[Marxism] From a Ramapo resident

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Feb 3 15:11:31 MST 2014

This appeared as a comment on my review of a documentary about Ford 
dumping toxic waste in an area populated by American Indians, the same 
area that was portrayed as a drug and crime infested hellhole in the 
rancid film "Out of the Furnace".


I have lived my life in the Ramapo Valley. Born and raised in the 
Village of Hillburn NY, where I trapped in the Torne Valley just north 
of the village. I was a very active trapper, tracker, and 
hunter/forager, as a boy. I witnessed paint sludge dumping and burial 
which went on in the middle of the night. So lets see, if this wasn’t 
something one was supposed to be doing, why then in the middle of the 
night and trenched and backfilled? Most hunters from our region 
eventually contract cancer, the numbers are frightening. Today I work as 
a college professor and a researcher with Ramapo College, Cornell 
Cooperative Extension of Rockland and Antioch School of Environmental 
Studies in New Hampshire. I have been working with the Town of the 
Ramapo on negotiating with Ford for the clean-up work that is being done 
in Hillburn and in Ramapo Hamlet area. This past year we have gotten 
Ford to remove 40,000 tons of contamination from the Ramapo Well Field, 
yes that is right from your local source of drinking water. While we are 
at it let me point out that knoweldge of this paint sludge in the well 
field has been there since it was dumped there, it was no secret. Our 
regulatory agencies failed us for years but now, finally we have some 
traction. Primarily this is because of the efforts of Ramapo Town 
Supervisor Chris St. Lawrence, who continues to negotiate on behalf of 
the watershed as no politician ever did in the Borough of Ringwood. We 
have built a home for my students who continue to do field research in 
the watershed. It is called the Ramapo Saltbox Environmental Research 
Center. You can see some of the work we did on this if you go to the 
Town of Ramapo Web Site. As for the interesting discussion that spun out 
here during 2011, I agree with Chief Mann of the Turtle Clan. It really 
takes some stepping out of your white perspective in order to assess 
this story. In the meantime, we will continue to move Ford along toward 
a full recovery.

Thanks for reading this.

Chuck Stead

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