering questions from community members -- he said he gets daily emails from people in Le Roy -- he said he and his firm were not abandoning Le Roy.
"I will be back at your invitation and your invitation only," Bowcock told the audience near the end of the meeting. "We will fight to get that TCE removed with you and only fight with you if you fight with us."
Sensationalists blowing smoke. Mr Bowcock, There has been cancer on my mother's and father's side of the family. My paternal grandmother was living in Cleveland, OH and died of colon cancer in October of 1981. My maternal grandmother lived in Savannah, NY for decades and died in March of 1973 from what started out as breast cancer. My mother's sister Carol, also had breast cancer and she lived Seneca Falls, NY for decades. Carol's husband Barry, died of pancreatic cancer and Carol came down with her breast cancer while Barry was in the end stages of his own battle with the disease. Barry was originally from the Rome, NY area. My stepfather Bob Michels, from Hermitage, NY, died of non Hodgkins lymphoma. His stepdaughter had breast cancer and she lives in Warsaw, NY. My father had lung cancer.
Mr Bowcock, how do you explain cancer hitting so many sides of my family, blood related or not, and from different regions of NY state? People like you don't do anyone any favors by riling the emotions of people to further your own popularity. Please, go away and stay away. I'd rather get my information regarding cancer from my own doctor and the 4 nurses within my own family. Your information regarding cancer clusters is erroneous and we don't need you coming here claiming to bring us "closure." We already had closure. All you're doing is digging at old wounds and reinfecting us.
The fact is, cancer hits every family. Leave the cancer figures to the experts because you're just a bag of hot air that delivers a message in a way that upsets people.
I agree with you Doug overall, however, I lived on a small street in Cheektowaga and my dad and sister plus one neighbors husband all died of pancreatic cancer. That is just the people who I know of. I think environment can also contribute to conditions like bipolar, ADHD and other mental problems. I lived in the Sheridan Parkside neighborhood went I became pregnant for one of my sons. Every neighbor who also got pregnant while living there had a child with mental health issues. Some things to me seem to be more than a coincidence.
Who's to say they all weren't exposed to some carcinogens Doug? Most people have family who developed cancer. Five in our family. When my mother died of breast cancer in the 70's, the doctor from Buffalo told us they were studying a high rate of cancer in LeRoy. We are all exposed to carcinogens, daily. What we breathe, eat and drink. Because all people can get cancer does not excuse what happened in Limerock or the lack of attention given it by our government. The fact is, those people are exposed at a higher risk than most. You do not know who or how many people there died or are sick from the spill. You criticize his lack of knowledge there, but have less than him. You forget those people email him and Erin daily and asked for their help. Show a little respect for people and quit showing your ignorance. I was born and raised in LeRoy and know many people from Limerock and what they experienced and still are. Would you like to raise your babies over the spill and have them play in the yard with TCE leaching up through the soil, or ground water in your basement that is contaminated?
Bob Bowcock is not the issue. It is the people in Limerock that are. If something can be done to lessen exposure, that is a good thing, whether you like him or not. Were you at the meeting? He was not there to scare anyone, just stating facts. Call it a cluster or not, if one person died from the spill, is that not enough to warrant action? It's easy to talk like you when you don't live in Limerock I wonder if you would talk face to face with a few sick people who live there and tell them how foolish they are, thinking the spill killed their mothers and fathers or gave them cancer. There are some still living you know.
Fair enough, Mike. You're right that I don't know any more than he does but I'm smart enough to know who to believe. I have no respect for Erin Brockovich or Bob Bowcock. No, I would not raise my babies where TCE is leeching up out of the ground.
Is there actually a cancer cluster in that area? I know this much, if a cancer cluster is actually present, the majority of the cancers are of the same kind. People living longer than ever means more people get cancer and it can be confused with a higher incidence rate of cancer. You said it yourself, we're all exposed to carcinogens every day just by breathing the air and air pollution. I drink well water but I run it through a reverse osmosis unit first...just in case.
My point was that if he really wanted to make people aware of a problem, he should have brought along actual experts to tell everyone whether there's an actual problem or not. If you've noticed, there's been no more news about the tic problem since all of the media coverage abated. My concern is that with the likes or Erin or Bob returning to the area to stir the soup, problems like those will return. It sounds to me like the "experts" were right about conversion disorder, not the people on a witch hunt.
