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People For Safe Water Lead Protest Over EPA Cleanup Plan In Clark County

Wayne Baker


The group People for Safe Water held a rally at the Clark County Combined Health District on Tuesday, voicing concerns over the Environmental Protection Agency's cleanup plan for the Tremont City Barrel Fill site by chanting "dig it up, truck it out."

The EPA's plan is to dig up barrels at the Tremont City landfill, remove the ones with liquid waste, but put the barrels filled with solid waste back in the ground.

The last part of that plan, putting barrels back in the ground, is what Clark County residents and city officials turned out to protest.

Marilyn Welker president of People for Safe Water, opposes that idea, because the site is next to the city's primary water source.

"We find that unacceptable. There are ways that they can be treated, they can be neutralized, they can be stored safely, but not what will endanger the water source for 82,000 people," Welkser said.

In 2010, the EPA and local officials believed it would cost $56 million to remove all of the 1.5 million gallons of hazardous waste from the site. The current plan costs $28 million. Welker feels that the government should stick to the original plan in order to protect the city's water.

"We are the ultimate stakeholders. We cannot jeopardize our water.  We cannot jeopardize our children's water.  We cannot jeopardize the economic importance of our water," Welker said.

While the rally was being held, EPA officials were meeting with area stakeholders to discuss concerns surrounding the current cleanup plan. The EPA says it is trying to get the Tremont City Barrel Fill put on the National Priorities List, which would allow for federal and state money to be used to clean up the site.


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