Read the full article by Michael Doyle (The Gleaner)
Henderson city commissioners got an earful Tuesday from residents upset about revelations this week that dangerous chemicals have been found around a local business.
‘You all are elected officials,’ Canoe Creek resident Kaycee Garner said. ‘We trust you to handle things like this, and we are not hearing about it from our elected officials. We need more transparency. … This should be taken more seriously.’
Garner said she was concerned because she knows people who have well water at their homes, as well as pets who may drink water outside.
Louisville NPR affiliate WFPL reported Monday that Henderson officials have known about perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances — commonly referred to as PFAS or ‘forever chemicals’ — left in the ground and air surrounding Shamrock Technologies’ facilities. Shamrock recycles Teflon products; the PFAS molecules are a byproduct of that process.
The article said city officials had been ‘reluctant’ to share knowledge of the pollutants with residents and accused them of downplaying and ‘outright lying’ about the problem. The Gleaner republished the story.
City spokeswoman Donna Stinnett said leaders had been ‘somewhat blindsided’ by what they had learned about the dangers of those chemicals and were working to catch up on the science and address the issues.
‘We’re all still trying to get up to speed on all this, what it actually means and what we need to do about it,” she said. ‘… Even though I am disappointed in the tone of the (WFPL) story, if it makes people more aware of the problem and encourages them to learn more about it, then it’s an overall positive.’
Stinnett said the pollution had been known since late last year, when Shamrock self-reported its findings, but it was only late July when city leaders become ‘acutely aware’ of the severity of the problem and how widespread the PFAS problem actually was.
‘We haven’t done a good enough job of informing the public,’ Commissioner Brad Staton told residents at the meeting. ‘I challenge all of us to do a better job. … We need to more willingly share what we know.'”…