Truth is paramount and I don't believe that people like Bob Bowcock or Erin Brockovich are 100% hell bent for truth, do you?
Their intentions are a mute point. If people ask them to come and by their presence, the spill has been brought back to light, and the EPA and DEC cannot hide their negligence any more, then I think they did a service, not a disservice to the community. As far as the school goes, as long as the parents of the sick kids question those wells, I feel it is not an outrageous demand to ask for them to be tested, especially if it brings closure to such an ugly mess. Can we change the world here from Genesee County? We know we can't. Nor can we personally stop pollution by big corporations. But, right here in our own back yards we can make a difference and right a wrong being done to our neighbors and environment. Standing behind the people in Limerock is a noble cause in my eyes. Just a simple post here, on their behalf. I don't see any, except mine. I use to deliver mail to all the village homes in Caledonia and knew everyone back in the 80's. A large group of women, and I knew them all, developed breast cancer and many died. Confused and frustrated, families looked for answers and with outside help, discovered Jones Chemical had contaminated the village public wells with TCE. It is now a superfund site and evap soil extraction has been an ongoing process there. Why there and not in Limerock? Had those people accepted the deaths as "the norm" a lot more people would have become sick and possibly died. That is fact, I witnessed it with my own eyes. It baffles me that someone, such as yourself, who is surrounded by cancer in your loved ones and friends, would rather focus on Bob Bowcock, than support your neighbors, where you CAN have a positive effect and not add to the negatives, spreading through our community.. No disrespect Doug, just stating my opinion.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA , N 1 MIKE, THEY DIDNT DISCUSS THE BATH SALTS IN LEROY. THINK THEY WILL IN THE MOVIE ? HELLO
Mike, people asked them to come because they've scared the crap out of everyone. Why doesn't anyone ask actual experts to come and evaluate the situation? Bowcock and Brockovich are just stirring the venom soup and that's why my focus is on them. Again, truth is paramount and I wouldn't take their word for anything.
I do care about my neighbors and family and that's why I'm saying the things that I have. You can call it being insensitive, but it's not meant to be. I just can't stand seeing people like them victimizing people emotionally. They're not the correct source for information and they're not doing anyone any favors.
The problem with that Doug is we were led to believe that the actual experts had been evaluating the situation and apparently they did nothing about it for decades.
You're correct, someone dropped the ball on that one. Whomever was initially in charge of the cleanup never followed through. Who was in charge of watching THEM and why did THEY drop the ball? Know why this happens? There's no accountability.
Remember as a kid when you were asked if your homework was done and you said "uh huh!?" What happened after that? Your mom or dad would say "OKAY, let me see it." If you didn't have it done, what happened then?!
I still don't care for the likes of Erin Brockovich..that will never change.
You're wrong Doug. People asked them to come because they were scared and getting no answers from the school. You have the cart before the horse. Anything they said about the spill is not sensationalism. The spill is a high priority problem, although it is downplayed by the EPA and the DEC. Maybe they aren't the best source for information, but unfortunately, so far, they have been the only source. Why hasn't the DEC or EPA called a town meeting? The people in Caledonia had them. Read the superfund reports and you will find the minutes from the meeting with all the questions and answers, all layed out in black and white. I would think that is something to complain about with the same conviction you put into bashing Bob Bowcock. Without public pressure they would've kept on as they had. They stated a draft for cleanup would be drawn up way back around 1991, when they first started looking at things. Here it is 2012 and they just issued a statement last week stating a draft for cleanup should be drawn up by the end of this year. Even our government is in bed with the devil if it helps a better cause. It goes on everyday. Secret funding, military aid etc. Somebody needs to poke the hornets nest. I don't see anyone around here speaking out. If it took strangers to do it, then I guess we're all at fault. Do you think all the media would come to town if you or I bitch about the spill? You don't or haven't seen town officials comment much because they were left in the dark as much as we all were. Who do you look to the truth for? People guilty of negligence? Aren't you at all troubled by the lack of response by the government agencies? They are the reason your villains are here in the first place!
I think you're the one on bath salts Matt. You make no sense at all. Do yourself a favor and don't even post. You make a fool of yourself.