Note from NoBurnBroome: Terri Farrell submitted the following letter to the Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin. Because of the paper’s policy not to publish endorsements for elections, the letter wasn’t published. As Terri is a candidate endorsed by NoBurnBroome, we’ve decided to publish it for her.
October 25, 2020
By Terri Farrell
I am running for County Legislature for District 6 and would like an opportunity to address the proposed SungEel Americas MCC first of its kind lithium-ion battery recycling plant being proposed in Endicott. Our teams are working on a bipartisan effort with scientists, legal experts and many professional agencies and affiliations. We have been working very diligently for several months in the goal to achieve a proper Type 1, State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) and a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This proposal was misclassified as an unlisted action and the processes of incineration, possible safety hazards, transportation and storage issues, that were not originally addressed by the DEC, should have alerted a complete county wide regional impact statement.
In the late 1980’s I was going to school to study nutrition and worked as a cooperative employee in Building 18, formerly known as International Business Machines (IBM) and currently known as the Huron Campus. It was really an amazing time for everyone back then. The Village of Endicott was prospering with job opportunities and economic growth. Our local businesses were thriving, Washington Avenue was the main shopping district for Endicott at that time. IBM offered incentives to hundreds of employees who worked there and was hailed as one of the most stable and secure employers in Broome County.
Within six months, I heard stories about the toxic spill and the chemicals we were working with in the manufacturing of printed circuit boards. The main chemical, Trichloroethylene (TCE), was making employees sick. Many people, both working at IBM or living in the Plume were at greater risks of illnesses such as cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and birth defects just to name a few. It was very noticeable that declining property values were impacting Endicott’s once thriving community. At the same time, businesses were leaving the area, including IBM.
Eventually, the chemicals were making me sick also. I wanted to understand the relationship between chemical exposures in our environment and impacts to public health. I changed my degree to Environmental Science Policy and Management and earned my Bachelors’ Degree at the SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry School in Syracuse. I graduated with a second degree in Watershed hydrology. I have been actively working at a state level with the Health Department and Bureau Supply of Water Protection on the current water infrastructure and contamination issues in Endicott.
In March, I was asked to join the group NoBurnBroome, with the understanding that my education, background and personal experiences with chemicals in our environment, would be an asset to our team. The groups in support of the battery recycling plant have been using unnecessary slander, defamatory comments and inaccurate statements towards the group with no basis of Science or factual evidence that it is safe.
The issues with the contamination from decades of industrial pollution disposal from companies like Endicott Johnson (EJ) and IBM, significantly underscores how fragile Endicott and our surrounding communities truly are, pollution is a global concern. Please answer these important questions? What have we learned from the decades of industrial pollution and threats to public health? The health and safety of our residents are being compromised. Is Endicott learning from our past mistakes to protect our future?
We need new leadership, innovative thinkers, experienced and educated in the economy and our environment. It is important that you choose wisely when voting on November 3rd for your next generation of experienced and dedicated leaders.
Please let your voice be heard and vote on November 3rd for the responsible parties that will genuinely make a difference!