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Order amid Chaos

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December 1999


T.E.A.C.H. would like to wish everyone
a safe and happy holiday season.


Highlights of the newly released
"Drinking Water Quality Analyses
(March 1996 to June 1999)
United Water Toms River".


United Water Service area
Reddish brown area above is United Water of Toms River service area.

Read what the newspapers failed to say.
  • To read the highlights double click here.
  • To read the full report double click here.


  • What is a Cancer Cluster?

    According to the Websters dictionary a "cluster" is a number of individuals of any kind collected or gathered into a body; an assemblage; a group; a swarm; a crowd. And according to a definition for cluster from the Centers for Disease Control's, "Guidelines for Investigating Clusters of Health Events". "As used in these guidelines, the term "cluster" is an unusual aggregation, real or perceived, of health events that are grouped together in time and space and that are reported to a health agency." Once again state and local officials are downplaying the cancer cluster here in Toms River, NJ. One state official said that there is not scientific definition for the word "cluster", and that is why he is not using it after almost four years into the state investigation. Even the committee investigating the high incidence of cancer is called, the Citizens Action Committee on the Childhood Cancer Cluster. Medical reports use this term frequently, just browse the internet and log into a major cancer hospital or university. Is this just another political way to try to make a problem go away?
  • For additional information on cancer clusters
    please double click on the line.

  • Let's put this issue behind us.
    Yes, there is a cancer cluster in
    Toms River, NJ.



    EPA Informal Meeting on
    the Ciba Cleanup Options


    It is amazing how the USEPA still says it wants to work with citizens groups in Toms River on the cleanup of the Ciba site. We have said that we have major concerns with the use of thermal desorption/incinerators, yet at the November 10th, 1999 informal Public EPA meeting there appeared to be a major push for the use of this technology, which has had problems elsewhere. Other citizens groups have warned us this would occur and unfortunately the EPA is living up to its past practice.

    The terminology can confuse an unsuspecting public. First, lets look at the terminology used on some of the charts. Take the word "thermal treatment," which appeared under several options presented. EPA documents suggest this term and I quote, "For example, the language in the ROD for one site stated that "thermal treatment" was the remedy, thus allowing either thermal desorption or incineration."
    ROD stands for Record of Decision, which is the final document that determines the cleanup of a site.

    Second, the term "thermal desorption," the USEPA stresses this term at public meetings to confuse the issue with incinerators. Again quoting EPA literature, "Direct-fired thermal desorbers operating at high temperatures and thermal desorbers equipped with afterburners (or other types of oxidizers) also are considered to be incinerators,"...

    Further, "Public acceptance of thermal desorption may be adversely affected by confusion with incineration technologies, which do not enjoy public confidence."

    The EPA has presented thermal desorption at several meetings and now at this informal meeting, why so much coverage on one topic? Selling this idea over and over to the unsuspecting public is one way to get it to pass. And I quote, "The focus and level of community interest varies at each site. Community relations effects should begin early, include risk communication in nontechnical terms, and afford numerous opportunities for the public to view the process".

    Letís not repeat what has happened on "Reich Farm" again. At the next USEPA meeting ask for the air samples from the thermal desorption /incinerator that was used at that site.

    There are none? Why?

    The EPA does not know what went out that stack and into the air in our community from that site, yet they keeping saying it is safe. It is safe, trust us the EPA says.

  • Ask the people in Lockhaven, PA how safe it was to burn chemicals in their back yard. To read the story click here.

    Please attend the next EPA meeting,
  • write letters to your U.S. Senators (click here)
    and let your voice be heard!


  • Take our new visitors poll, click here.

  • The next public meeting on the Citizen Action Committee on Childhood Cancer Cluster is December 13, 1999 at 6:00 pm.. For further details look under "How to Help"


  • The previous cover page can be found under "RESOURCES", Previous Month's Cover Pages.