Posted by: Green Knight | May 13, 2011

Milford

I saw that somebody found the Hot Sheet by searching for the Milford, Ohio, contaminated groundwater site that is apparently being added to Superfund’s National Priorities List, which comprises the hottest of the hot, and will have cleanup $$$ thrown at it soonest.  This is good news, because it indicates that the rumors I’ve heard lately, about the fund finally being funded again, might have some truth to them.  CERCLA, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, & Liability Act of 1980, also known as Superfund, hasn’t had any money infused into the fund since 1996, which is why a lot of people I knew in the industry have switched careers in the last decade-and-a-half.  I guess I’m just damn persistent.

There is no shortage of sites that need to be investigated and cleaned up, but even banks haven’t been requiring Phase I environmental site assessments for transactions anymore, due to the anemia in the program.  I used to make a pretty decent living investigating property histories, going back, in some cases, to 1875, when a cool hot-air balloon survey was done of this town.  (Is there such a thing as a warm cold-air balloon?)

Anyhoo, the searcher should Google “Valley Park TCE” to see a similar site in the St. Louis metropolitan area.  When I was working Superfund for the state, it was still under investigation, and it was ages before they finally pinned it on the responsible party, who’d pulled up stakes and left town.  Everybody knew it was them, but it took years of making lawyers rich to prove it.  Valley Park used to get its drinking water from a public well-field, but had to hook up to county water after samples kept coming up hot.  People have the idea that, once identified, these situations will just go away, with the guys and gals in the white (or green) hats riding to the rescue, but they fail to consider that those agencies, while often staffed with people who give a damn, keep having their budgets cut.  I was as frustrated as they were to have to tell them that it might take years to get a resolution.  Here’s St. Louie in the old days:

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