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Letter to Ohio Gov. Bob Taft:
Evacuate River Valley Schools

February 15, 1999

Governor Bob Taft
Riffe Center, 30th Floor
Columbus, OH 43266-0601

Dear Governor Taft,

850 children at the River Valley School in Marion, Ohio are in imminent danger. Their school is located adjacent to a munitions dump where 312 times the acceptable levels of the chemical trichloroethylene (TCE) and 228 times the amount of acceptable polychlorinated byphenols (PCBS) have been found. Toxic waste has also been detected on 41 acres of the 78 acre school campus.

These chemicals present an imminent threat to humans because of the high potential that they could ingest, touch, or breath them. Already an unusually high number of leukemia cases have been found among River Valley graduates and students. In addition to the existing leukemia cases, we are also gravely concerned about increased cancer risk from exposure to these known carcinogens.

We, the undersigned are writing to support Concerned River Valley Parents who want River Valley School evacuated. Children should not be canaries in the coal mine. As the guardians of future generations, we must act on the side of human health. This school and its grounds are contaminated. Children should not be on this site while further studies are being done. Further studies and clean-up needs to be accomplished after the closure of the school. To responsibly protect the children of Marion, the State of Ohio needs to --

  • Implement the immediate evacuation of the River Valley Schools
  • Close the River Valley Schools, and
  • Substantively involve citizens in the decision making body of the clean-up plan for the site.
We would appreciate a prompt response. We consider this a critical issue. Please contact representatives of Concerned River Valley Families, Roxanne or Kent Krumanaker, at (740)-389-6656 to schedule an immediate meeting. Representatives from our organizations will contact your office tomorrow to follow up on the status of the meeting.

Sincerely,

Teresa Mills, Buckeye Environmental Network
Harvey Wasserman, Citizens Protection Ohio
Linda Linder, Concerned Citizens of Bellevue
Bruce Cornett, Greene Environmental Coalition
Pauline Leboda, Lorain County Neighbors Protecting Our Environment
Cheryl Patzer, Neighbors Protecting Our Environment
Marilyn Wall, Ohio Chapter Sierra Club Conservation Chair
David Scott, Ohio Chapter Sierra Club Executive Committee Chair
Noreen Warnock, Ohio Citizen Action
Amy Simpson, Ohio Public Interest Research Group
Susan Studer, Ohio Environmental Council
Heather Cantino, Rural Action
Glenn Landers, Sierra Club Great Lakes Program
Terry Swearingen, Tri State Environmental Council