WESPAC Letter to EPA in support of Ramapough

Statement of Support  

Submitted to the EPA on November 9, 2013 in support of a total cleanup of Ringwood, NJ Superfund Site, home of the Ramapough Nation.

 We come before you tonight on behalf of WESPAC, a 500-member strong Westchester-based non-profit organization that works for environmental and human justice, to stand in solidarity with our friends the Ramapough Lanape Nation who seek a full and just cleanup of their ancestral lands. 

 We have learned that in the years from the 1950s to the 1980s, Ford Motor Company owned and operated a factory in Mahwah New Jersey which generated oceans of hazardous waste. Tons of paint sludge were illegally buried in the mountainsides of Ringwood. And that toxic mess, which still lies buried, has been responsible for causing cancer in individuals residing in the affected areas and threatens to contaminate the Wanaque Reservoir.

WESPAC wishes to express to the EPA our grave concern and disappointment that such huge health and environmental issues have not been dealt with in a more timely and inclusive fashion. We urge the EPA to engage in open discussion with the Ramapough Nation in all future planning sessions regarding this Superfund site

 These lands and waters are the ancestral homeland of the Ramapough and in this fact lies the heart of their steadfast determination to seek a healing, of Mother Earth and the many peoples who live here today. Their deep commitment to protect the earth deserves the EPA’s respect and cooperation.

 Tracy Basile

Committee Chair of Friends of Turtle Island

WESPAC Foundation

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