Environmental regulators are pushing for a more effective cleanup at a former chemical plant in Brunswick. So the site’s owner is bringing in new experts to devise a strategy for eliminating the mercury, lead and other contaminants.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s project manager said the current approach to removing the pollution hasn’t worked well, so they’re looking for new ideas.
The problem is that caustic brine contaminated with lye and mercury has seeped into an aquifer below the site.
“That is an aquifer where wells are located. That is a concern,” said Daniel Parshley, project manager with the Glynn Environmental Coalition. “We do not have any indication or any test results showing that the contamination has reached wells, but over time it could.”
LCP Chemicals used the 600-acre site for making chlorine, acid, and caustic soda or lye. EPA has been overseeing its cleanup for more than 15 years.
The delays have disappointed Parshley, but he said he’s more optimistic now.
“We’re looking forward to some fresh eyes being placed on this and exploring the options for getting the problem under control once and for all,” he said.
Parshley said there’s also a section of the site with mercury, lead and PCBs in the soil that has been capped but remains polluted.