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Arco Neighborhood Sampled
Results Expected in February 2005

Arco neighborhood sampling took place the week of November 1st, and results are expected in February 2005.  A community meeting will be held with our technical advisor, Dr. Kevin Pegg, to review the results.  An EPA meeting will be planned after the community has had an opportunity to review the data.           

The Arco neighborhood sampling data will also be reviewed by David Mellard, Toxicologist with the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR), to produce a Public Health Assessment.  In addition, the health information provided by Arco residents at the September 28, 2004 community meeting will be reviewed.  The health information gathered will be evaluated during the Public Health Assessment to determine if there are common health problems in the area.               

David Mellard, the ATSDR Toxicologist, will use the information gathered from the community and the sampling data to produce the Public Health Assessment.  The public health assessment will attempt to answer three questions:           

            1. Has the Arco neighborhood been contaminated by the LCP site?

            2. Have past air exposures when the LCP facility was active exposed nearby residents?

            3. If residents were exposed by past LCP activities, could their health have been affected?

Depending on the results of the Arco neighborhood sampling, a second round of sampling may occur to further determine the extent of contamination from the operations at the LCP Chemicals Superfund Site.  David Mellard reviewed the Arco sampling plan and believed that the proposed Phase One Sampling Plan was sufficient to determine if there have been impacts to areas surrounding the LCP Chemicals property.           

While the Arco area is undergoing its first substantive sampling event, the marsh area adjoining the LCP Chemicals Site received the third extensive sampling.  The natural resource damage assessment has received far more attention than the people living next to the LCP Chemicals Site.  The October 2004 marsh sampling increased the sampling density to improve the understanding of chemical distribution in the marsh flat sediments.  If the Arco neighborhood had been given the attention that the marsh received over the years, we would not be wondering if there are health risks to people living in the areas around this Superfund Site.            

Ecological assessments do have an important purpose, and are helpful in determining if there is a risk to people consuming seafood or marsh hens from the areas impacted from LCP Chemicals Site operations.  The important difference is that people do not live in the marsh day in and day out, nor are children's usual play areas located in the marsh.

What is Environmental Justice?

Very simply put, if an area, neighborhood, community, or group of people are treated differently based upon race, color, gender, or socio-economic status, they are not receiving just and fair treatment under the American laws and values that we live by.  In the case of environmental justice, an area with potential or suspected chemical contamination or health risks should be given the same attention, regardless of the race, color, gender, or socio-economic status of the people living in the area.  Furthermore, one segment of a community should not be discriminated upon by being selected as the location for polluting industries and operations.

Has Arco Received Environmental Justice?
Ask yourself if St. Simons Island or Sea Island would have to wait 8 years to resolve questions about potential and suspected chemical contamination while banks refuse to make loans in the area due to the uncertainties about health risks.  If you conclude that the answer is no, then it is very likely that the Arco neighborhood has been denied.






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