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Baldwin boosts anti-dumping Camillus campaign

The Camillus Community Coalition and opponents of the Honeywell/DEC plan to dump sediment from Onondaga Lake in Wastebed 13 can now list actor Alec Baldwin among their ranks.

The star spoke Saturday on behalf of the CCC at a press conference held at Corso's Cookies in Geddes, urging Camillus residents to demand more detailed information regarding the current state of the wastebed, the toxicity of the sediment that would be stored there and the potential health hazards of permanently housing such materials on the bed, which the plan calls for.

Baldwin, whose mother and sister live in the Camillus area, echoed one of the community's loudest arguments against the plan: that since the initial plans were developed, new housing developments have sprung up within a mile of the wastebed. Existing neighborhoods, schools, churches and a park also lie within miles of the site.

Many objectors of the Wastebed 13 plan have suggested Honeywell be required to ship the sediment to a dedicated facility in Texas, and not be allowed to take the "cheap" way out and dump the toxic waste within the community.

Baldwin pointed blame at Honeywell, the DEC and Camillus town officials.

"These deals are being made behind your back ... I was not aware Honeywell ran this town," Baldwin said.

The CCC held a fundraiser last week through Cam's Pizzeria to help raise awareness and money for the group's marketing campaign. Representatives will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday April 24 at Wal-Mart in Camillus to provide information about the plan.

Charlene Hart, a member of the CCC, said one of the group's biggest obstacles is spreading the word throughout the community and into other wards in the town.

Securing the support of a well-known actor and environmental activist like Baldwin, as well as the support of local lawmakers including Congressman Dan Maffei and Sen. Charles Schumer was a boost for the organization, which is "trying to educate everyone in Camillus," Hart said.

For more information about the CCC, visit cleancny.com. Additional information regarding the Wastebed 13 plan is available at townofcamillus.com.

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