Residents Upset About Excessive Dust
Residents have been concerned about potentially contaminated soil in and around the Koppers site for most of the 20 years that Koppers has been on the Superfund list. Excessive dust and noise are two new issues that have recently arisen.
Robert Pearce is very worried about the superfund site that's just a walk away from his home.
"There is severe financial disinvestment close to the property as a result of the noise in particular as well as the inhospitable conditions that are created by the dust," said Pearce.
In particular, the dust is a concern because many nearby residents have reason to wonder what's in the dust. According to Dr. John Mousa with the County Pollution Prevention Management, there is arsenic Dioxin on site, which is a carcinogenic chemical.
Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan sent a letter to Koppers on May 22nd about whether or not the dust was toxic. Koppers tells WCJB that the dust from their Gainesville facility does not contain chemicals. They say they know this because of a 2004 air study that they conducted. However, they would not release the specific details of their study.
"Arsenic has some neurological effects," said Mousa. "It's kind of a long-term systematic type of poison that if you get it in your system for a long enough basis, it could cause an issue."
But Pearce remains skeptical.
"It will never be anything other than a heavy industrial, heavily contaminated and polluted parcel," said Pearce.
Koppers officials have made it clear that they believe that the dust emanating from their facility is 100 percent non-toxic.
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