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The Brunswick News – March 29, 2013
Editorial | Time for EPA to act on issue
Superfund site poses danger to community
State Sen. William Ligon, R-St. Simons Island, authored a resolution in the Georgia Senate that he hopes will prompt the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to do its job, which is to protect American citizens from potential disasters on or from federal superfund sites.
In this case, the Americans happen to be residents of Brunswick and the Golden Isles, the site happens to be the old LCP property and the element of major concern is mercury. Mercury is deadly if ingested.
The problem, Sen. Ligon stresses in his Senate resolution, is that contaminants, particularly mercury, are sinking, sinking, sinking in the marsh on the Turtle River, where mercury and other unwanted byproducts of now discontinued chemical manufacturing processes were improperly and unlawfully disposed by previous owners of the chemical manufacturing facility off Ross Road.
Nothing was ever done during the early Superfund cleanup days because of where the mercury is located. It would be difficult, at best, officials decided at the time, to get to it, let alone attempt to extract it from the mud. Now, or so at least it appears, the failure of the federal cleanup strategy may be coming back to haunt us. Officials now predict only 20 feet of earth separate the still sinking mercury and other contaminants from the Upper Miocene Aquifer.
Understandably, Sen. Ligon wants the federal environmental agency to do something about it, and he's asking for countermeasures to occur as soon as possible. No one wants to speculate what the consequences could be if the contaminants make it to the freshwater aquifer.
Because time is of the essence and because it is well documented how slowly the federal government can move on these matters, it might be best for all to alert Coastal Georgia's delegation to the U.S. Congress.
That would entail contacting Rep. Jack Kingston and Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson.
They are in Washington. Tell them to knock on the door of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which also is in the District of Columbia, and tell its top administrators that there is an emergency situation in Brunswick and the Golden Isles that requires their immediate attention.
That would be the direct approach, if not the quickest.