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Georgia EPD and EPA Cancel Testing of Habersham Street School Site


        Glynn County Schools administration and employees were among those that were not notified about the last minute cancellation of the April 21st testing at the Habersham Street school site. The cancellation took place so fast that Glynn County Schools Administration and employees were not notified, and were sitting at the Habersham Street site on the morning of April 21st, waiting for the EPA and Georgia EPD to arrive.

In the wake of the Governor’s Office putting a gags order on the Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD), the Habersham Street school site testing planned to be conducted jointly by the U.S. EPA  and GA-EPD was canceled.  The school site sampling cancellation is surrounded by political overtones, and attempts to control the media leading up to the G8 Summit. 

The Habersham Street School site is contaminated with solid waste, metals and carbon disulfide that were found during previous sampling.  Suspicions about the school site being contaminated from activities associated with the LCP Chemicals Superfund Site led the EPA to plan a Preliminary Site Assessment (PSA), which is the first step in listing a property as a Superfund Site.  The now canceled April 21st sampling was the first step in the EPA’s PSA process. Even though the White House has been rumored to be instrumental in the EPA’s cancellation of school site sampling, none reporting have seen supporting documents.

The U.S. EPA released their “What Remains to be Accomplished’ list for the LCP Chemicals Superfund Site in March 2004.  The EPA wrote under Off-Site items to accomplish, “Determine impact from site to surrounding residential areas, particularly Arco neighborhood and proposed Habersham Street Elementary School Site.”  In an about face, the EPA now claims that the Habersham Street School Site is not an LCP Chemicals Superfund Site concern.  The GA-EPD confirms that the Habersham Street school site is now being investigated by the Georgia Hazardous Sites Response Branch.  No date has been set by the GA-EPD for testing the Habersham Street school site.

        The people in the know are betting that no sampling will take place before the G8 Summit.   Meanwhile, the Glynn County Board of Education voted to move forward with construction of the Habersham Street elementary school on April 27th.



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