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Cancer cluster families try again

Tom Jackson • Sep 17, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Families affected by the Clyde cancer cluster have invited the new EPA administrator, Gina McCarthy, to come to Clyde and meet with them.

The previous EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson, promised to come to Clyde but never showed up before stepping down earlier this year. President Barack Obama nominated McCarthy to replace Jackson. The Senate confirmed McCarthy on July 18.

After giving McCarthy a few weeks to settle in, Alan Mortensen, a Utah attorney who represents many of the families affected by the Clyde cancer cluster, sent McCarthy a letter and asked her to come to Clyde.

Mortensen reminded McCarthy of Jackson’s promise and listed 15 young people who died of cancer or who have been afflicted by it.

“On behalf of the families involved in this horrible childhood cancer cluster, we invite you to travel to Clyde and meet with the victims’ families and also to meet with the citizens of Sandusky County, and assure them that their town is safe, or will be made safe, from any cancer-causing pollutants,” Mortensen wrote.

McCarthy’s spokesman, Alisha Johnson, said Wednesday that McCarthy and EPA officials will review the Sept. 3 letter.

Although Jackson never came to Clyde, many families affected by the cancer cluster acknowledge that the investigation into the cancer cluster has moved forward after the U.S. EPA entered the investigation.

The EPA carried out tests at 14 former dump sites and set up a hotline for suggestions on other areas to test. The hotline resulted in tests of three additional locations, including the former Whirlpool Park, which was found to be contaminated by chemicals and PCBs. Additional testing has been carried out at the park this summer.

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