EPA's Latest 'Dioxin-Related' Cleanup in Wildwood Prompts New Concerns
After EPA officials said they discovered a small amount of paint-related waste that should be removed from the Bliss-Ellisville Superfund site in Wildwood, residents weren't sure what to make of its significance.
On Nov. 23, some Wildwood residents received an e-mail from Benjamin Washburn, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) public affairs specialist, which stated "EPA Region 7 will begin work on a small scale removal action on the Callahan property on Monday, November 26, to remove suspected paint wastes that were discovered at the site during the Expanded Site Review" (EPA report dated 6/13/2012).
As that remediation work comes to completion, some who live in Wildwood still have questions.
Dan Topik, a Wildwood resident who lives next to the targeted area pointed out, according to the EPA Work Plan and related documents, 1000 cubic yards of dirt was to be removed from an area 100 feet by 60 feet at an estimated depth of 13 feet.
"That seems like a huge amount of dirt being removed for some paint waste. I do not believe the EPA has been completely honest with the residents in close proximity to the Callahan property," Topik stated on Nov. 28 in an email.
He said he would like to know why it takes removal of 1000 cubic yards of dirt for small-scale removal of paint wastes.
Wildwood city officials mailed the following notice dated Nov. 21:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that the agency will be undertaking an environmental remediation action to excavate and remove soil from a portion of the Callahan Property, 210 Strecker Road, beginning as early as Monday, November 26, 2012.
If you have questions or concerns regarding the work while it is being performed, or detect any odors from the work area, you should contact the following EPA official directly:
David P. Williams
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Wildwood city administrator Dan Dubruiel issued a memo to city council members on Dec. 7, stating that Mayor Tim Woerther had authorized the city's hiring of Custom Environmental Services consultant Ed Pascal to provide onsite monitoring of the EPA cleanup on behalf of the city.
In addition to Pascal's direct observations, Dubruiel said Pascal was using a PID metering device to test for contaminants, both in the vicinity of the excavation and along the perimeter of the property.
Pascal's preliminary observations and sampling results, according to the memo, have "not detected problematic levels of contamination."
Pascal is set to monitor the backfilling of the excavation, as well, and to provide a written report.