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Senator Chuck Schumer visits Holley
Photos and text by Walter Horylev
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer D-N.Y. speaks to the media in front of the former Diaz Chemical Corp. office building backed with local officials: Village of Holley Mayor John Kenney, Trustees Kevin Lynch and Skip Carpenter, Orleans County Legislator at Large E. John DeFilipps and County Legislator, Towns of Carlton, Kendall and Murray, Kenneth DeRoller.
Schumer announced a push to add funding to the EPA’s Superfund program, which he said is now under-funded, and to resurrect a tax on oil and chemical companies to fund EPA efforts to remedy polluted industrial sites like that of the former Diaz Chemical Corporation; the result of a chemical spill in 2003.
According to Mayor Kenney: “This action is long overdue and is a big plus for us. (Holley has 1700-1800 residents). Once cleanup is done we can put the eight houses affected by the chemical spill on the market; we have waited two years so far. If the bill passes, the EPA can continue and finish the rehabbing of the soil at the plant site. They have spent over $9 million so far on this site. We’ve had support from our state representatives. With Senator Schumer leading the way they should be able to clean up our site and many others. The EPA is shooting to sell the houses by October 1 and use the income to offset some of the cost of remedial efforts.”
Mayor Kenney added: “Not only Holley will be impacted by this bill, so will the Town of Murray and the school district.” He also stated that the old plant site would remain a commercial zone. Changing it to residential would quadruple remediation costs.