Opinion: Dartmouth, a dumping ground for New Bedford?

Sep 19, 2022

To the editor:

During the last several years, the Town of Dartmouth has grappled with the extent and liability of soil contamination in what has been delineated as the Bliss Corner cleanup area.

Pursuant to an order by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Town of Dartmouth and the City of New Bedford were ordered to research their archives and provide any records or documents regarding the possible historical  dumping of refuse in Dartmouth.

After many months, and a certain amount of questionable compliance, Dartmouth sent hundreds of documents that contained references to dumping, permits granted and complaints of residents that their properties were abutting or were being used for dumping.

The City of New Bedford provided no documentation, averring that old records were either missing, or destroyed, and also denied liability.

The issue of the extent of the contamination, the long term health and property effects, and the remediation and restitution issues remain unresolved as to Dartmouth and New Bedford.

And now there are allegations that “New Bedford has been slow to report wastewater discharge into Clark’s Cove leaving some to swim in contaminated waters.”

But for the vigilance of Mr. Michaud would this issue be ignored or denied, putting the residents , and others, in serious health jeopardy only to be discovered after the injury has occurred?

Hopefully, we are living at a time that environmental issues are everyone’s concern and responsibility,  and that  a town, or city,  must be cognizant and accountable for its effects on residents residing in others.

Michael Watson,