Press Release: (PDF)
ELKHART — This Valentine’s Day, Elkhart residents join in solidarity with friends in Asheville, N.C., impacted for years by toxic pollution from CTS Corp.’s abandoned Superfund site. They will deliver signed Valentine’s cards, video messages and a petition with more than 1,300 signatures to CTS officials asking them to “have a heart” by immediately cleaning up all the poisons the corporation left in Asheville decades ago.
The petitions and other messages gathered by Asheville-based P.O.W.E.R Action Group—established in August 2012 by concerned community members to represent the interests of people who live near the CTS of Asheville Superfund site—will be delivered to CTS headquarters at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13at 905 N. West Blvd in Elkhart.
Video postcards directed at CTS officials can be viewed at bit.ly/CTSValentines.
“We have asked for dialogue between CTS and our community in letters and phone calls directly to the CTS CEO, and face-to-face at the 2014 annual shareholder’s meeting in Lisle, Illinois,” said Pat Dunn of P.O.W.E.R. Action Group. “Yet, CTS refuses to have even one conversation with us. Their on-site consultants were even forbidden from talking with our technical advisor during a site visit on Feb. 3.We will continue to ask for this conversation and welcome the opportunity to meet with CTS and their consultants to discuss the technical issues and how we can work together toward an efficient and expedited cleanup.”
CTS closed its Asheville facility in 1986, but left tons of the carcinogen trichloroethylene (TCE) and other dangerous chemicals buried in the ground. These toxins are infiltrating the air, soil and water around the site.
“Our friends in Asheville have been trying for years to get CTS Corporation to take responsibility for the pollution they left there,” said Wayne Royer, Elkhart resident. “Community members there have worked through all the proper channels with very little response from CTS, and meanwhile are being driven out of their homes by air that’s not safe to breathe and water that’s not safe to drink. No one deserves that kind of nightmare and its past time for CTS to own up and clean up its mess.”