Post-Remedial  Use  of Superfund
  Social and Economic Effects of Remediation
                 Daniel R. Mandell
                  Research Fellow
      National Network for Environmental Policy Studies
       United States Environmental Protection Agency
                 Boston, August 1988

-------
                             Disclaimer

This report was furnished to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by
the graduate student identified on the cover page, under a National Network
of Environmental Policy Studies fellowship.

The contents are essentially as received from the author. The opinions,
findings, and conclusions expressed are those of the author and not
necessarily those of the Environmental Protection Agency.  Mention, if any,
of company, process, or product names is not to be considered as an
endorsement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

-------
                          Table  of Contents

Executive Summary                                              p. 1
Acronyms                                                      p. 2
Foreword                                                       p. 3
Acknowledgments                                               p. 4

I. Formatting Hazardous Waste  Cleanups                           p. 5

n. Effects of Toxic Contamination on Surrounding Communities     p. 9

HI. Post-Remediation  Land Use Issues                              p. 17
      Residential Areas                                          p. 19
            Ottati and Goss; Kingston, NH                         p. 19
            Keefe Environmental Services, Epping, NH             p. 21
            Tinkham Garage; Londonderry, NH                    p. 22
            Re-Solve, Inc.; North Darmouth, MA                  p. 23
            Williams Property; Middle Township, Cape May Co., NJ  p. 25
            Picillo Farm; Coventry, RI                             p. 26
      Industrial Areas                                           p. 29
            Chemical Control Corporation; Elizabeth, NJ            p. 29
            Sodyeco; Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, NC           p. 31
            Industriplex,; Woburn, MA                           p. 31
            Renora Inc., Edison Township, Middlesex Co., NJ        p. 34
            Waldick Aerospace Devices; Wall Township, NJ         p. 35
            Brio Refining; Harris County, TX                       p. 37
      Undeveloped Areas                                        p. 39
            Cleve Reber; Ascension Parish, LA                     p. 39
            Geiger (C & M Oil); Charleston County, SC              p. 40
            Palmetto Wood Preserving; Dixiana, SC                p. 42
            Lowry Landfill; Aurora, CO                           p. 43

TV. Superfund,  Communities, and Land Use Issues                  p. 46

-------
                         Executive  Summary

      EPA usually avoids making land use an explicit consideration when
the agency chooses a cleanup strategy. Yet post-remediation land use
assumptions are part of the risk assessment calculations used in determining
cleanup levels of Superfund  sites. Evasion of significant issues, including use
of the site after EPA arid the  state completes work, only frustrates a
community's efforts to understand and cope with a hazardous waste site.  A
community's perceptions of  how a site affects them—including economic
effects, health problems, and a range of social and psychological issues-will
inevitably affect  use of the site after remediation efforts are completed.
      Land use issues seem  most controversial where great pressure exists for
residential developments near Superfund sites.  Communities appear to be
less tolerant of containing toxics on a site in residential or developing areas
than they are of containment in an industrial  zone.  Re-use of a contaminated
site is usually  more acceptable in an industrial zone  than in residential areas.
Post-remediation use of Superfund sites also does not seem as  sensitive an
issue in undeveloped areas as in developing residential communities,
though groundwater contamination is a special concern.  In all areas, post-
remediation use  of Superfund sites will be shaped by public perceptions of the
property and its effects on the commonweal.
      Use of a formerly contaminated site, particularly for residential or
public use, may  depend on overcoming the taboo which forms during the
process of site discovery, investigation, and many technical studies. A
maximum of community involvement in the process could minimize many
problems.  EPA  should  therefore institute citizens' advisory committees to
decide how Superfund sites will be used after the remediation work is
completed. EPA should seek to meet a town's desire for detailed land use
restrictions, particularly if the Agency mentions a specific land use in
connection with the remediation strategy.  Finally, EPA should carefully track
the use of sites after the Agency completes remediation work.

-------
                            Acronyms

CAC- Citizens Advisory Committee
CERCLA - Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and
      Liability Act (Superfund)
DCE - Dichloroethane
DEQE - Massachusetts Department of Environmental Quality Engineering
EPA - United States Environmental Protection Agency
NCP - National Contingency Plan
NNEPS - National Network for Environmental Policy Studies
NPL - National Priority List
PCB - Polychlorinated Biphenyls
PCE - Tetrachloroethylene
PRPs - Potentially Responsible Parties
RCRA - Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
RI/FS - Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study
ROD- Record of Decision
SARA - Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986
TCE - Trichloroethylene
VOCs - Volatile Organic Compounds

-------
                              Foreword

      This study was produced under the auspices of the National Network
of Environmental Policy Studies (NNEPS), a project of the United States
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The writer, a graduate student in
Urban and Environmental Policy at Tufts University, Massachusetts, was
awarded an NNEPS fellowship for summer 1988 to study the social and
economic issues involved in cleaning up Superfund sites to various levels.
EPA Region n staff, which proposed the project for the NNEPS program,
asked for an overview of the generic social and economic issues encountered
when considering post-remedial land use of Superfund sites cleaned up to
various levels.
      Direct discussion of land use issues has been avoided when Superfund
has been considered by Congress, shaped by EPA regulations, and examined
for details of site cleanups. Yet risk analysis is based on the level of human
exposure to toxics,  which—particularly in the case of contaminated soil-is
dependent upon how the site will be used.  People will spend far less time  at
conservation land or at a landfill than at a school or home, and therefore the
level of human exposure would be far greater at the last two uses.  Residents
near contaminated  sites, and interest groups favoring reduction of toxic
hazards, however, fear that potentially responsible parties (PRPs) and
government regulators would  use post-remediation land use as an excuse  for
half-measures and partial cleanups. Yet the same residents who fiercely seek
the expensive destruction of all wastes on a site may still avoid the use of that
site after the work is completed and the site is opened for private or public
development.
      The complicated tangle of community perceptions of Superfund sites
and post-remediation land use issues has never been studied. This is not
only because of the intense political issues involved, but  also because few
Superfund sites have been declared dean and opened for reuse. This study
therefore depends  upon information from CERCLA/SARA regulations,
previous studies of socio-economic issues identified with Superfund sites,
public concerns recorded in Superfund site cleanup plans (Records of

-------
Decisions, or RODs)*, and comments solicited from citizen activists and local
officials.

                         Acknowledgements

      If Douglas Newman had not pushed for the establishment of the
National Network for Environmental Policy Studies in EPA, this report
would not exist. I wish to thank Peter Moss, P.E., of EPA Region n, for
selecting me to do the study, giving me a large degree of creative
independence, and providing editorial support.  Professors Ken Geiser and
Sheldon Krimsky, with the Center for Public Service at Tufts University, not
only helped guide this project but also my education at Tufts.  EPA Region I
employees were very helpful; in particular Dennis Heubner gave me access to
Agency resources.  People at EPA headquarters, particularly David Levy, Bill
Hanson, Melissa Shapiro, Todd Gold, and Thomas Pheiffer, guided me to
relevant studies and provided important information.  Activists and public
officials in Coventry, RI, Edison Township, NJ, Wall Township, NJ., North
Dartmouth, MA, Aurora, CO, and southern New Hampshire, shared their
perceptions of land use issues and EPA's efforts at nearby Superfund sites.
Vance Hughes, formerly with ICF, and Mary Ellen Schlotz,  in ICFs Boston
office, were very helpful.  Barbara Smith-Mandell, my wife  and a professional
technical editor, not  only provided moral and financial support during my
studies, but also measurably improved  this report.
      ]A  study of Superfund  by the  Congressional Office of Technology
Assessment notes that  by looking at RODs,  "the functioning Superfund  comes
into  focus  because everything that was done  before  the ROD must be
considered  and everything to come later  must be anticipated."   U.S.  Congress.
Office of Technology Assessment,  "Are We Cleaning Up?   10 Superfund Case
Studies-Special Report."  OTA-ITE-362 (Washington. D.C.:  U.S. Government
Printing  Office. June 1988).  p.  2

-------
                                   I
              Formatting  Hazardous  Waste  Cleanups

