Companies Agree to Pay for GA Marsh Cleanup

     (CN) — Honeywell International and Georgia Power will spend nearly $29 million to clean up a 760-acre saltwater marsh site on the Georgia coast, federal authorities said Friday.
     The two companies entered into a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency, agreeing to spend $26.8 million to remove and isolate contaminated sediment in the marsh at the LCP Chemicals superfund site and to monitor the long-term effectiveness of the work.
     Between 1919 and 1994, the site was home to a petroleum refinery, an electric plant and various manufacturing operations. The industrial activities at the site led to widespread contamination of mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, and other hazardous substances to the site’s soil, groundwater, surface water and sediment.
     Six officers and employees of LCP Chemicals were convicted in the 1990s for dumping mercury and other chemicals.
     The EPA and parties potentially responsible for the contamination — including Honeywell International and Georgia Power Company — began response work at the site in 1994. Since that time, the agency has overseen the demolition of contaminated buildings, the dredging and excavation of 13 acres of marsh and the removal of contaminated soil and waste from the site’s upland areas, the EPA said.
     The site was officially placed on the federal superfund environmental cleanup list in 1996.
     “The cleanup of this superfund site is now in its third decade,” Southern Georgia U.S. Attorney Edward Tarver said. “I am pleased that Honeywell and Georgia Power have stepped forward to continue cleanup as we work towards fixing the environmental mess caused by other companies’ greed many years ago.”
     The cleanup work required under the settlement includes dredging and installing protective caps on portions of four tidal creeks, placing a layer of clean sediment on 11 acres of marsh and restoring areas disturbed by construction.
     The work is intended to reduce concentrations of mercury, PCBs, lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the marsh’s sediments, the EPA said.
     In addition, capping the contaminants in place will prevent them from moving throughout the marsh and contaminating its animal life, according to the agency.

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