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LCP Still Leaking Mercury Into Drinking Water
No Action Date, No Plan from EPA


Mercury, chromium and arsenic continue to leak in to Glynn County’s drinking water aquifer at the LCP Chemicals Superfund Site as the EPA tries to get an agreement with the Responsible Parties to propose a plan to fix the problem.  No date or timeline have been set to address this serious threat to water resources.   

    The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) estimates that there is around 300,000 pounds of mercury sitting above the leak into the drinking water aquifer, and has proposed prompt action.  At a minimum, the GA-EPD wants enough water pumped from the area above the leak to prevent further contamination of drinking water.  The EPA plan is to draft legal agreements, negotiate with the polluters, and then look at proposals about how to fix the problem.  Meanwhile, the contamination of drinking water resources worsens.

   The mercury leak through the confining layer protecting the drinking water aquifer is thought to have been caused by the underground pool of caustic brine.  With a pH of ~13, it is suspected that the confining layer was dissolved by the caustic brine or otherwise made porous.   In areas where mercury levels are rising in groundwater, the pH is also rising. 

    Both mercury and caustic brine freely leaked during operations at the LCP Chemicals Site, which dissolved the soil under the production buildings.  Buildings actually had to be propped up for safety before they could be disassembled.  Damage to the buildings was seen as they cracked and settled.  Damage to our drinking water resources will continue out of site until action is taken to fix the problem.


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