      In 1979 Congress, reacting to the Love Canal crisis and a growing sense
of the problems caused by hazardous waste dumps, created the
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation  and Liability Act
(CERCLA), better known as Superfund. EPA began Superfund work under
Rita Lavelle in 1980 and almost immediately became mired in controversy.
EPA officials were accused of making deals with polluters, using Superfund as
a political tool, delaying cleanup efforts, and moving contaminants around
the country instead of seeking permanent destruction.  In  this political
atmosphere, Congress in 1986 revamped CERCLA by passing the Superfund
Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA).  SARA caused many
changes in the Superfund program.  It specifically directed EPA to favor
cleanups that permanently reduced the volume, toxicity, or mobility of
hazardous waste as a principal element. The law placed off-site landfilling
without treatment at  the bottom of the list of potential remedies, codified
public involvement in the program (including technical assistance grants),
and included more stringent state environmental laws among the
regulations EPA had  to meet. The creators of SARA wanted EPA to gain the
trust of  residents and officials near Superfund sites. The preference given
permanent cleanups and public participation would, it was hoped, increase
trust in  the Agency and in Superfund activities.
      CERCLA has been implemented by EPA's  regulations contained in the
National Contingency Plan (NCP). The last NCP was published before SARA.
A new NCP is being prepared. A draft of the new NCP (February 1988)
emphasizes the site-specific nature of cleanup activities and levels. This
might invite examination of land use questions when EPA investigates a site
and picks a cleanup level.  Cleanup target levels of most pollutants could
conceivably be left higher at a site traditionally surrounded by heavy industry
than at a site surrounded by houses and zoned residential. Yet, although one
EPA official admitted that allowing higher contaminant levels for industrial

-------
areas has been discussed, EPA has avoided the explicit study of land use issues
in Superfund. 1
       Only the highly technical risk-assessment part of the remedial
investigation allows the consideration of potential site uses to enter the
Superfund decision-making process.  Preliminary cleanup levels established
during the remedial investigation "are based on acceptable levels of
exposure" at the site after clean-up is completed.2 Potential exposure factors
are based on the number of hours humans are exposed to any toxics left on
the site; exposure-hours are dependent upon the use of the site.
Unfortunately,  the post-remediation land-use assumption, upon which the
risk-asssessment of a particular site is based, is rarely put in the ROD.  The
vague language in the draft NCP may reinforce a desire to avoid the
       1 Interview with Bill  Hanson,  head of EPA's  Site Policy and Guidance
Branch, Hazardous  Site  Control  Division, 5/25/88  and  9/23/88;  interview with
Charlotte White. EPA  Enforcement  Office  of  Superfund, 6/10/88.   When  I asked
one  region's  community relations section  to  name sites  where  land-use issues
are or had been significant, my  request was  considered  so sensitive  that it  was
sent  up to the  region's  legal  counselor and  the  division's deputy  director.
       2EPA  defines  acceptable levels of  exposure  to  carcinogens  as  "levels  that
translate  into  an upperbound  excess  lifetime  risk  to  an  individual of between
10-4 to 10-7"; i.e., one case  of  cancer in  10,000 to one  case in  10,000,000.  The
draft NCP notes that EPA begins its risk  level selection  at  10-6, but can pick  a
different  level  within  that  range when  the  following  site-specific issues  are
considered: "exposure  factors  (e.g.,  the cumulative effect of  multiple
contaminants,  the  use of the  resource, the  impacts  on  environmental
receptors,),"  and "uncertainty  factors (e.g.,  the  reliability  of  non-engineered
controls   and  the reliability  of  alternatives)  [non-engineered controls  are
defined as  institutional  and  legal controls  on future use of the site],
implementability  and  technical factors  (e.g.. limitations  on  restoration,
background  levels.)."   U.S., Environmental ProtectionAgency,  40 CFR  Pan 300,
"Draft  National  Oil  and Hazardous  Substances Pollution Contingency  Plan,"  12
February  1988,  p.128  (emphasis  added).

-------
 discussion of potential land-use.^  The connection between land-use
assumptions and any part of the decision-making process needs to be an
explicit part of the ROD.
      The most forthright statement of how land use assumptions drive a
Superfund site risk assessment can be found in the Brio Refining ROD.  The
site is a former petrochemical refining plant near Houston, Texas.  Several
subdivisions, a junior college, an elementary school, and a hospital are
located within a half-mile of Brio. In 1985, nearly 6,000 people lived within
one mile of the site; 71,000 resided within four miles .  "Using a trespass
exposure scenario, which assumed  that the site would remain a secured
industrial facility,  target removal and treatment levels for selected chemicals
were developed. The endangerment assessment also examined an
unrestricted access exposure scenario which indicated that greater volumes  of
affected materials and soil would have to be treated [than the recommended
remediation]  should exposure to the site increase."2 The Brio ROD included
permanent site controls —deed notices and restrictions—seemingly (though
this was not specified) to enforce the projected industrial use.
      EPA has been criticized for using a site-specific risk assessment process
to determine cleanup goals, instead of using standards found in other federal
and state regulations. A recent study by a coalition of environmental
organizations found inconsistent exposure assumptions and cited an internal
EPA report which called Superfund risk assessments "inadequate, unscientific
documents".^  The technical nature of risk  assessment is also seen as
      ]A subsequent draft  has  asked  for a  "maximum  reasonable  use  scenario"
as pan of the risk assessment study.   (Interview with  Bill Hanson,  23
September 1988.)   This language  should  encourage discussion of  land-use
assumptions in the  ROD.
      2Brio Refining ROD. p. 25.
      3Environmental Defense Fund, et al,  "Right Train. Wrong Track: Failed
Leadership in the  Superfund  Cleanup Program." June 20, 1988.  pp.  51-52.
Citation is of study by  Office  of Policy. Planning and Evaluation, U.S. EPA,
"Evaluation of the Preparation of Risk Assessments for Enforcement
Activities," September  1984.

-------
8
         cloaking certain assumptions of exposure and toxicity from public scrutiny.1
         Since post-remediation land use appears to be one of these assumptions, EPA
         should show in the ROD the land use which forms the basis for the risk
         assessment of a site.  This information is very important to anyone interested
         in the Agency's actions.
                1 Testimony of A.  Blakeman  Early, Sierra  Club Washington
         Representative, on Analysis of  Recent  EPA  Cleanup  Decisions,  before  the
         Oversight Investigation  Subcommuee,  House  Commmittee  on Energy  and
         Commerce. June 20.  1988. p.  5.   "Right Train," pp. 51-52. harshly criticizes the
         risk  assessments  done  by  PRPs, noting that  PRPs have "an  obvious incentive  to
         minimize the nature  and extent  of risk  posed  by these sites".  Early  also  told
         Congress  that  risk  assessments done  by  PRPs  are  "inherently  unreliable".
         Moody  and  Geiser,  in  their Wobum report  (infra), noted  the conflict  that
         arises between PRPs and a commuity  when  site cleanup is considered.    "There
         exists a tension between two clearly stated goals of CERCLA; cleaning  up a
         superfund site  and  recovering  the  total costs  of clean up  from  the  responsible
         parties."(p.  9)

-------
                                   II
 Effects  of  Toxic  Contamination  Upon  Surrounding  Communities

      The American dream: A four-bedroom ranch house on an acre of
green-polished lush lawn, children playing in the quiet street. Without
warning, strange sounds and stinks haunt the innocent inhabitants.  After
trying to endure the horrible mysteries, they bring in an expert who locates
the source of the terror:  the land under the house. The family flees the
doomed home as the very ground erupts and devours their dream. This
Poltergeist-like scene is the nightmare of many community members
concerned about a nearby hazardous waste site.
      A community's perceptions of how a site affects them will inevitably
affect redevelopment of  the site after remediation efforts are completed.
Superfund sites in densely populated areas, or where development pressures
exist, are particularly prone to controversy and public fear.  A study by ICF
found that communities are more likely to be concerned if sites appear to
threaten the health of families, if hazardous waste problems are  endemic in
the area, or if homeowners or businesses face economic losses.  Community
interest generally peaks  when the remedial action decision is made. Poor
communications or other problems, however, can create a hostile or
defensive atmosphere among all parties  throughout the process. 1
      In the early years  of Superfund, EPA hoped to pinpoint generic
community concerns in  order to streamline the program.  The Agency
therefore studied twenty-five sites, but.found no relationship between the
technical adequacy of response and public acceptance of EPA's decision, or
between  the extent of site contamination and public involvement.  The study
found no concerns common to  the sites.  EPA therefore decided to  design site-
specific community relations efforts for Superfund sites.2
      There have been no comprehensive studies of the sociological or
psychological effects of a contaminated site upon the surrounding
            Inc.,  "Community Relations in  Superfund;  A  Handbook," prepared
for  the Office  of  Emergency  and Remedial  Response, U.S. Environmental
Protection  Agency,  January 1986. pp.  3-9.
      ^Interview with Melissa  Shapiro, EPA  Superfund  Community  Relations,
24 May 1988.

