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.
Water Sentinels Project
Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter