October 25, 2005
Parkersburg News & Sentinel (West Virginia)
Public hearing held to discuss industrial
By ROGER ADKINS
PARKERSBURG - Wood County residents Monday voiced their concerns
about an industrial waste landfill owned
The Department of Environmental Protection held a 6 p.m. public
hearing at the Wood County Courthouse Annex on Market Street.
The issue at hand was the renewal of a disposal
permit for DuPont's Dry Run landfill.
The Dry Run landfill, a 17-acre facility,
is located near Lubeck.
In March, the DEP approved the renewal with 18 new provisions
regarding disposal of chemicals. The company appealed the provisions,
said Cliff Whyte, permitting program manager for the DEP's Division
of Water and Waste Management.
The West Virginia Environmental Quality Board ordered the DEP
to hold a public comment period on the 18 provisions, Whyte said.
The permit allows DuPont to discharge C8
from the landfill into nearby creeks. Whyte said C8 is not regulated
by state or federal guidelines. The chemical, used to make
Teflon, has been an ongoing controversy in the Mid-Ohio Valley,
with some residents alleging that C8 from DuPont's Washington
Works plant tainted their water.
Whyte said DuPont plans to close the landfill,
and the company must submit a detailed closure plan. Many
residents who attended the meeting were concerned about what will
happen once the landfill is closed. They wonder if C8 or other
chemicals will leak into nearby watersheds.
A study of C8's effects on humans, prompted by civil litigation
between DuPont and affected area residents, is under way. A Wood
County judge approved a $107.6 million settlement in the case.
Joe Kiger, a concerned citizen, said he was mystified that the
DEP would allow DuPont to dump C8 into area creeks and streams.
"The EPA even came out and said it
was a possible carcinogen," Kiger said. "If this is
a carcinogen, why not stop the dumping, issue a moratorium, until
a scientific panel makes a decision. People are scared
to death. They shouldn't have to live like that."
John Wigal, who lives near the landfill, said he was outraged
that regulators permit the dumping of chemicals into nearby creeks.
The dump affects all residents who live in the area watershed,
said Wigal and his son Joseph. It creates fear about drinking
water and water used for agricultural purposes, they said.
Several residents who live near the dump said their water foams,
indicating there is something unnatural present.
"Who knows what's in there? Water doesn't foam for no reason,"
Greg Brannon said.
Each time the Wigals presented their concerns
to DuPont, they were told they live too far from the plant for
testing to be provided.
"The dump is putting out more than the plant," Joseph
"They have not officially addressed anybody below this (dump),"
Resident Earl Tennant, who has health problems he attributes
to the landfill and the chemicals discharged, said he has experienced
"My concern is for the younger generation who's coming up.
I've already lived the biggest part of my life," he said.
"They need to clean up their act."
Jessica Greathouse, chief communications officer for the DEP,
said she was pleased the residents were able to voice their opinions
on the issue at hand.
Whyte admitted some of the residents' concerns were troubling.
"Certainly it's troubling any time you have citizens and
residents who have concerns about their health and their drinking
water," Whyte said. "It's always troubling to hear concerns
as we've heard tonight."
Copyright © 2005 — The Parkersburg News and The Parkersburg