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Brunswick EPA cleanup proposal is too little, too late

A total of 801 acres in Brunswick, Georgia is currently the subject of an environmental dispute involving the question of how ambitious the government should be in cleaning up contaminated grounds. While the site involves extensive contamination involving a number of chemicals, there is a particular concern about dangerous levels of PCBs, lead, mercury, and so-called polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons.

On the positive side, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to clean up the grounds, which is currently designated as a Superfund site. The cleanup proposal, however, has sparked criticism from both environmental activists and local residents for its lack of ambition. While the EPA's current proposal is to clean up only about 24 acres on the site, one environmental group is saying that at least 81 acres needs to be addressed. 

One of the reasons the EPA has given for the rather unimpressive proposal is that there is concern about destroying marshland, but critics say the concern is overblown. And while the EPA's proposal holds out for the possibility of implementing additional measures at a later time, many feel the contamination problem should be addressed more extensively right now.

Superfund sites, as readers may know, are locations designated as having hazardous waste which adversely impacts the environment and local residents. These locations are uncontrolled or, in some cases, abandoned. The goal with these sites, from the EPA's standpoint is to conduct cleanup efforts and then to hold responsible parties accountable for the cleanup.

In our next post, we'll take a closer look at the EPA Superfund program and what citizens should know about it in order to protect themselves.  

Source: Al Jazeera America, "Locals, activists clam EPA proposal to clean Georgia Superfund site," Claire Goforth, Jan. 12, 2015. 

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