Is Koppers getting the whitewash…again?

The Gainesville Sun reported that the EPA has issued its final cleanup plan for the Koppers Superfund site, and I doubt that the people in the Stephen Foster neighborhood will be happy. And none of us should be. The contaminated soil is to be left on the site, buried 65 feet, surrounded by an underground concrete barrier wall, and covered with an impermeable cap.  The ground would also be injected with chemicals that are supposed to keep the toxins from seeping deeper into the aquifer. This last part reminds me of the chemical dispersants that were used in the BP oil spill cleanup. The EPA ordered that “solution” to be stopped the dispersants were as poisonous as the oil, if not more so.

So, the EPA wants to let Beazer East, the polluting company, reset the clock on this time bomb for future generations. A real solution might include soil incineration, to burn off the toxins, or there are newer soil cleaning technologies that do not create emissions. I am not a scientist, but any concerned citizen who looks forward to being able to drink the water around here should demand better than what we are being offered.

4 thoughts on “Is Koppers getting the whitewash…again?”

  1. Don:
    This Koppers thing reminds me o the Paris Peace talks. Shall the table be square or shall it be round? How long have they batted the Koppers issue around the room?

  2. As an Environmental Engineering student I am continually frustrated by politicians who are totally unqualified to make such judgments belittle serious scientists. The above statement comparing marine remediation and substrate remediation (two problems governed by completely different dynamics) is emblematic of this. In this particular case the EPA experts have made the decision that they have not because they are bumbling fools or because they want to poison future generations, but because they are skilled scientists with extensive training in subjects pertinent to remediation such as fluid flows and transport, Darcy’s Law and permeability, dispersion and diffusion, and organic chemistry and toxicity. Just as we would be wise trust a businessman like you, Don, in matters of business, I urge you to defer to the EPA scientists who have studied remediation for years and made it their vocation in matters of science.

  3. As an environmental engineering student, you probably know way more about these things than I do, however, there are other “skilled scientists with extensive training” who differ on this subject, and I am having to listen to both of them. The EPA, one should remember, is a government agency that answers to political masters. Consider that now CO2, the air we exhale, is now a “pollutant”.

    As an ordinary layman who may be charged with looking out for his constituents, it is my job to look with a jaundiced eye at every expert who claims to have things under control. After all, every crisis in our lifetimes has occurred under the watch of experts who excel most at explaining why it was someone else’s fault.

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