TALLEVAST — A vice president of Lockheed Martin Corp. said today the company will not pay for the relocation of Tallevast residents dealing with a chemical contamination problem.
Ray Johnson, vice president and chief technical officer for Lockheed, said the decision was based on the corporation’s “commitment to restore the environmental conditions in the Tallevast community, and the fact that relocation would be inconsistent with that commitment.”
Johnson met with the community advocacy group FOCUS and its attorneys to relate the company’s position and to present plans for a new community center.
FOCUS was formed after it was discovered in 2000 that the groundwater of this community of mostly black residents was contaminated with the toxic waste left behind from an old beryllium plant on Tallevast Road.
After the meeting, several community leaders said they were disappointed by Lockheed’s position on relocation.
“The impact to the community isn’t just from the exposure to the chemicals,” said Dr. Clifford Ward, a FOCUS member. “There are emotional and psychological impacts that need to be considered.”