EAST PROVIDENCE — Responding to the ongoing concerns of residents and constituents near the disputed TLA/Pond View recycling plant in Rumford, State Senator Daniel DaPonte has called upon administrators to take action.
In a letter dated Jan. 15, Sen. DaPonte (D-Dist 14, East Providence) urged Governor Lincoln Chafee and Director Janet Coit of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management to provide a response detailing plans the state and the agency are making to “ensure the expeditious site cleanup commences immediately and continued illegal dumping at the TLA Pond View facility is forcibly forbidden.”
Pond View is supposed to have been closed for business since Tuesday, Sept. 11, when the court-appointed receiver of the controversial plant filed an emergency motion to terminate operations.
Sen. DaPonte’s letter was prompted by the numerous correspondences and telephone calls his office has recently received from residents nearby the facility informing him that not only has the cleanup of the toxic 20-foot-high piles of illegally dumped debris yet to occur, there has been continued illegal dumping on the site as well.
In the letter, Sen. DaPonte wrote, “This is simply unacceptable…Every day that passes in which nothing is done constitutes a significant degradation of the surrounding neighborhood’s public health, environment and economy.”
The Senator’s letter also requests immediate and serious consideration of declaring the area a public health emergency, which would warrant a publicly commissioned cleanup.
Sen. DaPonte reaffirmed his promise to stand with and fight for the affected residents who continue to suffer daily.
“Enough is enough,” Sen. DaPonte wrote. “It’s time to get this show on the road. I cannot overemphasize the urgency of this matter when it’s clear to me that families’ lives and homes are at stake. I’m willing to do whatever it takes – if the fight must continue, so be it.”
Late last month, December 2012, an auction of all Pond View equipment and rolling stock inventory was held.
The auction was seen at the time as the next step in the termination process. No additional debris was supposed to be accepted by the company after the September court date. The owner of the TLA/Pond View property, Ken Foley’s Kenlin company, did not oppose the closure motion.
The process of Pond View’s closure, the most important to city residents in the area, was expected to begin once all the equipment was removed from the property, though it has yet to start.
Payment for clean-up process is set to come from an $800,000 bond procured by the receiver as part of taking over TLA/Pond View operations. Mr. Foley’s Kenlin company, as the landlord, is also a guarantor in the process.