Two Pollution Control
Technologies Developed, But Not Used, In Glynn County
are attracted to Glynn County for our toxic soils and polluted air. Two
technologies were developed and demonstrated here, but our community is not
receiving the benefit.
Demonstrated at Hercules Plant
Resource Technologies Environmental (RTE) was hired by Hercules in 1997 to
develop a low cost on site remedial process capable of eliminating toxaphene
and the chemical's inherent threat to human heath and the environment. Key
to the bio-remediation technology developed was adding a Gene Expression
Factor (GEF). GEF is a soil amendment, which helps repair the existing
bacteria in the soil, and allows them to metabolize pesticides into salt,
carbon dioxide, and water.
Although a process was successfully developed and tested within the Hercules
Brunswick Plant Site, Hercules declined to proceed with a large-scale
remediation effort reportedly due to cost considerations. In California,
where the State has mandated a higher degree of cleanup, toxaphene has been
eliminated in a single treatment, and costs about 90% less than conventional
cleanup options. The 14-acre cleanup effort was the first large-scale
demonstration of the biotechnology that has its developmental roots in
previous work at the Hercules Brunswick Plant Site. The process took about
8 weeks to remove toxaphene from the soil, and the land now meets
residential development standards.
The Hercules Plant site in Brunswick remains a serious ongoing environmental
problem for the people of Brunswick. There is evidence that low dose, long
term exposure to toxaphene disrupts endocrine (hormone system) production
and it is suspected that toxaphene also impairs the performance of genes
that support the human immune response.
Capping, solidifying or any other process that falls short of complete
elimination of toxaphene represents inadequate protection of human health
and the environment. The best demonstrated available technology is one that
completely eliminates toxaphene. The fact that this can now be done at a
fraction of the cost of conventional remediation (including capping and
solidification used at the Hercules 009 Landfill Superfund Site), yet is
unutilized by Hercules, suggests that considerations other than human health
and the environment are at issue.
Air Pollution to
Profits Demonstrated at Georgia-Pacific Pulp Mill
The process of turning the Brunswick Georgia-Pacific Pulp and Paper Mill’s
pollution into profits won the 2002 EPA Clean Air Award. Unfortunately, the
process is not being used to reduce toxic chemicals, greenhouse and acid
rain gases released from the Pulp Mill.