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Friday, March 6, 2015

MIDDLEPORT — The Royalton-Hartland School Board voted Wednesday to go along with a remediation plan sponsored by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. FMC, however, disapproves.

The school board, by a 4-2 vote, endorsed the announced DEC plan to remediate parts of the school grounds through "a phased approach," which will be "implemented in order to minimize disruption to the community, with only a limited area initially targeted for cleanup. Additional properties and/or blocks will be addressed in the future."

FMC had previously said the plans go to far. On Thursday, it released a statement addressing the matter. It follows in its entirety:
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), with approval from the Royalton-Hartland Board of Education, plans to remediate certain areas of the Roy-Hart School in Middleport, NY.

FMC Corporation performed remediation at the Roy-Hart School in 1999-2000, with guidance and approval from NYSDEC. FMC removed 39,000 cubic yards of soil and replaced that soil with clean soil. Following that remediation, the NYSDEC provided written assurance to the school – and subsequently to the community – stating the “entire school yard is suitable for both athletic and non-athletic use by all school children.”  The property use has not changed since that time. Accordingly, further remediation to the Roy-Hard School is unnecessary and disruptive.

As part of the investigative and remedial process with the State, FMC has informed NYSDEC and the Middleport community that it will remediate the school when and if the property use changes or discussions regarding change of land use commence. At this time, however, there has been no statement of potential change in use at the school and, therefore, remedial activities — and the associated disruption — are not necessary on the Roy-Hart School grounds.

As background, FMC has been working with NYSDEC under an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) that has guided the investigation and development of Middleport remedial plans for 23 years.  NYSDEC, however, has selected a remedial alternative that does not comply with the AOC for a portion of the Village, including the schoolyard. Therefore, FMC entered into litigation with NYSDEC and the United States Environmental Protection Agency over NYSDEC’s failure to follow the AOC.

These lawsuits are ongoing and have not yet been resolved. FMC is disappointed that NYSDEC is moving forward to remediate the Roy-Hart School while FMC and NYSDEC are in litigation over the level of remediation NYSDEC now intends to impose on the community.  

FMC is committed to protecting human health and the environment and has worked diligently with the community over the years to ensure the Village and the Roy-Hart school grounds are safe.

Parents of children at Roy-Hart School and School Board members seeking additional information are encouraged to contact FMC’s Community Office at 8 South Vernon Street in Middleport, or call FMC’s community representative, Jessica Heideman, at 716.735.9769.

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