Thu., November 21, 2013 4:08pm (EST)

A Coastal Toxic Waste Site Is Spreading
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 5 months ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
The Brunswick Wood Preserving Superfund site is a an 84 acre a former wood treating facility that operated from 1958 until 1991, when the company declared bankruptcy.  (photo Glynn Environmental Coalition)
The Brunswick Wood Preserving Superfund site is a an 84 acre a former wood treating facility that operated from 1958 until 1991, when the company declared bankruptcy. (photo Glynn Environmental Coalition)
Underground contamination from a Superfund site in coastal Glynn County is spreading.

Federal environmental officials are aware of the problem and say there's no danger to surrounding communities.

The Brunswick Wood Preserving Site contaminated the groundwater before the wood treatment plant closed down in 1991 when the company went bankrupt.

So now federal taxpayers are footing the bill to clean it up.

Two years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency built an underground wall at the site to prevent chemicals from spreading.

But Daniel Parshley of the Glynn Environmental Coalition says some chemicals remained outside the wall.

"Since they've completed the wall, additional areas of contamination have been found and contamination has been found where it wasn't before," Parshley says. "Areas that were not contaminated before now are contaminated. And the areas that have spread are now underneath a railroad track near a gas line and will be very difficult to treat."

In a statement provided to GPB by spokesman James Pinkney, EPA officials say there's no way the wall could have prevented the spreading since they believe the chemicals were there before their remedy.

"EPA believes this source material migrated to its present location before July 2011, along with the dissolved phase contaminants previously observed there, and that the western walls are functioning as intended," the statement reads. "No public health concerns exist if gardens are irrigated with clean water."

The agency plans to analyze options to deal with the new contaminated areas by the spring.

Click this link to see a map of the spreading and read the Glynn Environmental Coalition's assessment of the problem.

Click this link to learn more about the EPA's efforts at this site.