Epa Superfund Sites Essay

3747 words - 15 pages

Well Researched Good PaperENC 1102Ms. Hooton28 March 1995The Escambia Treating Company (ETC) Superfund Site has been mistreated and neglected for years; a combination of bureaucracy in Washington and government intervention in Pensacola have made the situation at the ETC site worse than it has ever been. Therefore, the surrounding neighborhoods are completely uninhabitable. Yet the residents of these neighborhoods still live in their houses, some of which are less than fifteen feet from the site itself.The Escambia Treating Company treated wood used for utility poles and foundation pilings. ETC operated from 1943 to 1992. The site is located on the east side of Palafox Street, just north of the Palafox, Fairfield intersection (Dunham Toxics 1). The company however, disolved in 1993, after failuing to comply with the regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (Dunham Industrial 1). The Escambia Treating company was established before there was concern about what effects its activities might have in the future, and therefore, little care was taken to protect the environment as well as the people working there (Dunham Industrial1).Frank Picket, an ex-employee of ETC worked there for 19 years, he is also a resident of Rosewood Terrace. He tells stories of the day to day operations and occurrences at ETC. According to Mr. Picket the only safetyBrantley 2gear the employees were issued were hard hats and steel toed boots. They were not provided with any type of gas masks to protect them from the toxic fumes. He also tells of rabbits and dogs drinking out of ponds on the ETC site that would die of poisoning or their hair would fall out when they came in contact with the toxic water. The workers at ETC suffered from skin rashes, and several have died from cancers, TB, and heart problems. Mr. Picket estimates that 15 to 20 people he knew who worked at ETC died from these type of problems. He even remembers one of the owners suffering from cancer. Perhaps one of the most disturbing accounts Mr. Picket describes was the method in which ETC disposed of the chemicals in the on site holding pond. The holding pond was a large ditch that was lined with cement and held the chemicals that were used to treat the wood. However, for the owners of ETC disposing of these chemicals was much easier than one might imagine, they simply broke a whole in the cement and let the chemicals drain out into the surrounding soil (Interview).The two main ingredients used to treat these poles were creosote and pentachlorophenol or PCP. Among the other chemicals used were dioxin, which is a bleaching agent and a form of chlorine; PCB's, which are also found in paper mills; and asbestos, which is a known carcinogen; as well as numerous others (Dunham Industrial 1).After several years the EPA finally shut Escambia Treating Co. down when the owners were unable to comply with environmental regulationsBrantley 3(Dunham Cleanup 1). With the implementation of new regulations by...

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