Rumford Residents Hold Their Breath for DEM Decision


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Rumford Residents Hold Their Breath for DEM Decision

Eyewitness News  Rally Against Waste Plant's Expansion (with video)

East Providence Patch Rumford Residents Rally Against Potential TLA Pondview Expansion (with photos and video)

Providence Journal  Nearly 100 Protest Rumford's Recycler's Expansion 

Rumford, RI— This past Monday, more than one hundred East Providence residents rallied with local elected officials and environmental groups to ask DEM to deny TLA-Pond View’s proposal to triple the size of their facility.  TLA-Pond View is an industrial operation that shreds construction and demolition debris, one of the most toxic components of the waste stream. 

TLA-Pond View is seeking permission to process 1,500 tons of construction and demolition debris per day, or ten times its original permit of 150 tons per day.  The Attorney General of Rhode Island has taken DEM to court over allowing the facility to operate without two needed certificates.  In 1998, DEM granted Pond View its first expansion to 500 tons per day.

 “We want DEM to protect our kids and deny TLA Pond View’s massive expansion. DEM failed us by allowing TLA to open so close to a residential neighborhood, and then again by allowing them to expand,” said Jo-Ann Durfee, a Rumford resident and member  of the East Providence Coalition, a group opposing the expansion. “Residents are already experiencing serious health problems as a result of pollution fromPond View. We are asking new DEM Director Janet Coit to be a breath of fresh air and protect kids’ health by denying Pond View’s expansion.”

“DEM must deny Pond View’s expansion.  Pond View is already causing serious pollution problems in residential neighborhoods, and an expansion would only put residents at further risk of harm,” said Taryn Hallweaver of Toxics Action Center.  “On top of that, the plant is operating without two needed certificates, an unresolved issue that the Attorney General’s office has taken DEM to court over.  There are too many unanswered questions for DEM to possibly be considering such a massive expansion for this facility.”

Dust from the grinding of construction materials like pressure-treated wood, lead paint, and asbestos at the Pond View facility settles on nearby residential communities, including the Glen Lyon playground and Myron J. Francis elementary school.  These and other heavy metals and toxins emitted into the neighborhood air can cause illness and brain damage to humans.  Children are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of environmental toxins because of their developing bodies.  Pollution from TLA Pond View has been causing respiratory illness, headaches, nausea, and other health problems.

State Senator Daniel Da Ponte spoke at the event as well, urging DEM to deny the expansion.  Other speakers included Councilman William Conley, John Torgen of Save the Bay, and Ken Schneider of East Providence Coaition.  Senator Frank Devall, Representative Helio Mello, and Councilman Michael Digioia also attended the event.