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DIGGING UP THE DIRT AT THS BUILDING SITE … WHAT NASTY STUFF IS UNDER THOSE HUGE, TARP-COVERED ‘HILL 78s’ BEHIND SCHOOL, THE ONES THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO SEE?

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY AUG. 10, 2016) — What was and still is buried in the dirt at the building site of the new Taconic High School? THE PLANET alone has not been afraid to explore, and we have been on top of this story since we first broke it last year.

The code-breaking clue came in a one-line entry from the countless pages of propaganda posted by the School Building Needs Commission to get the public at-large behind the project. No one picked up on it until April 2015, when THE PLANET sat down with the bonding documents related to this needless project.

One of three enormous piles of mysterious material located at the THS building site. What’s under the tarp? (PLANET VALENTI STAFF PHOTOS BY “FLASH” FILLUPS OF THE SECRET SQUADRON).

From the reams of material, we found a one-line entry that read:

  1. Hazardous Waste Containment & Disposal (i.e. Polychlorinated Biphenyl [PCBs] and contaminated soils).” [NOTE: Edited to correct grammatical and stylistic errors].

We wrote 16 months ago, “Are we the only ones for whom this line triggers fire alarms? Removal and disposal of PCBs can cost large and small fortunes.”

City officials ignored our attempts to get more information. Undaunted, shortly after construction began, THE PLANET found our moles at the site. In the business, we call them “sources.” Our spies from The Secret Squadron confirmed what we uncovered by uncovering what the city and nature had deposited in the land. Mom Nat planted rock ledge and lots of it. Officials have been working hard to minimize the extent of that rocky problem, but one of the workers likened the ledge to “a buried Gibraltar.”

That’s bad enough, of course, but what about the xenobiosis? The word refers to human-made contaminants, especially industrial toxins. You may have noticed that The “New” Boring Broadsheet only covered this after our series of articles revealing the extent of the problems lurking in the soil (and water and air) at the THS building site. They have otherwise obeyed their displeased masters and ignored one of the biggest stories of this or any other year.

Mini ‘Hill 78-2’ at the THS building site. Rumors are flying about the deadly materials being unearthed, but officials aren’t talking.

THE PLANET, on the other hand, continues to dig. Here’s what we have learned since we last posted on this story. Sources say:

  1. Almost all the “bad stuff” coming out of the ground has been the result of “waste disposal over a number of years.” Virtually all appears to be industrial waste. GE, anyone?
  2. Analysis shows excessive presence of PCBs. THE PLANET links this to a soothing line from 1999 during the published aftermath of the GE-Pittsfield Consent Agreement, that there was “no on-site disposal of drums, capacitors, equipment … or asbestos.” Use logic: If that’s the case, the “ bad stuff” had to be trucked elsewhere. Last year a GE retiree told THE PLANET he transported truckloads of “barrels and other junk” to the area in question off Valentine Road.
  3. Analysis of soil samples showed “unacceptably high subsurface levels of PCBs and other contaminants [consistent with toxic materials] “identified in the Consent Agreement”
  4. What “other” materials? Pentachlorophenol, dioxin, volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, barium, methylene chloride, vinyl chloride, antimony, arsenic, beryllium, lead, tetrachloroethene, selenium, and thalliummethylene chloride.
  5. The third pile. It’s strictly off limits. THE PLANET won’t say how we got this photo. We can say that “security” at the site wasn’t pleased … which pleased us enormously for being able to show you what officials want to keep hidden. So much for the Veddy Full of Himself Important Person who gloated to THE PLANET that we couldn’t get photos of the site. We won a steak dinner, but the VIP is a chiseler. We will prefer to go hungry, full of our triumph.

    Finally, we learned that as of July 30, there were three enormous, mini-Hill 78s at the site. (SEE PHOTOS) The piles were covered in tarps. No one would speak about what was under the pretty blue covering. The tarps strongly indicates toxins. The piles have likely been treated to keep dust down, with the tarps serving that purpose while doubling to hide what’s underneath.

