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Brunswick, Georgia 31521
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Hercules - A Disaster in Slow Motion
 

 
 

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) was incapable of stopping the LCP Chemicals and Brunswick Wood Preserving Superfund Sites from releasing toxic wastes into our estuary, soil, and waters over a 20 year period.  The Brunswick Hercules Plant appears to be following the same path and exit plan from our community.   In the end, it all boils down to one question. "Are the GA-EPD and the EPA currently capable of enforcing environmental laws, preventing release of toxic waste, or accomplishing clean-up in a timely manner when a release happens?"  The Hercules Plant and their other toxic waste sites in our community will reveal much toward answering this question.

 Hercules Reports Brunswick Plant Discontinued Operation

    In the Hercules Annual Report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Pinova Division terpenes specialties business, of which the Brunswick Hercules Plant is a part, was reported as a discontinued operation effective as of January 1, 2006.  The Brunswick Hercules Plant was reported to be now part of the Aqualon division.

 Brunswick Plant Reports Another Year of Operating at a Loss

    In spite of Hercules reporting "discontinued operation" for the local plant, net sales of $2.5 million and a loss of $2.6 million were reported.  The reported loss was a continuation of a negative cash flow at the Brunswick Plant.  Losses relative to sales have steadily risen for a number of years.
 

 

In Millions $


2004


2005


2006

Net Sales

$12.4

$13.7

$2.5

Operating Loss

$4.0

$9.9

$2.6

 

 

 

$13.7

 

20-Year Toxic Waste Investigation Still Incomplete at Hercules Plant

    The GEC is very concerned the GA-EPD will not take action to force this recalcitrant company to perform the toxic waste investigation ordered to be done 20 years ago.  Unfortunately, it is like watching the Brunswick Wood Preserving and LCP Chemicals disasters unfold all over again.  We trust the EPD will this time show that they are capable of acting in a timely manner to prevent another company from exiting our community with yet another Superfund Site.  The similarities between these three Sites are chilling.  In retrospect, the GA-EPD was a significant party in allowing Brunswick Wood Preserving and LCP Chemicals Superfund Sites to go on operating for 20 years after the extent of the problem of ongoing toxic releases was known.   A very similar situation now exists with the Hercules Plant.

   After seeing the Brunswick Wood Preserving Superfund Site and LCP Chemicals Superfund Site take a similar track, we are very concerned that Hercules will exit our community without important investigations of their toxic releases completed.  Key investigations needed to protect our community are the RCRA Facility Investigation for the Hercules Plant, the Terry Creek National Priority List (Superfund) Site Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study, T Street Dump and 4th Street Landfill Compliance Status Reports, and the Old Sterling Landfill.  Regarding the Old Sterling Landfill, the EPA Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that the method to analyze for toxaphene in Glynn County was inappropriate, which calls into question all toxaphene analysis in our community since 1993.  Based upon this flawed toxaphene data, the GA-EPD determined that the Old Sterling Landfill is now safe.  Currently, homes are being built up to the fence surrounding the Old Sterling Landfill.  Several other agencies quoted by the OIG estimate only 10% of the toxaphene present was reported in our community.  In the case of seafood sampled, the flawed toxaphene analytical method failed to find levels in 56 samples which were actually as high as 26 Parts Per Million, which is 52 times the EPA's "Do Not Eat" recommendation for fish.

  Hercules - Unfinished Business at Altama Elementary School

Altama Elementary Toxic Risks Emerge Again

    The EPA Inspector General reported that toxaphene pesticide analysis in our community has been done by an inappropriate method. This includes all the sampling around the Altama Elementary School, which abuts the Hercules 009 Landfill Superfund Site.

   The Hercules 009 Site received over 33,000 cubic yards of toxaphene pesticide manufacturing waste.  Some of this waste made its way onto the Altama Elementary School grounds by way of the drainage ditch that runs along two sides of the property, and large quantities were found on several acres of school property directly next to the Superfund Site.

   Since the release of the EPA Office of Inspector General's report last December, GEC efforts to have the EPA resample Altama Elementary School have not been successful and have been met with a list of excuses.  Excuses are unacceptable when the health and welfare of school children are at stake.

 Hercules Reduces Workers at Local Plant

    During 2005-6, Hercules reduced the number of workers by 80 at the Brunswick Plant.

 

 
     
     

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