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  Created 11-11-07  

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 EPA Releases Incorrect Statements and Misleading Information
About Altama Elementary School

    The EPA was extensively quoted in a July 14, 2007, Brunswick News article, “Toxic Site Adjacent to School Still Issue.”  Unfortunately, many of the statements by the EPA were either outright wrong or misleading.  The GEC provided the EPA the opportunity to correct their errors, but on October 24th, Laura Niles, EPA External Affairs, whom was quoted in the article, contacted the GEC to say the EPA would not be issuing a clarification.

 EPA Quote: While the school itself, at 5505 Altama Ave., Glynn County, was never part of an environmental cleanup site, land adjacent to it was. 

GEC Correction: Altama Elementary School is part of the Hercules 009 Landfill Superfund Site, and toxic wastes were removed from school property during two removal actions (see photo for removal area locations).

EPA Quote: The EPA says the tests determined that the levels of toxaphene present are acceptable and not dangerous. 

GEC Correction: The tests the EPA referenced were of water.  Water tests do not determine if toxaphene levels in school soils are safe.  A very misleading statement by the EPA.

 EPA Quote: According to the EPA, an acceptable presence of toxaphene at the surface level of a site is three parts per 1 million parts soil.  The 2006 tests show levels well below that, Niles said. 

GEC Correction: The legally mandated cleanup level is 0.25 parts per million, not 3 parts per million.  The 2006 tests tested water, not soil, and are meaningless to protecting school children from soil exposure.


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