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Response To Town Facebook Message Regarding the Fireworks, Hanover, MA

September 4, 2019

Please contact Rep. Bill Keating (https://keating.house.gov/contact), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (https://www.warren.senate.gov/contact), David.DeCoste@mahouse.gov and Sen. Ed Markey (https://www.markey.senate.gov/contact) to get federal funding because the pollution crosses through several towns (Forge Pond, Lilly Pond, Factory pond and waterways/streams/rivers that are connected.)

 

I want to express my views regarding the recent post on the Town of Hanover's facebook page about My recent article.

 

1.) I commend Hanover for taking this seriously. We must work together to solve this issue.

 

2.) For the past 30 years, Hanover has been “Minminzing Concern.” It is time to stop talking and take action. There are four 300 page documents written over decades about how polluted the site is, enough research, take that money and put it towards cleanup. The fireworks site has been a dumping ground for nearly a century.

 

3.) Please contact Rep. Bill Keating (https://keating.house.gov/contact), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (https://www.warren.senate.gov/contact), David.DeCoste@mahouse.gov and Sen. Ed Markey (https://www.markey.senate.gov/contact) to get federal funding because the pollution crosses through several towns (Forge Pond, Lilly Pond, Factory pond and waterways/streams/rivers that are connected.)

 

4.) I want to quote William Stella, an Environmental scientist because I identify with his views “We should praise the responsible decisions of past and present selectmen? Seriously? How can any person think denying Federal Superfund assistance was a praiseworthy act? The Superfund Act was established precisely for brownfields (polluted sites) like this. As an environmental scientist, I am appalled at their decision. I promise you all, that without that support the pond will never be cleaned up. Never!”

 

Based on the information I gathered regarding brain tumors - I find it statistically impossible to have so many cases, but that is open to interpretation. I will revert to the Patriot Ledger’s comments on Cancer Cluster studies mentioned in Hanover’s facebook post.

 

Scales said the review will use data reported to the state’s cancer registry, to which hospitals and facilities are required to report all cancer diagnoses among Massachusetts residents. Each report includes an individual’s residence at the time of diagnosis.

 

But experts believe most cancers take anywhere from 10 to more than 50 years to develop, meaning those exposed to toxins at the fireworks site could have gotten cancer years after moving away, and therefore may not be accounted for in the data.

 

Molly Jacobs, project manager at the University of Massachusetts Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, said the cancer registry does not track past residencies, which limits its use in identifying cancer clusters.

“It’s a lot more difficult to do investigations for adult cancers because people move, so if the registry doesn’t show a cluster, it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen among those exposed who have since moved away,” said Jacobs, who previously worked at the state Department of Public Health investigating disease clusters tied to exposure to contamination.

 

Squires, for example, lived on King Street in Hanover until he was 18, but wasn’t diagnosed with brain cancer until he was 31 and living in another town. He likely won’t show up in the data on brain cancer collected by the state.

 

 

I hope that over time, this will not be swept under the rug as it has been for decades.

 

Hanover, Massachusetts

 

Community Message from the Hanover Town Manager
September 3, 2019

Cancer is awful. My thoughts and prayers are with those who are battling this disease as well as their loved ones and caregivers who are fighting with them.

I have been Hanover’s Town Manager for a year and a half and hopefully, I will continue to be Town Manager here for a long time to come. I live in Hanover – no more than a quarter-mile from the Fireworks Site – with my wife and our two young children, ages 4 and 1. We all love Hanover! I’m 100% invested in this community and proud to call it home.

Based on everything I know, residents have no reason to be afraid and have many reasons to praise the responsible decisions made by past and present town officials regarding the Fireworks Site.

In response to some of the comments I have heard and read over the past two weeks I offer the following to be included in the conversation.

Under the management of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) the cleanup of the Fireworks Site is moving forward aggressively and in a positive direction. The munitions are currently being cleared; once the munitions are safely disposed of the environmental clean-up will commence. The latter cannot happen until the former is complete.

If you live in Hanover – whether you are an abutter to the Fireworks property or live on the other side of town – you are not being exposed to hazardous materials or toxins from the Fireworks Site.

There are no known radioactive materials buried on site. There is a map circulating – one that is not privileged or confidential in anyway but rather has been public for years – highlighting buried radioactive material. Readings taken within the site do not suggest the presence of these materials. The clean-up workers would not be able to work in an area that wasn’t deemed safe.

Hanover’s drinking water comes from wells that are not hydraulically connected to the Fireworks Site.

Irrigation well testing at a private residence near the Fireworks Site and at Forge Pond Park both came back below DEP’s established safety thresholds.

There are no scientifically valid studies suggesting cancers of any type are higher in Hanover relative to what one would expect in a similar population sample. There was a study completed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) in 2012 showing an elevation in Thyroid cancer between the years 1999 - 2003; however, this finding was deemed ‘not statistically significant’. Earlier this summer, when a former resident met with me and a member of the Board of Selectmen regarding his concerns about brain cancer incidences, DPH was immediately asked to complete a study because when town officials cannot answer questions it is our duty to find someone who can. The DPH study is in the works and the results will be shared publicly. If cancer rates of any type are ever found to be statistically significant, that information alone would not definitively answer the question about causation.

There is a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 24, 2019, starting at 7:00pm at Hanover High School. At this meeting officials from the Mass DEP, DPH, Tetra Tech, and the town will present information germane to the Fireworks clean-up efforts. Please attend this meeting to get factual information from the experts.

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