It is incumbent upon officials, now, to tell the truth about what’s going on at the THS site. In the meantime, THE PLANET advises anyone going there to wear a mask or a filtering device. This includes construction workers and soon students and staff, who will be returning for the new school year.

We have a sinking feeling that what’s in the air, water, and soil there doesn’t “bring good things to life.”

——————————————————————————————————

“I prefer not to.”Bartleby

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

The views expressed in the comment section or opinions published within the text other than those of PLANET VALENTI are not those of PLANET VALENTI or endorsed in any way by PLANET VALENTI; this website reserves the right to remove any comment which violates its Rules of Conduct, and it is not liable for the consequences of any posted comment as provided in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and PLANET VALENTI’s terms of service.

 

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Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
4 years ago

The toxic waste cancer causing chemicals called PCBs at the new Taconic High School project site need to be cleaned up now. The project should be stopped due to the environmental dangers.
The Consent Decree signed by then GE CEO Jack Welch and then Mayor Gerry Doyle is unconscionable! It has left Pittsfield polluted with PCBs. PEDA is 18 years old and has zero manufacturing businesses! PEDA is a failure!
Even Super Walmart will have to spend $12 million to cleanup the PEDA site before it can sell food and drinkable liquids there. PEDA is still polluted.
The caps do not last forever. Once the caps fail to contain the PCBs, there needs to be another cleanup and then another round of capping the toxic waste cancer-causing chemicals.
Pittsfield is a polluted town. Since Gerry Doyle signed the Consent Decree in 2000, there has been nothing done by Mayors Sara Hathaway, Jimmy Ruberto, Dan Bianchi, and the lovely Linda Tyer to deal with GE’s PCBs!
– Jonathan Melle

Rivetor
Rivetor
4 years ago

Unbelievable. Site needs to be closed down and sealed off until we know what’s really going on there.

acheshirecat
acheshirecat
Reply to  Rivetor
4 years ago

They were sealed under many many feet of earth until they were disturbed by the building of a new school.

The School committee
The School committee
4 years ago

PCBs and benzines and all other solvents are accepted in Pittsfield ma.Allendale toxic dump tells anyone who is interested that nothing will be done.
Pittsfield has now knowingly built 2 schools on sites with PCBs…Thank You Tricia ..Yon…Amuso…Elias…Taylor…Caccamo…Mccandless…Behnke

heh heh
heh heh
4 years ago

Peter Marchetti was very helpful recently explaining how the posting of meetings works. If the mayor is not going to sooth the concerns of the people she represents then perhaps Pete, as head of the city council, a body supposedly separate from the mayor, would do so.

Certainly it is someones job to be open and honest with the taxpayers about such things? The whole bunker mindset is why no one in Pittsfield, Ma trusts their leaders. Sometimes it backfires when leaders let citizens imaginations and rumors flame up.

Not to mention being totally irresponsible. This is not Pokeman. This is not a game. If you fight for a job and promise the people you will do it and do it well then just do it.

And for Gods sake don’t do it through the Eagle. Nobody takes that excuse for the fourth amendment seriously. Get before open mike before a city council meeting and talk to the people. The truth is not always easy.

Really?
Really?
Reply to  heh heh
4 years ago

Really?

Missy Mazzeo was going to lift the lid off the consent decree. She asked one question and then went away.

Maybe this time she will do her job and get to the the bottom of this dump. She is a member of the School Buildings Needs Commission.

Come on Missy, we are counting on you. Don’t let us down.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  Really?
4 years ago

Melissa Mazzeo is right about the fraudulent Consent Decree! Pittsfield is still severely polluted with PCBs.
What can she do about it? Not much, unless she runs for U.S. Congress or a higher political office!
In time, Pittsfield will become a Superfund site!

Pat
Pat
4 years ago

Where are the school committee and school personnel worrying about the health of the children who will be attending the school in a few weeks with all of these exposed chemicals. Why is it that only at budget time with salary increases looming that these people are worried about the children?

Pat
Pat
4 years ago

Not to worry. Pittsfield has banned circus animals. All of our problems are solved. A circus hasn’t been here in at least the last 20 years, but this has been our most pressing issue and we can all sleep better now.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

Pat, maybe they could ban horse racing next!

