Governor Cuomo asked to end Endicott nightmare – White Paper Details Risks

Press Release:
June 24, 2020

NoBurnBroome will be holding a press conference (via ZOOM) at 11 am on Thursday June 25, to release two items: 1) a letter to Governor Cuomo signed by 80 residents of Broome County, and 2) a White Paper explaining the risks the SungEel lithium ion recycling project poses to the village of Endicott.

The Zoom details are:
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Meeting ID: 853 4438 4606
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The letter to Governor Cuomo explains why the villagers of Endicott and other Broome County residents are opposed to the SungEel (also known as SMCC) facility that the Empire State Development (ESD) is pushing into Endicott despite massive citizen opposition, including a statement signed by 154 environmental groups. The ESD is supporting the project with $1.75 million in tax-payer dollars, split between a grant and a tax credit.

According to MaryAnn Dorner, spokesperson for NoBurnBroome:

“Governor Cuomo’s support for this project is a classic example of good intentions gone awry. We need economic development, but this project will kill our village not save it!

“Our Governor probably doesn’t know that Endicott residents are still dealing with the cancers and illnesses from the chemicals released in the village from prior industry. The cleanup of IBM’s underground toxic vapors, one of the largest known examples of vapor intrusion discovered in 2002, is still ongoing.”

The White Paper prepared by Paul Connett, PhD, a retired professor of chemistry, and John Ruspantini, CHMM, PMP, an environmental remediation project manager, explains the poor science that has been used by the DEC in granting the Air Permit in March 2020.

According to the White Paper, the DEC used emission data from SungEel facility without checking the chemicals contained in these batteries. As a result the DEC grossly underestimated hydrogen fluoride and dioxin emissions and failed to discover that some of these batteries use a PFAS (the “forever” chemical) as an electrolyte. Nor did the DEC consider the health implications of – unregulated – nanoparticle emissions.

According to John Ruspantini,

“It is incredible to me that under the special circumstances of Endicott’s previous pollution experience that the DEC did not require a full Environmental Impact Statement.”

Paul Connett added

“I don’t think if Governor Cuomo was to visit any home on Robble Avenue or the playing fields adjacent to the facility he would agree that this project is neither sensible nor humane.”

Fortunately, because the PFAS issue has come to light, the DEC has put the permit on hold. That has literally given some breathing space to the residents of Brome County, and time for their message to get to Governor Cuomo: “Locating this facility in Endicott is unconscionable.”

MaryAnn Dormer suggests that

“Any taxpayer money earmarked for Endicott should be used to encourage clean economic development not more pollution for an already over-burdened community.”


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