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Superfund

the green room
Barbara Lucas - the Green Room / 89.1 WEMU

"Declare the Pall-Gelman 1, 4 dioxane plume a federal Superfund site."  That’s the message from the Sierra Club of Huron Valley.  The Sierra Club has passed a resolution urging the City of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County to seek Superfund designation from the US Environmental Protection Agency. 

Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

  The National Priorities List is the list of hazardous waste sites in the United States eligible for long-term remedial action financed under the federal Superfund program.  Currently there are 1,171 sites on the NPL, either being cleaned up or waiting for their turn.  Should Ann Arbor’s 1,4-dioxane contamination be “listed” too?  Weighing benefits against potential stigma costs is the subject of this week’s Green Room segment in our ongoing series.


Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

In 1980 Congress created the Superfund to clean up hazardous waste sites that have passed criteria placing them on the “National Priorities List.” If and when funding becomes available for a site, the EPA works with the state’s DEQ to remediate it.  When polluters can’t be made to pay to clean them up, the Superfund pays, using taxpayer money. In Michigan, there are currently 65 sites on the National Priorities List.  Should Ann Arbor become one of them?

 


Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

For almost thirty years, a “responsible party” (Gelman Sciences, Inc.) has been legally and financially responsible for the 1, 4 dioxane contamination of  groundwater inthe Ann Arbor area.  This is in contrast to many contamination sites where cleanup falls totally on taxpayers. But the plume remains, and some question if enough resources are being devoted to its remediation.  In this installment of WEMU’s “The Green Room,” Barbara Lucas looks at money, and how it impacts Ann Arbor’s contamination problem.