Families of cancer victims seek visit from EPA leader

Gina McCarthy
Gina McCarthy

CLYDE, Ohio -- Relatives of eastern Sandusky County childhood cancer victims are asking newly confirmed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy to visit them in person.

Alan Mortensen, a Utah attorney representing several of them in a class-action lawsuit, said in a Sept. 3 letter to Ms. McCarthy it is "our hope that you will keep the EPA pushing for answers, and that you will come to Clyde to see for yourself the dump sites and more importantly, the victims."

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He noted in his letter that Ms. McCarty's predecessor, former U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, had committed in writing to visit families but never did.

The U.S. EPA began trying to identify the source of cancer and the exposure pathway after Ohio environmental and health agencies said they had reached an impasse. Acting on new tips, investigators found high levels of contamination in a portion of Whirlpool Park south of Clyde, where contaminants were buried in the past.

Ms. McCarthy was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as U.S. EPA administrator on July 18.

Mr. Mortensen's invitation was referred to Ms. McCarty's spokesman, Alisha Johnson, the agency said.