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Hazardous Waste Found on Proposed
 Habersham Street School Site

 - School Site Qualifies as Hazardous Waste Site -

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) is questioning if LCP Chemicals Superfund Site is the source of the clinker (clinker is waste from coal fired boilers) and carbon disulfide found on the proposed Habersham Street elementary school site.  Historical photos from the 1940s and 1950s show roads from LCP to a dump north of the school site and into the school site area. The deed for the proposed school site notes that Atlantic Refinery Co. (ARCO), one of the companies that operated at the LCP Site, owned the property adjoining the school site. 

 The Casilite plant just north of the school site was listed as a Georgia Hazardous Sites Response Act site, but has been subsequently de-listed.  Groundwater contamination was found, but not the source of the contamination, which might be the dump south of Casilite, and north of the proposed school site.  Interestingly, many of the same contaminants found at the Casilite plant were found on the Glynn County schools property under consideration for an elementary school.

John Tuten, architect for Glynn County Schools, contracted with Whitaker Laboratory for sampling and analysis on the proposed Habersham Street school site.  According to Whitaker Laboratory, Mr. Tuten designed the sampling plan, which may account for the numerous deficiencies in the sampling plan.  Soil cores six feet in depth were taken only in the footprint where the school building would be placed, and only screened for hydrocarbon vapors.   Four of the six-foot cores were combined to make the one soil sample that was analyzed, which tells little about what surface chemicals school children might be exposed.   The sampling and analysis report for the Habersham Street school site shows a monitoring well, but the report does not provide any information about how deep the well is, what depths it samples, or results from sampling the well.  In fact, other than noting the location of the monitoring well, the report submitted to the Glynn County Board of Education does not even mention the monitoring well. It is very unusual for a monitoring well to be installed and then submit a report without information about how the well was installed or the results from sampling and analysis.

Results from the two samples fully analyzed from the proposed school site, one of clinker and one soil sample from combining four of the six foot cores, qualify the Habersham Street school site for listing on the Georgia Hazardous Sites Response Act list as a hazardous site.  Analysis of the clinker found carbon disulfide that is considered an acute hazardous waste and several metals.  Under the law, once contamination is found above levels that require a removal action, the landowner has 30 days to complete a removal of the contaminated soil or waste to avoid listing as a Georgia hazardous site.  This is why the Brunswick News reported that if the clinker were removed within 30 day, it would not interfere with construction of the new school.  Still, water contamination would result in the Habersham Street school site being listed as a hazardous waste site, which raises the question, “why was the monitoring well information excluded from the report to the Glynn County Board of Education?”.

The “small pile of clinker” reportedly found on the proposed school site actually extends for at least 100 yards along the north side of the property.  In 2001, Geotechnical & Environmental Consultants were hired to do a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment and Hazard Analysis Assessment for Glynn County Schools.  It is unknown how the consultants could do a site assessment and hazard analysis and miss a pile of hazardous waste over 100 yards long. 

Is Glynn County going to build another school next to a Superfund Site?  Even worse, is Glynn County going to build an elementary school on a hazardous waste site?

The U.S. EPA and Georgia EPD have been asked to further investigate the Habersham Street site. At this time, the GEC is waiting for the findings of the state and federal environmental agency’s review and investigation of the proposed school site.  Ideally, the EPA will complete the Remedial Investigation of the LCP Chemicals Superfund Site in the near future, and we will know just how far contamination from activities at the LCP Chemicals site extends into our community.

March 2, 2004

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