The Fire Station is located in downtown DePue. The soil sampling conducted by Mr Garcia’s environmental science class in cooperation with Carus Labs revealed the following heavy metal contaminants at the fire station:
As a native born raised in DePue, I came to realize that when my daughter turned 4 years old that living in the town I was raised in was not a healthy place for my daughter to be. I can remember the day that I received a notice that contained the high levels of cadium and other metals that were in the soil in my back yard. This letter stated that the soil was not safe for children to play in or grow any type of food to help feed my family. After realizing how hazardous my yard and neighbors yards were surrounding my home, I had to make the choice of leaving a town that I grew up in to provide a safe environment for my child. There has been a huge amount of people in my life that have passed due to cancer and other diseases that are numerous for such a small town that I grew up in. I still have family members that live in DePue, and pray everyday that they will not be a number among the many people in DePue that have died or suffered illness, because of the negligent actions of Exxon and Viacom in my hometown of DePue.
What is sad for me is first of all the lack of urgency to clean it up. The excuses that the scientist have given us are just ludicrous to even consider. Honestly with enough people and ones that know what they are doing you could of had it all tested in a matter of a few years and then assessed. Fifteen years it took them to test and assess. Then they come up with nothing that really fixes the problem. Some of it didn’t work and doesn’t under certain circumstances. Nothing that they have done or want to do really fixes anything or do anything to clean it up, it’s only there to keep it from getting worse. The issue they don’t want people to know is that the levels are to high according to the levels listed on the Virtual Tour page. They have done nothing that makes it safe for families, good for business, property values, the ability for the Village of Depue to prosper. I remember a discussion with RIchard Lang the first site manager when he told me they should just leave it there. It is all under a few inches of dirt and well the side walks are ok because the toxicants can’t seep through concrete, I will never forget that. If it were him that had to live in it head be digging it up him self I’m sure of it. You see there is no empathy from ultra rich corps. They don’t see the human side they never will because nobody makes them see it not even the ones who are there to protect us. It’s just sad that neither the owners or our own IEPA and high ranking officials beyond our local Reps. really care about that or the quality of life for the people of DePue and their future. I will never stop and I will never be satisfied until people can actually live safely and benefit from the land and the water.
Growing up in the Illinois Valley, I spend many Summer nights playing baseball against teams in DePue. I have had many great friends from there. I’ve spent years watching boat races every season, and seen people from all across the country enjoy the lake. The opportunities for this small town have always been so great, and it is almost sickening to see 2 large companies turn their heads from what has been proven. They are slowy destroying small town America. Pollutants have seeped into the ground, the water system, and into an excellent recreational mecca…..not to mention it flows into the Illinois River, affecting a large number of people from that point downstream on a daily basis. I spent years working for an ambulance company that saw the cancer, the lung problems, and the general ill effects that this negligent behavior has caused this community. It must, without a doubt, come to an end.