Charles Kader: Mohawks object to EPA Superfund cleanup plans

"The Akwesasne Kanienkehaka Territory, also known as the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation, is located in the immediate area of three United States Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA) designated Superfund cleanup sites. Plans were recently released to remediate the Grasse River site, located in the New York St. Lawrence River Watershed, due to river sediment polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination by the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) that occurred in the area of the 1796 Treaty of Seven Nations Grasse River pasture area and five miles downstream.

The EPA Superfund clean-up announcement is timely in that New York Senator, Charles Schumer (D), made comments about his desire to see the matter quickly tidied up. Do it quickly, he maintained in a site-visit earlier in 2012. Elected Mohawk officials expressed concern that the bigger point of future land use in this area was being side-stepped.

After watching the first United States presidential debate, and hearing about a plan to cut back on regulatory agency budgetary overhead, the thought that Schumer expressed may have been prescient. Has corporate America made the decision to “move forward” from the mess that it created by destroying parts of Turtle Island; is the social conscience weighing too heavily on Boards of Directors to look back very far to fix what’s been broken?"

Get the Story:
Charles Kader: Trust and Priority in the Age of Pollution Politics (Indian Country Today 10/19)

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