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Goodyear School Cleanup Complete 

Source of Toxic Soil a Mystery or Not? 

   Since at least 1996, toxic soils have been known to be on Goodyear Elementary School.  In November 1996, the School Board’s received the risk evaluation that was based upon samples tested to date.  Based upon the Toxaphene found on the schoolyards and risk above the most protective standard, it was recommended to cover contaminated areas of the schoolyard with clean soil and grass the area.  Sampling for acute toxicity in schoolyard soils moved forward in December 1996, with six soil samples being taken from the areas identified in previous sampling as having the highest Toxaphene levels.   In late December, the results were received that revealed one area of Goodyear school to have acutely toxic soils. The recommendation was made again to cover contaminated areas with clean soil.

   No action was ever taken to cover the contaminated areas with soil on the Goodyear Elementary Schoolyard as plans were made to tear down the school and re-build, even though the Bond issue was passed to renovate the school.  Goodyear school was relocated for the 1997-98 school years, and the new school opened in the fall of 1999.

   The GEC noticed that fill had been brought in to raise the new buildings, but the schoolyard area remained as it was before construction.  The GEC discussed concerns about contamination on the schoolyard with Dr. Page, Glynn County Health Department Director.   We agreed that the question, “What chemicals are on the Goodyear schoolyard?” needed to be resolved.  At the November 12, 2001, Board of Education Meeting, Dr. Page suggested using the GEC’s study and follow its recommendation to test specifically for what chemicals were on the Goodyear schoolyard.

The GEC formed a partnership during 2001 with the Health Department, Board of Education (BOE), and Skidaway Institute of Oceanography to investigate the unidentified toxic chemicals found on the Goodyear Elementary schoolyard during the 1996-7 testing.

   In November 2001, a proposed sampling plan was approved by the BOE. A work plan was completed, and three schoolyards and a recreational facility were sampled during April and May of 2002. The analytical results were presented to the BOE in November 2002.   The predominant chemicals on the Goodyear schoolyard were chlordane, Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), and PCBs, with isolated areas containing relatively high levels.  Again, the recommendation was made to cover the contaminated areas with clean fill, which was done as an interim action.   In addition, and unlike previous sampling by the GA-EPD, Hercules, and the Board of Education, the data was used to produce a Health Consultation by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Glynn County Health Department, and Georgia Division of Public Health.

   Politics surrounding the G8 Summit delayed the Health Assessment, which was released in March 2005. The conclusion was that Goodyear school did have levels of PAHs to be concerned about, and recommendations were to do an additional evaluation of the horizontal and vertical extent of PAH contamination along with an evaluation of the interim soil cover placed in the fall of 2002.  The Glynn County Board of Education (BOE) was notified concerning the toxic soil problem at the Goodyear school in April 2005, and more sampling followed in May.

   The Board of Education appropriated $73,000 to resolve the soil issue with more sampling on April 26, 2005.  Sampling results found PAH contamination in the fill brought in during construction of the new school.  In addition to the previously identified problem with acutely toxic soils, there appeared to be an additional problem.   The first sampling results received in June 2005 indicated that the soil brought in when Goodyear Elementary School was rebuilt in 1998-9 was the source of the high levels of PAHs, and the BOE appropriated more moneys for expanded sampling and soil removal.   The report to the GA-EPD confirmed that the PAH contaminated soil had been brought in during the school rebuilding in 1998.  The final report was submitted to the GA-EPD on August 4, and authorization to re-open Goodyear Elementary School was received on August 8, just two days before the August 10, 2005 school start date.

   The official position of Glynn County Schools is that the source of contaminated soil brought in during the rebuilding of Goodyear school is a mystery, but the Glynn Environmental Coalition suspects the source is an old LCP Chemicals Superfund Site dump containing refinery waste from the 1930-50s.  Hercules used the Habersham Street parcel as a location close to the Plant to dispose of stump dirt (dirt from pine stumps used by the Hercules Plant as a feed stock).   The property was used as a borrow pit so there would be additional capacity for stump dirt.   The old LCP Chemical dump could have been excavated and the soil used during the rebuilding of Goodyear School.

    We are working on confirming the source of toxic soil so our community does not make the same mistake again.


Chemicals Found in Goodyear School Soil

Maximum Amount in Parts Per Million

1-Methylnaphthalene        0.68  
2-Methylnaphthalene       1.10  
Acenaphthylene               2.30  
Acenaphthene 1.40  
Athracene                        6.00  
Benzo(a)anthracene         14.00  
Benzo(a)pyrene               11.00  
Benzo(b)flouranthene       14.00  
Benzo(ghi)perylene           7.10  
Benzo(k)flouranthene       5.80  
Chrysene                        14.00  
Dibenz(ah)anthracene     2.00  
Flouranthene                   35.00  
Flourene                          3.40  
Indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene    6.50  
Naphthalene                    2.00  
Phenanthrene                  26.00  
Pyrene                           22.00  
  Contaminated soil was excavated to a depth of four feet in some areas of the playground with the largest amounts being removed from areas close to the foundation.   After areas excavated were back filled with clean soil, turf grass was placed over sloped areas near the building foundation.    

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