The Brunswick News
Clean tap water is a necessity most people take
Taking a hot shower, washing dishes and clothes
and having water to drinkare everyday tasks most people don't stop to
But Daniel Parshley isn't most people.
As director of the Glynn Environmental
Coalition, Parshley, who considers himself an advocate for Glynn
County's natural resources, is particularly worried about contamination
of a pool of water in the Miocene Aquifer - a groundwater source located
hundreds of feet above the Floridan Aquifer, which supplies much of
Glynn County's drinking water.
The good news is the water contamination,
located directly beneath the old LCP industrial site, a U.S. Superfund
site on Ross Road in Glynn County, just north of the city line, is
confined within a closed reservoir. The bad news, Parshley said, is that
it's getting worse.
The contamination plume, stemming from a caustic
brine pool located underground, includes mercury, lead and other
chemicals. And the plume is growing, Parshley said.
"It's like pouring syrup into water," he said.
"It's alarming to have the leak, and as it spreads, it's more and more
water we can't use."
Although the mercury contamination is posing no
immediate threat to those tapping into the Miocene or Floridan aquifers
because it's contained within its own well, Parshley said if the
chemicals were to somehow spread outward, it would spell disaster.
"If this (contamination) was to get loose, it
would ruin our water for thousands of years," Parshley said. "And the
longer it goes untreated, the more expensive it is to clean."
And don't be quick to peg Parshley as an
extremist on a soapbox. Surveys of the site by the state Environmental
Protection Division and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have
revealed elevated levels of mercury, lead and polychlorinated biphenyls,
or PCBs, at the plant site and in nearby water and organic life.
Shea Jones, EPA project manager in charge of
monitoring the LCP site cleanup, knows there's a problem, too.
"This caustic brine pool is dense, it's heavy
and we want to slow the downward movement of it," Jones said.
Like Parshley, Jones was quick to note that the
water contamination is contained within the boundaries of the LCP
property, but immediate action is needed to prevent further problems.
"It's a technically complex situation," Jones
But help is on the way, she said. According to
the EPA's action plan, clean-up should begin as soon as October. It may
take anywhere from 18 months to three years to finish, she said.
And although the extent of soil and water
contamination at the LCP site has often been shrouded in a veil of
mystery to residents in surrounding neighborhoods, Jones said the EPA is
dedicated to explaining exactly what is going to happen.
"Before we go out into the field, we will have a
public meeting to let the community know what we'll be doing and give
them a chance to talk about it," she said.