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

It is ridiculous…..Absolutely ridiculous!

anonymouse
anonymouse
4 years ago

It may be something, it may be nothing, but either way, the City must be transparent about it. People’s kids are going to be going to school here. If necessary, the project (which was a mistake in the first place) should be halted. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise to allow the city to relocate Taconic in a more cost-effective manner–short term and long term.

Still Wondering
Still Wondering
4 years ago

Politicians love a good diversion.

southeast
southeast
4 years ago

wouldn’t it be nice if a soil sample could be acquired and sent to an independent testing lab.

Paul
Paul
4 years ago

Where is our wonderful health department? To busy I suspect, with worrying about tobacco licenses and preschoolers sneaking out of their day cares to buy tobacco.
When there are real health issues they are invisible.

Spider
Spider
Reply to  Paul
4 years ago

Where indeed is our wonderful health dept.? We haven’t heard a word from them on this issue.

If this situation is not a health risk to the city, what the hell is?

knows the truth
knows the truth
4 years ago

Another long council meeting last night. How in the world is Chris Connell going to choose which meetings he will attend if he’s elected as State Rep?

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  knows the truth
4 years ago

State Representatives William “Smitty” Pignatelli, Tricia Farley Bouvier, et al, are currently on a 5 month vacation from August 1st – December 31st, 2016. They don’t go back to work until January of 2017.
I don’t think Chris Connell will have to worry about being a double dipper politician because State Reps don’t really work too hard!

CosbeisLadies
CosbeisLadies
4 years ago

No one knows what is buried on the Taconic site? Ha Ha Ha. I’d like to know what was under building 42, diagonally across from PEDA headquarters, that building was knock down for a reason.

Where is the Board of Health, that is a great question.

Roman Knose
Roman Knose
Reply to  CosbeisLadies
4 years ago

Bld 42 was the original home of Capaciters before their mone to Hudon fFall Fort Edward NY to polute the Hudson!

Roman Knose
Roman Knose
Reply to  Roman Knose
4 years ago

move sorry

acheshirecat
acheshirecat
Reply to  Roman Knose
4 years ago

Right and then it was the payroll dept.j

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
4 years ago

Pittsfield : Mental Impairment = Love Canal : Leukemia

heh heh
heh heh
4 years ago

Anybody know anyone with a drone? One could fly in after work hours and take close ups from every angle. Where are the paparazzi when you need them?

Rivetor
Rivetor
4 years ago

Thanks DV for once again coming through big time where the rest of the local media (or what passes for the local media) continues to sleep and behave.

This is a shocking story that shows just how much they are going to buildi this school, nothing NOTHING is going to get in the way not even a toxic mess.

School dept should send a notice to all parents with kids at THS about this hazard. Friend of mine who is a chemist says all the digging up and construction has unleashed the toxins into the environment, he says the chemicals mentioned love to be airborne and that they don’t go away, they “radiate”, like the smell of fresh dog do on a warm day (his analogy not mine!!).

The way the city has not addressed this situation is unacceptable.

NBI
NBI
Reply to  Rivetor
4 years ago

One more reason to send our children out of district!

Painter
Painter
4 years ago

Transparency I don’t think so not with this mayor back till she’s ready to let people know what’s going on.
I would like to know if the Beacon theater has gotten More business sense they had the tax break and got new chairs .
The mayor should’ve been forthcoming to the public for what’s going on at the new high school and not wait for somebody like Dan to come out with the information

Dilly Dally
Dilly Dally
4 years ago

There seems to be a problem at Taconic ..The Cart or the Horse. Why wouldn’t authorities want to know what was in the Ground…..Before you start the A project. McCandless stated it was Roofing Materials and such and not harmful materials that were feared. What kind of statement is that? Is He stating it was a crap shoot from the beginning and there was no evidence P C B or harmful contaminants, was it a non-issue?

The fact that Allendale Hill is allowed to fester is another serious issue that has been ignored as no problem? Just monitoring air does not constitute a healthy situation. Where is the Health Board? Toxins travel vertically..into the ground!

