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Raytheon maintains 'there is no emergency' in Andrews

Raytheon Technologies claims there is not a current emergency and aims to offer safeguards as longer-term solutions are sought for the Town of Andrews’ water issue.

In a recent response to the Town of Andrews’ request for a hearing on the Town of Andrews Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction, Raytheon Technologies states “there is no current emergency that requires a preliminary injunction hearing” for a number of reasons.

Recent tests of the Town’s finished drinking water conducted by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) do not show contaminants above the federal maximum contaminant levels (MCL), according to IDEM and Raytheon. The tests have allowed IDEM to confirm the Town’s drinking water is safe.

According to Raytheon, the Town has yet to produce documents or information explaining the deficiencies in Wellheads No. 2 and No. 3. The company insists IDEM and the Town will benefit from the data prior to the scheduling of any court hearing.

In a letter to the Town, Raytheon proposed a series of actions at Raytheon’s sole expense to provide additional safeguards while investigations into the Town’s water issue are conducted:

Arrange to clean production Wellheads No. 2 and No. 3

Arrange to service pumps at Production Wellheads No. 2 and No. 3

Arrange for a temporary pump to be installed during the cleaning and servicing of Wellheads No. 2 and No. 3

Arrange for the installation of a backup power source at the Air Stripper to reduce the risk of shutdowns due to unanticipated power loss

Contribute to the bottled water inventory for the citizens of the Town if sufficient supply is impacted during the cleaning and servicing of Wellheads No. 2 and No. 3

Establish open lines of communication between Raytheon (through environmental consultant, Stantec), the Town of Andrews and IDEM to share future operational decisions, performance data and system concerns that could impact the operation and/or performance of Wellheads No. 2 and No. 3, the air stripper or the Water Treatment Plant to avoid unnecessary drinking water advisories

Discuss a plan for completing the investigation, analysis, study and implementation of any necessary long-term options for the production wells, air stripper and water treatment plant

“This proposed course of action is being made without consideration or connection to the Town’s lawsuit, and is not an admission of liability or responsibility by Raytheon for the safety concerns raised,” the response signed by Attorney Joseph G. Eaton reads. “Instead it is being made so that Raytheon, the Town, and IDEM can concentrate on evaluation, agreeing upon, and implementing any appropriate long-term improvements.”

Raytheon Technologies referenced the Town of Andrews’ submission of supplemental facts to support the Town’s emergency motion for preliminary injunction, but Raytheon retains that “nothing in the statement changes the fact that the Town’s water is safe to drink.”

Raytheon states its aim is to provide additional safeguards to ensure water remains safe to drink and to alleviate the Town’s concerns during the pending litigation.

“The Town has a sufficient supply of safe drinking water and water for fire protection purposes and, given the protective steps that Raytheon has offered to take, that supply will not be at risk during the pendency of this litigation,” the response says.

The request for injunctive relief submitted by 77 total plaintiffs from the Town of Andrews is essentially seeking permanent relief, according to Raytheon, which should only be entered after extensive fact and expert discovery are conducted in relation to the Town’s claims.

Raytheon states that a formal opposition will be submitted if the Huntington County Superior Court schedules a hearing on the Town’s Emergency Motion.

The Town Council of the Town of Andrews, Indiana will meet in a special meeting on July 13 at the Andrews Volunteer Fire Department Building. The building is located at 796 N. Main St. in Andrews. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.



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Notice for all due to ongoing virus

In light of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s executive orders and President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency – all citizens are urged to gather in groups less than 250 people and to maintain a 6-foot distance from one another according to health and government officials – the Herald-Press has decided to suspend the use of the community calendar until further notice.

Many of the previously-listed events have been either canceled or postponed, but readers are encouraged to reach out to the event organizer or check their respective Facebook pages for updated information.

In the meantime, the Herald-Press would like to use this space to promote any support groups or free telecommunication groups that will provide the community with necessary supplies during this time.

Huntington Farmers Market at new location

The 2020 season of the Huntington Farmer’s Market will run on Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. from July 8 through early October (weather permitting).

The new location is 500 MacGahan Street in the Central Christian Church parking lot. Vendors may set up at 3 p.m. and the fee is $5 per spot.

Andrews Town Council Special Meeting Monday

The Town Council of Andrews, Indiana will meet on Monday, July 13, 2020 beginning not earlier than 6 p.m. at the Andrews Volunteer Fire Department Building located at 796 North Main Street, Andrews, Indiana 46702 to receive, consider and perhaps act on matters brought to council.

Council may impose reasonable restrictions on the number of attendees to control audience density in consideration of the existing COVID-19 national emergency.

Gun permit applications rise

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana is seeing a wave of people applying for five-year handgun permits after lawmakers erased the fee starting July 1.

State police received more than 20,000 permit applications from July 1-7, compared to 2,259 during the same period last year, the Indianapolis Star reported. Lifetime permits still cost $60 to $125.

About two-thirds of the applications were for the no-fee five-year permits, First Sgt. Ron Galaviz said.

“With the fee change, we’re seeing a huge uptick in the number of people trying to access our system,” he said.

The old fee was $15 for a hunting and target shooting permit and $30 for a concealed carry license.

Applicants still must pay a $13 fingerprint fee and have a background check. The new gun applications have strained the state’s online system.

“It might take a little bit of time but people are able to get in,” Galaviz said. “We ask for a little bit of patience.”

Lifetime permits still cost $60 to $125.