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Brunswick, Georgia 31521
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  April 2007  

Brunswick Wood Preserving Containment Scheduled to Start
- An Overview of the Issues -



   After an 11-year delay, work is scheduled to resume at the Brunswick Wood Preserving Superfund Site.  The 84 acre Superfund Site closed as a wood treatment plant in early 1991 and shortly thereafter underwent an EPA Emergency Response and Removal to consolidate some of the contaminated soils into four large piles. The GA-EPD removed three of the piles in 1996-7.  Since then, work at the Site has been directed towards obtaining enough information to design a plan for the remaining 1,000,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil.  The final EPA plan is to further consolidate and contain the toxic waste on-site inside underground walls extending up to 65 feet below ground to a limestone layer.   A cap will be placed over the contained areas to reduce rainwater infiltration.


What You Will See First at the Site 

   The first activity those living around the Site or driving down Perry Lane Road will see is the clearing of the Site in preparation for work.  The initial cutting down of the overgrown vegetation is expected to start in May 2007.  In August, the actual work to contain the Site is expected to start.  The equipment will look much like a backhoe with very long booms extending to the digging buckets.  The unwieldy looking equipment will be digging a 50 to 65 foot deep trench around the two most contaminated areas at the East and West ends of the Site.  As the trench encircles the areas, a clay mixture will be backfilled into the trench to retard contaminated groundwater movement to surrounding properties. The remaining contaminated soil will be moved into the walled area and a cement cap built to reduce rainwater infiltration.

Many lifeless ponds extend over the BWP Site, even throughout the recent drought. 

Funding of the Site Containment

    Lack of funding has been the primary reason the Site has not been controlled for the past 11 years.  Estimates to contain the Site have been around $28 Million, but only $650,000 was obligated in Fiscal Year (FY) 2006, and $4,900,000 is planned for obligation in FY 2007.  Moving equipment to the Site to start work, called mobilization, is a significant expense.  Once work is started, continuous funding will be needed to avoid repeated mobilization and demobilization costs.


EPA's April 5th Meeting Had Its High Points & Disappointments

   Since the GEC had submitted our questions to the EPA prior to their April 5th availability session about the upcoming remedial work at the Brunswick Wood Preserving Superfund Site, it was shocking that the EPA was incapable of answering the most basic questions about the work planned for the Site.  Since the meeting, the EPA has responded to some of the questions, but many remain unanswered.


Storm Water Management Plan & Floraville Road Neighborhood

    In October of 2005, the Site overflowed and flooded homes in the Floraville neighborhood with toxic water.  High on the GEC list of concerns is a Storm Water Management Plan for the Site.  After 1 1/2 years to work on the Plan, the EPA had not taken any action or done any planning to prevent flooding of homes around the Site, had not produced a Storm Water Management Plan, and could not demonstrate that they had an understanding about where rainwater flowed from the Site.


EPA Remedial Action Plan Meeting without a Plan

    Since the EPA was holding an Availability Session to take questions from the public about their Remedial Action Plan, it is reasonable to expect there actually is a Plan.  The EPA was asked to produce the plan at their meeting, but no plan was available.  The EPA has since provided the Remedial Action Plan, but many of the key components such as the Erosion and Sedimentation Plan have yet to be produced.


EPA Contractor Available at Meeting 

   The availability of Edward Hicks from Black & Veatch, the EPA's contractor for the Remedial Action, was the high point of the EPA's meeting.  The GEC requested that the EPA and Mr. Hicks meet at the Site the next morning so we could visit the areas causing flooding and identify our areas of concern.  The EPA could not provide a representative, but Mr. Hicks changed his plans around so we could meet at the Site.  The GEC appreciates the effort Mr. Hicks made to be at the Site, providing an opportunity to physically point out the Site’s problem areas.

Community Help Needed at Brunswick Wood Preserving

    Cutting fences and trespassing by those with all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) onto the Brunswick Wood Preserving Superfund Site has been a chronic problem in the past.  As Site preparations are made and work commences at the Site, it is critical that ATVs do not enter.

   The dangers at the Site are many, and will increase as work proceeds.  The topography will change as ditches are dug, excavations made and others filled, and all this on top of all the toxic chemicals in ponds, mud, and soil. 

   Previous ATV trespassers were using the pile of pentachlorophenol waste, which includes dioxin, as a hill climb.  The thin membrane over the pile has exceeded its useful life and ATV wear and tear can cause a failure.  Besides, who in their right mind wants to cover their ATV with toxic waste?

   Please report unauthorized trespassing on the Site to the GEC at 466-0934 or by email to



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