OGDENSBURG – An online petition demanding the Chevron Corporation be held accountable for cleaning up polluted land along the St. Lawrence Seaway instead of the elderly resident who owns the land has already gain nearly 350 signatures.
The petition, at http://www.change.org/petitions/justice-for-roethel-forsythe-and-wilder-in-ogdensburg-chevron-oil-spill-cleanup, maintains Laurel B. Roethel, 85, and her late husband bought property on Ford nearly 30 years ago and did not realize it was contaminated by a former Chevron gas station. Neighbors Donald Forsythe and Frederick Wilder bought adjoining property that was also contaminated.
Even though the state Department of Environmental Conservation is demanding the current property owners pay for the cleanup, “They did not pollute the properties they purchased... but are being forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to the State while Chevron gets fined only $15,000,” the online petition says.
“We demand justice for the 3 elderly citizens who are being held accountable for the cleanup of an oil spill caused by the Chevron Corporation.”
The Watertown Daily Times reported Forsythe and Wilder have settled their cases with the state, but Mrs. Roethel has not and is being sued for more than $100,000. That story appears at http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20120506/NEWS07/705069842
A FaceBook page, “Justice for Roethel in Chevron Oil Cleanup,” in support of Mrs. Roethel has also been set up at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Justice-for-Roethel-in-Chevron-Oil-Cleanup/220957541353024