PFOA 2005
October 25, 2005. Public hearing held to discuss industrial waste landfill.
By Rodger Adkins. The Parkersburg News & Sentinel (West Virginia).


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October 25, 2005

The Parkersburg News & Sentinel (West Virginia)

Public hearing held to discuss industrial waste landfill


PARKERSBURG - Wood County residents Monday voiced their concerns about an industrial waste landfill owned by DuPont.

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 Wigal said.

"They have not officially addressed anybody below this (dump)," Brannon said.

Resident Earl Tennant, who has health problems he attributes to the landfill and the chemicals discharged, said he has experienced water foaming.

"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."

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