Ralph Gardner, Jr., who has house near Ghent, has an excellent column today in that notorious left-wing publication, The Wall Street Journal, about the August 1st TCI inferno.
Meanwhile, The Albany Times Union’s James Odato reports that EPA in Massachusetts performed some of the testing across the Berkshire County line that New York State officials have been refusing to do here in Columbia County.
NYS DEC spokesperson Charsleissa King even goes so far as to suggest that samples taken in the Berkshires are adequate justification for not doing the same in the neighborhood of the fire.
Perhaps Ms. King needs to be reminded that this inferno took place in Ghent, New York, not Pittsfield, Massachusetts... Or that National Weather data shows thawinds were less than 1 mph from the start of the fire around 10 pm until dawn, meaning that the most intense impacts would likely occur locally, not across the border.
This makes it all the more eyebrow-raising that Berkshire and Rensselaer counties got timely notifications to close their windows, turn off air conditioners, and stay inside, while Columbians did not. (Maybe that name has DEC thinking we’re a Third World country?)
More likely, the State just doesn't want to know, and doesn't want to spend the money to test properly—even when they can charge it back to TCI... or especially when they can do so. DEC Region 4 has consistently been protective of corporate interests in our region for the past few decades, regularly taking the side of mining interests, coal-burners, tire-burners, and now waste handlers.