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Superfund cleanup to begin soon
Significant progress toward long-term cleanup of the LCP Chemicals superfund site is something Daniel Parshley has been hoping to see since the initial emergency removal of harmful substances between 1994 and 1997.

Since then, much of the activity at the 550-acre site that includes large amounts of marshland along the Turtle River has gone into assessing the risk to humans and determining how to proceed in making the area, visible from U.S. 341, acceptable for redevelopment.

Parshley, project manager for Glynn Environmental Coalition, is happy to know the next step, actual long-term cleanup, is not too far away.

"They are getting closer to making final decisions on how to proceed," Parshley said. "After a significant period of little or no progress, the movement forward is good. There are significant challenges there, but we are now progressing."

Honeywell, the company that inherited partial responsibility for the site when the company acquired Allied Chemical, the plant's owner when it closed in 1994, has submitted a work plan to address remediation of the 9.5-acre caustic brine pool. The pool has elevated levels of mercury, chromium, berylium, arsenic and vanadium and is a threat to ground water in the Miocene Aquifer -- a source of drinking water for Glynn County.

An oil refinery, a paint manufacturing company, a power plant, and a chlor-alkali plant all operated at the site between the early 1920s and 1994, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

John Morris, project manager for Honeywell, said carbon dioxide technology has been proposed to clean the pool.

"We look forward to getting started once the work plan is approved by the EPA," Morris said.

To get a better idea of what has happened at the site recently and what will happen next, Parshley and the environmental coalition are hosting a First Friday Lunch starting at 11 a.m. Friday at IHOP, 5031 New Jesup Highway.

Jan Rogers and Galo Jackson, remedial project managers from the EPA, will update the public about the site.

The proposed plan for the brine pool is just one piece of the overall project, Rogers said. The site is broken into three different operational units that will receive attention during remediation - the marsh area, contaminated upland soil and the ground water.

Potential contamination of the ground water was the topic of a resolution asking for immediate action in the cleanup efforts introduced by state Sen. William Ligon, R-St. Simons Island, during the last session of the General Assembly.

Rogers said injecting carbon dioxide into the brine pool will lower the pH balance in the water and neutralize what is now a chemically basic solution.

"By making that pH neutral, we will have a more static situation to deal with the entire site through a normal remedial investigation," he said.

Cleaning the brine pool could take as long as three years, but Rogers expects it to move more quickly.

Although redevelopment of the site around the brine pool is still far off, Rogers said other areas of the entire plant site will be ready sooner.

The new Glynn County Detention Center is already being built on one portion of the site that borders Ross Road.

Honeywell has been working this week to take down the smoke stacks and other vacant buildings on the site.

Rogers hopes the state Environmental Protection Division will approve the plan to clean the brine pool in the next week or so and said the injection process could start as early as September.

* Reporter Michael Hall writes about public safety, environment and other local topics. Contact him at mhall@thebrunswick news.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 320.

BREAKOUT: The Glynn Environmental Coalition First Friday Lunch will start at 11 a.m. Friday at IHOP, 5031 New Jesup Highway.



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