Coalition of Communities for Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice is our Goal

Columbia, MS

Columbia, MS

Soil, sediments, and ground water at the site were found to be contaminated by a wide variety of inorganic and organic constituents. The major contaminants of concern (COCs) included benzene, ethyl benzene, Xylenes, various carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbon compounds (PAHs) and pentachlorophenol (PCP).  While no ground water contaminant plume was identified, the following chemicals: benzene, ethyl benzene, 1, 1, 1-trichloroethane, phthalates, and other organics, were detected in ground water samples.

Several community groups have formed to represent concerned citizens over the years. The most recent group is the Jesus People Against Pollution (JPAP), which formed in 1992. JPAP has been an active participant ever since and currently is the only active group around the site. JPAP was awarded a Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) for the site.

EPA performed two emergency removal actions at the site in 1984 and 1987. The 1984 action involved the removal of over 600 55-gallon drums and the draining of two on-site ponds. The second removal action in 1987 involved the removal of approximately 1,920 tons of contaminated soil and 3,900 empty and partially filled drums. 

Site cleanup activities were led primarily by the responsible party with oversight by EPA. Cleanup actions taken by Reichhold Chemicals, the responsible party, included: removal of materials containing asbestos; removal of aboveground and underground storage tanks; excavation of contaminated soils; excavation of black tar-like waste material; drainage of on-site ponds; disposal of contaminated sediments off site; and ground water monitoring. A three-year ground water monitoring program was concluded in December 1999. The final ground water report, submitted in early 2000, indicated that no threat to the environment or human health exists in the ground water at the site. The question remains if no plume was discovered what is the source of these chemicals?



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