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E-M:/ EPA not cleaning up now? Again?



Friends -  see the article below my way-too-long post. 

 

There isn’t enough money to go around any more, so EPA has to cut corners on Superfund somehow… they’re already cutting funding in sites around the country, some are receiving NO remediation at all now, and progress at those places has completely stopped.  The Velsicol Chemical Superfund Site, located on the Pine River in Gratiot County, is still receiving funding – but it’s had its annual funding slashed by 30%, from $10 M/ year to only $7 Million.  You won’t find evidence in the reports that the Velsicol Site was underfunded, because the project manager got everything she asked for. But she was told to only ask for $7M.  Get it?

 

“Natural attenuation” is supposedly a process whereby toxic substances are left in place to “go away” all by themselves, over a number of years.    It sure is cheaper, isn’t it?  WHY don’t they want to do “pump and treat” of the contaminated water???

BECAUSE THEY CAN’T AFFORD IT since the Superfund tax was allowed to expire…   so the community is left with the mess.  Again.  Again.  Again.  STILL.

 

The “Impermeable Cap” idea is an old one, they placed one on the site in the article below in 1980 and guess what?  That puppy leaked...  at least, I’m guessing it did, because now there’s a contaminated groundwater plume spreading out from under it.  This is EXACTLY what happened on the Pine River Velsicol Chemical Site- and you can bet top dollar that a new cap will be what EPA proposes for THAT site, too, when they issue the proposed plan in the next 9-11 months.   Don’t worry about the NAPL, with DDT, PBBs, Chlorobenzene, a host of other junk, and now with 1,2, Dibromo-3-chloropropane, a find that has led to the MDEQ using higher precautions, like cordoning off the area, only letting in workers who are wearing full face-mask respirators and a clean air supply, and they’re all undergoing health monitoring.  Oh- EPA isn’t requiring this higher level of protection, I guess their folks are immune… (must be nice, huh?)

 

Oh, one more thing - Impermeable cap??  Not.  Clay is not impermeable, though the engineers will tell you that.  It slows the rain down, it doesn’t stop it.  We can only hope that the rain is kept out long enough for the toxic contamination to “go away” on its own, since “natural attenuation” is becoming the remedy of choice by EPA, because they don’t have enough money, because the tax hasn’t been renewed, because the feds are too busy detonating the nuclear option of political will. 

 

~Rita.

 

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http://www.mlive.com/news/kzgazette/index.ssf?/base/news-13/1114096969249780.xml     

 

Oshtemo residents criticize EPA landfill plan

Thursday, April 21, 2005

dperson@kalamazoogazette 388-8555

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials who are preparing to sneak up on an aging Oshtemo ogre were urged Wednesday night by township residents to let the slumbering giant lie.

"Why don't we allow it to go away on its own?" township resident Michael Malek said of the contamination emanating from the former KL Avenue Landfill, which despite its closure nearly 30 years has been a constant headache for local, state and federal officials.

The EPA, which is overseeing remediation at the 87-acre EPA Superfund site, is accepting comments on its proposal to put a new cap on the landfill.

The current soil-and-clay cap was placed over the landfill in 1980, two years after it closed.

The EPA proposal would allow contaminants that have already escaped the landfill in a groundwater plume to the west to break down and disappear on their own in a process called natural attenuation.

EPA officials said if the landfill is capped with impermeable clay and plastic -- at a cost of $29.5 million -- contamination would remain there and not be washed underground into the property to the west by rain and snowmelt, as it has been over the past several years.

Trees would be removed from the rolling landscape and would not be allowed to grow back once the cap was installed because they would damage it.

The EPA proposes to abandon a cleanup proposal that would have pumped contaminated water out of the property to the west of the landfill and treated it, at a cost of $52 million.

(SNIPPED –SEE URL FOR REST)

"This aquifer is very important to this community," he said, estimating that the plan will clean up the water supply outside the landfill in 10 to 20 years.

But John VanDyke, supervisor of Oshtemo Township, which along with Pfizer Inc., Kalamazoo County, the city of Kalamazoo and many other businesses and governmental agencies blamed for the contamination will have to foot the bill, expressed frustration that the soil saga has been going on for years.

(SNIPPED – SEE URL FOR REST)

Written comments may be mailed postmarked by midnight May 13 to Tim Prendiville, EPA Remedial Project Manager, Superfund Division (SR-6J), EPA Region 5, 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago IL 60604-3590; e-mailed to him at prendiville.timothy@epa.gov or faxed to (312) 886-4071. The EPA has established a West KL Avenue Landfill information file at the Oshtemo Branch of the Kalamazoo Public Library containing specific information related to the site and general information about the Superfund cleanup process.


© 2005 Kalamazoo. Used with permission

Copyright 2005 Michigan Live. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

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Rita Jack

Water Sentinels Project

Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter

109 E. Grand River Ave.

Lansing, Michigan  48906

tel:  517-484-2372

www.michigan.sierraclub.org

www.sierraclub.org/watersentinels

 

Make all Michigan's waters fishable and swimmable.