Dozens of people protested outside Geneva City Hall Wednesday, upset over what’s happening at the site of the former Geneva Foundry.
They say poisonous chemicals, in contaminated soil, are making people who live there sick. They claim the City of Geneva knew about the contaminated area for 20 years and failed to let people know.
“We’re calling on the city to make more of an effort to find the people who live there because there’s no way of knowing just how sick they are,” said Laura Salamendra.
The former factory building is gone. Last fall, the DEC began notifying residents near the Foundry about the contamination.
Clean up will begin some time this summer.
More than 100 homes in the neighborhoods around the foundry are impacted. Residents are worried about their health.
Tanya Calcorzi claims she’s developed lupus and other ailments as a result of the contaminated area.
“My illness has stolen my identity and now I’ve become a prisoner of my own body,” said Calcorzi. “It’s not fair, it’s not right. Someone needs to stand up and take responsibility.”
Immediately after the protest, some spoke out at the Geneva City Council meeting.
They’re urging city leaders to address potential health issues of people who live near the Foundry.
“We need to be very clear about why this happened here and also stand as a community and protect our most vulnerable,” said Salamendra.
Some people who live in the contaminated area have filed a lawsuit against the City and the State, sponsored by the Geneva Women’s Assembly.
Cleanup of the Foundry site will be done by the City of Geneva, which has applied for a superfund grant.