Public Concerns and Meets with Community Members on the BP Oil Spill

From: U.S. EPA <usaepa@govdelivery.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2010 12:25:33 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: BP Oil Spill Response Update

EPA Addresses Public Concerns and Meets with Community Members on the BP Oil Spill

One of the most important elements of the federal government response to the BP oil spill is the involvement of the community. In a speech to the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, Administrator Lisa P. Jackson told the audience, "It is critical that every community is engaged in the discussions on how we recover from this crisis. The people who are most vulnerable to the impacts of the spill must be empowered in the response and long-term rebuilding."

This week EPA staff members are in the Gulf holding meetings to hear the concerns and ideas of those who live in the region and know it best. Lisa Garcia, Senior Advisor to the Administrator on Environmental Justice, and Shira Sternberg, Special Assistant in the Office of Public Engagement, met with local leaders in Biloxi, MS, Prichard, AL and New Orleans, LA, and attended two open houses in MS and LA. Mathy Stanislaus, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, and Paul Anastas, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development, were in New Orleans Tuesday and Wednesday this week attending a meeting on health effects of the oil spill. The meeting was organized by the Institute of Medicine at the request of the Department of Health and Human Services. You can see photos of EPA’s community meetings on Administrator Jackson’s Facebook page.

One concern many Gulf residents, community leaders and environmentalists have shared with us is over the safety of dispersant. Dispersant is a type of chemical sprayed on or near the spill itself that break up the oil into smaller pieces, speeding its natural degradation and slowing the spread of the spill. The decision to authorize dispersant is based on science indicating that it is less toxic than oil. Nonetheless, the use of dispersant is being carefully monitored and strictly limited to only what is necessary.

EPA efforts have resulted in a significant reduction in the use of dispersant in the past month. This week we calculated that, since EPA and the Coast Guard directed BP to significantly ramp down dispersant use on May 23, use of dispersant is down 68% from its peak. We have been closely tracking undersea oxygen and toxicity levels, as well as other indicators to gauge potential impacts of undersea application, and have detected no dispersant compounds in water tested near the shore. Mobile air monitors taking samples throughout the region have detected only very small amounts of dispersant-related compounds. These amounts are well below anything likely to cause harm to health or the environment. Because of their low concentrations, and the fact that these compounds are common in cleaning products and coatings, it’s difficult to know with certainty whether the small amounts detected are related to the spill. If they are, their presence is very small.

In addition, we are making progress on our independent testing of eight dispersant products on the NCP Product Schedule. We are also conducting toxicity tests of the dispersant being used. To assure the quality of the data, these tests take time. As soon as we have analyzed the data, we will share the results with the public.

We also want to hear your solutions. EPA is now participating in the Interagency Alternative Technology Assessment Program – a cross-government effort to address and evaluate possible technology solutions for the oil spill response efforts. If you’ve already submitted a possible technology solution to EPA, it is being processed by the appropriate decision-makers. If you have not submitted, or have another idea you think will work, please share it with us.

To learn more on what EPA is doing in the Gulf, and for the latest announcements, monitoring data and updates, visit www.epa.gov/bpspill.


Message: 2
From: U.S. EPA <usaepa@govdelivery.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2010 16:00:57 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Superfund and Brownfields News Release (Region 4): EPA RECOGNIZES BROWARD COUNTY, FL., FOR TRANSFORMING FORMER LANDFILL INTO A PARK

EPA Recognizes Broward County, Fl., for Transforming Former Landfill into a Park

Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421, harris-young.dawn@epa.gov

(ATLANTA – June 25, 2010) At a ceremony this morning, EPA honored Broward County, Fl., with the EPA Region 4 Excellence in Site Reuse award for redeveloping the former Davie Landfill Superfund site, once referred to by some as "Mount Trashmore," into the Vista View Park. This is only the second award of its type to be awarded by EPA for site reuse in Florida.

Broward County saw the potential for the site of the former landfill that operated between 1964 and 1987 to be used as a park early on, even before EPA encouraged the reuse of Superfund sites. While the county closed the landfill and cleaned up the site under EPA oversight, it installed much of the infrastructure (roads, stormwater drainage, landscaping, etc.) for the site to eventually be used as a park. Five or more years passed after the landfill was closed before the county obtained enough funding to complete the park.

The Vista View Park opened in July 2003.  The park’s popularity led the county to purchase more land around it and expanded it in November 2009. Activities in the park include horseback riding along many trails, biking, a trail with fitness stations, rollerblading, paragliding, primitive camping, radio-controlled plane flying and boating, catch and release fishing, and many other types of passive use. There are two playgrounds at the park. One of them was awarded certification from Boundless Playgrounds for exceeding the minimum requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

EPA supports the redevelopment of contaminated properties and views the revitalization of communities affected by contaminated properties as a key component of its mission to protect human health and the environment. Region 4 created the Excellence in Site Reuse award to recognize those who have gone above and beyond in redeveloping a Superfund site.

The 210-acre Davie Landfill site originally housed a garbage incinerator for the county. The incinerator closed in 1975, and a sanitary landfill was constructed on the site for disposal of municipal solid waste, construction debris, tires and other waste materials. A sludge lagoon on the site was used to dispose of grease trap pump-out material, septic tank sludge and treated municipal sludge from 1971 until 1981. The lagoon was closed in 1981 after the sludge contaminated ground water, and the sanitary landfill was closed in 1987. In 1989, Broward County excavated, dewatered, and stabilized the contaminated sludge from the lagoon, placed it within a cell in the sanitary landfill, and constructed a cap over the cell with a protective cover. Due to the low levels of groundwater contamination detected, EPA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) determined that the contaminants could be addressed by natural processes with regular monitoring of the groundwater. Groundwater cleanup standards were achieved by September 2003. The site was removed from the National Priorities List in 2006 and, since then, the EPA and DEP have continued to monitor the site to ensure its safety.

For more information on EPA’s Superfund Redevelopment Initiative in Region 4, visit:

http://www.epa.gov/region4/waste/sf/sri/

For information on the Davie Landfill Superfund site, visit:

http://www.epa.gov/region4/waste/npl/nplfls/davilffl.htm

Note: If a link above doesn’t work, please copy and paste the URL into a browser.

View all Region 4 News Releases


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