By Donald R. Serfass, dserfasstnonline.com
The Times News, © 2006

July 4, 2006

A New York law firm specializing in environmental litigation is conducting a survey of residents in two areas of Rush Township. The firm, brought to the area by the Army for a Clean Environment (ACE), agreed to conduct a preliminary assessment of the health of residents along Meadow Avenue and Ben Titus Road.

Dr. Dante Picciano, founder of the ACE group, said the name of the law firm is not being disclosed at this time in order to avoid any appearance of commercial solicitation.

The firm is distributing 100 questionnaires to residents in both areas.

A display ad in Wednesday’s TIMES NEWS explained the procedure and the nature of the survey.

“A primary responsibility of government is to protect the people from harm. Based on our numerous exposures to toxic chemicals and the increased levels of health problems in our area, we must conclude that the government’s not doing their job,” stated the ad.

The two-page document requests basic identifying information and data about family members who might have been diagnosed with illness.

Residents receiving the survey received a stamped, pre-addressed envelope that directs responses to the firm. There is no cost to participate in the study.

Picciano said the firm has not filed a lawsuit and is not looking at filing one at this point. However, the survey will help determine the existence of unusual patterns of illness in the areas studied and could help determine what steps should be taken next, including a potential lawsuit.

According to Hometown native Sue Sturgis, the unnamed law firm is at least the second to get involved with environmental health concerns in the Hometown area. Some local residents have been working with the Locks Law Firm of Philadelphia on a possible suit against parties responsible for local pollution.

Those efforts are reportedly focusing on pollution in the Still Creek drinking water reservoir from the nearby McAdoo Associates Superfund site and other sources.

Sturgis maintains a Website: http://www.hometownhazards.com/ which documents how area residents are battling pollution.