CRCQL Statement in response to Horace Strand

In reference to the statement from Horace Strand:

January 12, 2022

We are appalled by the continued comments from Mr. Horace Strand about the pending litigation that he has initiated against Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living (CRCQL), the group’s Chairperson, Zulene Mayfield, and Mike Ewall, Executive Director of Energy Justice Network.  We believe his action is a deliberate attempt to take away from our time advocating for cleaner air and an improved quality of life for Chester residents. However, we will not be deterred and will vigorously defend ourselves. 

The issue stems from a series of factual statements on our webpage about Strand and Chester Environmental Partnership.  Mr. Strand has not contested these facts, preferring to argue with our interpretation of his motives. We stand on the side of truth, and we believe we will get justice in the courts. This is a lawsuit, and we will let the courts decide.  

Amidst the pending litigation, options for settlement were explored by the lawyers. A settlement was proposed by Mr. Strand, which we agreed to, and then Mr. Strand changed the terms. He has instead decided to continue to waste time, resources, and energy on this 25+ year old controversy. 

The very group that Mr. Strand leads, Chester Environmental Partnership, is funded by one of the many industries polluting our city, Chester’s largest air polluter and top environmental violator, the Covanta Delaware Valley trash incinerator (the largest waste incinerator in the nation).  Strand’s group has been regularly funded by Covanta since inking an agreement with them in 2006 wherein there was clearly an expectation that Covanta should “[receive] some positive exposure in the community”.  Strand and his group have continually advocated for Covanta, giving them awards, and even encouraging the burning of trash from Philadelphia and New York City in Chester.  It is this “quid pro quo” relationship that we have exposed and cannot be silent about.

It must be asked: How can we trust Mr. Strand’s word and “dedication” to Chester, when he accepts funding from the very companies that are harming our health?  How is this not a direct conflict of interest working against the residents of Chester?

Our focus will continue to remain, openly and transparently, on the health and safety of the residents of Chester City. Our community would benefit if Mr. Strand would sincerely do the same and we call on Mr. Strand to release information defining or refuting his relationship with Covanta.

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