In November of 2006, the Middleport Community Input Group was formed joining together into one entity the members of different organizations concerned with the arsenic remediation and future development in the village. For approximately one year, the MCIG met on a monthly basis to listen to FMC and the agencies describe their plans and provide updates. For the most part, FMC controlled the meetings and the agendas.
In February, 2008, the MCIG reorganized with the residents taking control of the meetings and agendas. This reorganization was done so the residents would have better control of what was discussed and what decisions were made regarding the community. Our meetings are held in two parts with the first including representatives for FMC and the government agencies and the second with members and residents only so we can discuss among ourselves what positions we should take and what issues we should pursue. All views are listened to with no decisions made unless there is a consensus agreement.
The group has grown and now includes 30 residents as members plus a technical adviser from the New Jersey Technical Institute and a meeting facilitator from RIT.
We welcome new members. Joining shows other involved parties such as FMC, the government agencies (EPA, DEC and DOH) and our elected officials there is an interest in the community's residents to have a say in how the remediation project will proceed and how it will affect our community and our properties.
With regard to the current arsenic cleanup project, the group wants a meaningful cleanup but not one that disrupts the community and degrades the character of our properties and the village.
To view our accomplishments for 2008, click on the Read Full Article
2008 MCIG Accomplishments
- Reorganized into a community group controlling our own meetings and becoming a bigger voice in the process. Agreed to a Mission Statement.
- Reviewed the EPA's public Participation Plan and agreed how the group would interact with FMC and the agencies.
- Conducted a meeting in June where MCIG members and government agency representatives discussed concerns and questions. A few positions were established:
- No red flags on deeds
- No property restrictions would be used by the agencies.
- Using a cancer risk assessment which requires soil levels of arsenic to be lower than background is impractical.
- Prioritized the various RFI volumes for FMC.
- Encouraged FMC to conduct a phytoremediation study.
- Provided FMC and the agencies our expectations of a CMS workplan which included:
- Minimizing the disturbance to the community and maintaining the character of neighborhoods and the village
- Allow for meaningful participation of affected residents in the decision making process.
- Strive for the use of the USEPA's Green Remediation Concepts which would minimize waste, reduce greenhouse gases by using fuel efficient technologies and soil preservation methods to reduce the environmental impact.
- Expanded the outreach program by distributing postcards with meeting announcements and a survey. Gained 7 new members so far with the survey.
- Established a new and improved web site including a document repository.
- A presentation by Dr. Dan Watts was made to the community on the Public Participation in the CMS Process. DVD copies were made available.
- Began writing a monthly communique to the agencies relating our positions on the various aspects of the remediation process.