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Clean-up at local site

Contractors with the Georgia Ports Authority are cleaning up a local hazardous waste site, which is one of four sites in Decatur County that is on a state hazardous site inventory.

Along Spring Creek Road, northeast of the Georgia Ports Authority’s entrance, soil is being removed from flagged areas presently along the road by the Authority’s contractors, CH2M Hill.

David Nelson, senior project manager with CH2M Hill, said 5,100 cubic yards of soil are being removed because the site was identified to have been contaminated by the property’s previous owner.

Nelson said the soil was contaminated with pesticides, and all the soil is non-hazardous and is being taken to the Decatur County Landfill.

According to Jason Metzger, acting unit coordinator with the Georgia Environmental Protection’s hazardous waste management branch, said the property was used during the 1960s and 1970s as a storage site for the pesticide Lindane. Lindane is the commercial name for Benzenehexachloride. Alpha, beta and delta components of Benzenehexachloride are in the soil and the ground water.

Metzger said the chemicals in the ground water are relatively confined to within Georgia Ports Authority’s property, and the concentration levels are 11 parts per billion, which is relatively low.

“There is nothing for those residential areas to be concerned with as far as their drinking water,” Metzger said, citing the River Oaks subdivision in particular.

Metzger said the ground water flows into the Flint River, and not southwest toward the subdivision.

He said although the EPD hasn’t approved any corrective action for mitigating the contaminated ground water, the Georgia Ports Authority is monitoring the ground water and natural attenuation may be the course of action.

One of the three sites is an airstrip owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers one and a half miles north of the Florida line near Chattahoochee off of Dell and McLeroy roads. That site also has Lindane as well as DDT, the insecticide Dieldrin and other chemicals in various amounts in the ground water and/or soil.

The other two sites are old landfills—one owned by Decatur County on Fowlstown Road and the other owned by BASF near Attapulgus.