Spider
Spider
4 years ago

I think the big national news media should be made aware of this. This is the kind of stuff they like to tackle.

Remember the infamous canal in N.Y. state?

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  Spider
4 years ago

Yes. and all the officials denied for years that it was problematic.

Site on LOCKDOWN
Site on LOCKDOWN
4 years ago

Out of sight
Out of mind

Sweep it under the rug…..
Or tarp – whatever the case may be.

Nothing to see here folks ….. move along now.
This information is on lockdown.
You are not allowed to know what toxins your children are exposed to. You were not allowed to vote for this project. Just pay your taxes.

If anybody cared, they would get the EPA out there asap.
Whatever happens, remember, its for the children.

UAlbany
UAlbany
4 years ago

Shootings and stabbings every week, but the elephants, monkeys and tigers are off limits for viewing – thank goodness.

Pothole
Pothole
4 years ago

Is there any definitive proof of any contaminants in the site or is this an attempt to draw information? I believe there was a press release saying that they found construction debris but I haven’t heard or seen any factual information concerning pcb. Please educate me if I’m wrong in this

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  Pothole
4 years ago

(Sarcasm): There is no proof of PCBs all over Pittsfield! It is all propaganda because GE no longer employs thousands of local residents. Thousands of local people never suffered from and died of PCBs chemicals that caused their cancer. GE is right to stand by the Consent Decree. Pittsfield is a healthy place to live. And Pigs have wings and fly!

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
4 years ago

Excuse me, but no flying pigs allowed in Pittsfield per order of the city council dated Aug 9 2016. No pigs on trapeze, no pigs on high wire and no pigs riding bicycles. Don’t even ask because the answer is NO!! Not today, not tomorrow and not until we have a new city charter rescinding the order.

Mad Trapper
Mad Trapper
Reply to  heh heh
4 years ago

Farm animals are exempt

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Pothole
4 years ago

Pothole, #1 go to the site and try to get in, #2 ask some questions, #3 you will have your answer.

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  Paul
4 years ago

# 4 ask the city where all that waste came from or who dumped it there. It did not come in the dark of night. They know. But try getting even that simple question answered without a dance card.

And when they play the obfuscation card it tells you all you need to know.

The School committee
The School committee
4 years ago

You all need to read about the Toxic swamp ge donated to pittsfield for allendale school.THS is small potatoes compared to Allendale school…
In denial no

H
H
4 years ago

There were many hearings on Allendale led by Earl Grey (pun intended) what was Mazzeo’s stance in the end?

spagirl
spagirl
4 years ago

When was the last time Pittsfield, Ma.had a Circus????

UAlbany
UAlbany
Reply to  spagirl
4 years ago

Too easy spagirl. Channel 18 last night.

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  UAlbany
4 years ago

And you are so damn right UAlbany!!

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
4 years ago

What happened with the suit that was filed to stop the THS project? The hearing was today?

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  12 Gauge
4 years ago

The article in the paper pretty much affirmed that the water whelp is incompetent. I hope he wore a diaper to his legal lesson. I also hope he doesn’t have to pay the city’s legal costs for a frivolous lawsuit filing. Even though it may teach him a lesson. Anybody taken a ride on his yacht this summer?

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  Shakes His Head
4 years ago

I’ll cover the city’s legal cost. Where do I mail my nickel for Dohony’s work? I expect 3 cents change.

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
4 years ago

I ask a simple fair question and I get an answer from a simpleton that imparts no information.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  12 Gauge
4 years ago

Read the paper. The reporting suggested that both sides presented their cases. The City claimed there is no “contract”, CG saying there is some contract. The City also presented that the way to obtain standing to protest a decision was to circulate a petition that garnered 15% of eligible signatures within 21 days of said decision. We are all aware this didn’t happen.

Then the judge annoyed with CG’s ramblings about his supporters that didn’t want the high school (which is not even 300, we’ve gone over this). The whole thing is a petulant tantrum and it is very sad.

Also, if reading the paper is difficult for whatever reason, I believe that one of the radio stations reads the articles