From: Associated Press
Published September 9, 2005 12:00 AM

Pensacola Opposes EPA Plan To Leave Contaminated Soil Untreated

PENSACOLA, Fla. — The city council has voted unanimously to oppose the federal government's plan to leave mounds of contaminated soil untreated at a former wood treating plant.


The mounds of soil, dubbed "Mount Dioxin," have been covered with plastic sheeting since 1992 when the Environmental Protection Agency dug up the dirt to halt groundwater contamination.


Since then, about 350 families have been moved from homes surrounding the former Escambia Wood Treating Co. site. It is EPA's third-largest relocation behind Times Beach, Mo., and Love Canal at Niagara Falls, N.Y. All three sites were contaminated with dioxin, which has been linked to cancer and other ailments.


The EPA said last month that it now plans to bury the 560,000 cubic yards of toxic dirt in a clay-lined landfill on site at a cost of $25 million.


Councilman P.C. Wu on Wednesday called the plan a "betrayal of good faith" after the city agreed to reducing the cleanup from a residential to commercial-industrial standard.


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"I really thought they were going to treat the soil and detoxify it," Wu said. "If they do what they're planning to do, it's not going to be any safer for your grandchildren. It just leaves it all there just as it is."


EPA spokeswoman Dawn Harris-Young said the agency will not respond to complaints until after a public comment period ends Sept. 22.


Source: Associated Press


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