1999 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Emery Graham <egraham@dca.net>
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999 12:25:47 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: Local Governments Face Harsh Realities
 

I'm interested in finding out how other local governments are
faring with their new found brownfield/hazardous waste site
involvements. The following City Council resolution will help
the listserv members understand the concerns of this local
City Council. As new waste sites are discovered, new concerns
are raised and new action orientations emerge. I'd really like
to get other's perspective on this question of emerging
legislative and organizational consciousness around hazardous
waste sites.

Do you think EPA intended to generate this sort of conscious
raising environment with its Brownfields Demonstration
Assessment Grant program? Why is ATSDR (the Agency for Toxic
Substance Disease Registry) not featured more prominently to
the administrators of the Brownfields community programs?
ATSDR has been operating under an MOA with EPA to provide
health assessment support.

Is the situation described in the following resolution one
where EPA's Emergency Response 800 number should be used?
Where's the widely promulgated citizen response routine that
would afford citizens a modicum of a sense of situational
control, given that there's no preplanned local routines, like
dial 911, that have been inculcated in the social mind of the
community to handle this type of problem.

Wilmington, Delaware
 August 12, 1999

WHEREAS, Helen Chambers Park, located on the block bounded by
6th, 7th, Madison, and Monroe Streets is currently being
operated as a public playground and is known to be a hazardous
waste site; and
WHEREAS, this summer, the City of Wilmington encouraged
children to come to Helen Chambers Park, a playground site
that offered summer recreational programs and free lunch; and
WHEREAS, the absence of any determination by City of
Wilmington officials as to whether it is safe, from a health
perspective, for children to continue playing at Helen
Chambers Park given the known existence of hazardous waste at
the site is a cause for concern with liability implications if
not properly determined; and
WHEREAS, on one occasion this summer, the extremely dry dirt
on the baseball field was stirred up by a Parks & Recreation
field maintenance employee in such a way as to cause large
dust clouds to blow on the children while they were eating
lunch; and
WHEREAS, Duffield Associate, Inc. has performed a preliminary
environmental evaluation of the site, which included limited
sampling and laboratory analysis of soils and the issuance of
reports dated November 1998 and December 1998; and
WHEREAS, on February 2, 1999, the City of Wilmington filed a
Voluntary Cleanup Program Application with the Delaware
Department of Natural Resources And Environmental Control
under the signature of R. Clayton Greer, E.I.T. of Duffield
Associates, Inc.; and
 WHEREAS, the contents of the application represented that
there are contaminants at the property which cause an imminent
threat based on EPA , Region III, Risk Based Concentration
tables and further represented that the major types of
contamination found at the site are metals, polynuclear
aromatic hydrocarbons, and petroleum hydrocarbons in soils;
and
WHEREAS, on March 15, 1999,Mayor Sills vetoed an Ordinance
creating a Childrenís Environmental Hazards Education
Committee; and
WHEREAS, on April 7, 1999 under the signature of James H.
Sills, Jr., Mayor, the City of Wilmington entered into a
Voluntary Cleanup Program Agreement with the Delaware
Department of Natural Resources And Environmental Control
regarding Helen Chambers Park; and
WHEREAS, on June 30, 1999 under the signature of Mayor Sills,
a letter was filed with DNREC requesting that the Voluntary
Cleanup Agreement be terminated immediately; and
WHEREAS, at the City Council Parks & Recreation Committee
meeting held on August 11, 1999, neither the Administrative
Assistant to the Mayor, the Director of Parks and Recreation
nor the Assistant City Solicitor, all of whom were in
attendance, could identify any written evaluation indicating
whether it is safe for children to continue playing in Helen
Chambers Park; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Greer of Duffield Associates was called yesterday
and has been requested to identify whether the park is safe
for children and has failed to provide a written answer; and
 - 2 -
 NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF
WILMINGTON, that Council requests the City Solicitorís office
to review all relevant information related to hazardous waste
at Helen Chambers Park and provide a legal opinion to all
members of City Council identifying whether it is safe for
children to continue playing at the park and to draft an
appropriate notification regarding the same for distribution
to the residents surrounding the park.

Passed by City Council,
August 12, 1999








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