By JACQUELINE BERLIN
The Brunswick News
Date: September 04, 2003
One Arco resident of 47 years wants to
move because she thinks it's possible her neighborhood is so contaminated that
it killed her husband.
Christine Turner points to this as the
reason why she wants to leave but also why no one will buy her house.
"Right now you couldn't sell it to
save your soul," she said.
Ms. Turner would like to see the
neighborhood cleaned. Before that can happen it has to be determined if it is
At an Arco community meeting
Wednesday, residents and landowners called for the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency to give them some answers.
Eight years after LCP Chemicals was
declared a Superfund site it is still unclear if the surrounding neighborhood is
contaminated with mercury and PCB, which were found in the immediate area of the
Shea Jones, EPA remedial project
manager, said she is in the process of trying to determine whether further tests
More tests would add to the large sum
of money already spent on the cleanup of the LCP property. The three companies
held by the courts to be responsible for the pollution, Allied Signal, Georgia
Power and ARCO, spent $74 million testing water and removing contaminated soil
at the Superfund site and in the bordering marsh, said Darahyl Dennis of Georgia
Power environmental affairs.
"And I am sure Allied spent more,"
In the call for a neighborhood health
assessment, residents have the backing of at least one elected official, U.S.
Rep. Jack Kingston, R-1. Kingston's position is human life comes above money,
said his aide, Rob Asbell, who attended the community meeting.
"The congressman has contacted the
EPA in Washington saying, 'What will it take for you to do off-site testing?'"
Ms. Turner said that for most of the
47 years she lived in sight of the plant, she had no idea the plant was leaking
toxins into the environment.
Her husband died of cancer and heart
failure. It is well known that PCB causes both of those, she is quick to point
Ms. Turner, saying she believes it is
possible environmental pollutants are responsible for her husband's death, is
concerned about the health of her three children who grew up in Arco.
One man who owns rental property in
Arco expressed unhappiness at the meeting at being told it could be years before
a conclusive answer is known.
"As a landowner if I try to sell that
doesn't make me feel good because you folks here have put a stigma on the
site...and I am asking [the EPA] to make haste," said George Patelidas.
Dennis of Georgia Power, one of the
responsible parties for the site because of a generator the company kept there,
said tests and cleanup have been concentrated to date at the Superfund site
because that threat was the most immediate.
"Now is probably the right time to
look at other areas," he said.