Residents of Brunswick, Ga. are pressuring the Environmental Protection Agency to better hold a chemical manufacturer responsible for cleaning up a banned pesticide that has contaminated nearby properties and waterways.
Brunswick — a beautiful part of Georgia’s southern coastal region — used to be the home to Hercules, Inc., a chemicals manufacturer that was producing everything from gunpowder to food additives to pesticides, according to The Florida Times-Union.
One of those pesticides, toxaphene, has been found in the nearby Terry Creek, as well as in samples taken from nearby properties. Toxaphene is considered a carcinogen, meaning it can cause cancer.
The EPA is allowing Hercules, Inc., to fill-in the canal that runs from the chemical manufacturing plant to Terry Creek and then build a new canal. Residents are concerned that Hercules, Inc., is literally being allowed to cover up the toxic chemical rather than clean it up.
“Well, instead of a cleanup, we’re going to get a cover-up,” Daniel Parshley of the Glynn Environmental Coalition told The Brunswick News. “We anticipated at least some cleanup — in all fairness, we have not received the document, even though we requested it from the EPA. All they’ve given us is a press release.”
“We’ve requested they clean up the 100 years’ worth of waste in the ditch — that we believe a chemical plant should clean up their waste at least every 100 years,” Parshley added.
Environmental groups have been concerned, generally, about the direction of the EPA under the Trump administration. Starting with the nomination of Scott Pruitt to head the EPA, the U.S. has backed out of the Paris Accords, weakened protections for clean water, and otherwise prioritized the profits of private corporations over the protection of the environment.
Brunswick, Ga. residents deserve safe, clean water. Hopefully the EPA will listen to the concerns of residents and better protect them from carcinogens left in their environment by a chemical manufacturer, instead of letting Hercules, Inc., get away with polluting their water and land.