-------
10
         community. A few case studies supplement news coverage of certain
         controversial sites, particularly Love Canal, NY, which provided the primary
         impetus for the Superfund program, Lipari Landfill, NJ, the site officially
         ranked the worst in the country by EPA^, and Woburn, MA, which gave rise
         to a landmark hazardous waste liability lawsuit^. These focus on the politics
         and decision-making problems, that engendered particular controversies
               One of the best of these studies is a recent review of the Nyanza site in
         Ashland, Massachusetts. The transformation of Nyanza "from a place to
         work (even if a source of nuisance odors) to a potentially life-threatening
         menace was a major reversal in perceptions and definitions of reality."
         Rather than focusing on the meaning of this transformation, Krimsky and
         Plough moved on to look at how private interests sought solutions different
         from  those of  public agencies, how intergovernmental relations affected
         communications with Ashland residents, and how efforts to  deal with health
         issues generated discontent.^
               Krimsky and Plough found that most residents were primarily
         concerned not about details of on-site remediation work, but about the effects
         of the waste site upon their health.  These concerns came to the forefront after
         a church group found abnormally high rates of  cancer near the site. Public
         fear was not relieved by the cautious assurances of "no immediate threat"
         contained in government  studies. The "rational-analytical" approach to risk
         analysis, which is inevitably hedged with intricate theories and uncertainties,
         did not satisfy residents, who instead sought information about actual and
         potential ailments. Krimsky and Plough therefore recommend providing
                     E. Van  Horn  and Yvonne Chilik,  "How Clean  is Clean?  A Case Study
         of the  Nation's No.  1 Superfund  Toxic Dump."  Environmental  Impact
         Assessment  Review (1988): 1-16;  Susan Q. Stranahan, "Broken Promises," 73
         Sierra  (No.  3, May/June  1988):52-56.
                2Renee Loth,  "Wobum, Science, and the  Law," Boston  Globe  Magazine.
         February 9. 1986.  pp. 14-17. 47-57; Michael Knight.  "Pollution  is an Old
         Neighbor in  Massachusetts Town," New Yofk Times. May  16.  1980; Katie  Moody
         and Ken Geiser, "Wobum: The Case of the  Burdened Water,"  pilot  study,  Tufts
         University Department of Urban  and  Environmental Policy,  October 1986.
                3Sheldon Krimsky  and Alonzo  Plough,  "Risk Communication  for a
         Hazardous  Waste Site: The Case  of Nyanza." February 1988 (in press).

-------
                                                                              11
affected communities with medical help designed to deal with possible health
effects on individuals, rather than conducting technical studies of toxic
linkages and exposure rates.
      Issues of decision-making and community control lay beneath the
controversies about the selection of cleanup remedies and health studies.
Local interests had no real bargaining power, and even the town government
had no formal role in the Superfund process. An inevitable split, between
local residents and town officials who feared losing federal funding to "more
cooperative" Superfund communities and permanently harming the town's
image, further diluted local power.*  The townspeople found that only
public hell-raising appeared effective. After considerable controversy, in
August 1985, DEQE helped set up a citizens' advisory committee (CAC) in
Ashland. The CAC was created to organize divergent local interests,
formulate community objectives,  and improve  communications between
Ashland and the state and federal  agencies.  EPA policy provided no role for a
CAC, but EPA's site manager found the meetings increasingly useful. A pilot
mediation project brought together the CAC, EPA, and DEQE to create clear
guidelines for communication through  the CAC. Conflicts were not
eliminated, but "were no longer caused  by a lack of understanding of decision
procedures or a lack of structured access to decision information. As a result,
the level of frustration and emotion surrounding risk communication has
dropped considerably since the summer of 1985. "2
      The essence of Krimsky and Plough's study of Nyanza is that effective
communication and the fulfillment of public health needs are more
significant to the community  than the situation at the site and EPA's cleanup
strategy. Communication is vital, not only for EPA's decision-making
process, but also for any use of the site by the community after EPA completes
its work.  As EPA's Community Relations Handbook notes, "Whereas there
may have been a hostile or defensive atmosphere early in the cleanup
process, citizens and their leaders  should be helped to find creative ways to
live with the site in their community. For example, as the site is being
      1 Another community interest  group  is usually  formed  by employees  of
the  polluting company  or  others  with an economic stake  in the status quo.
Nyanza had already ceased operations, so this was  not an issue  in Ashland.
      2Krimsky and Plough,  "Nyanza,"  pp.  66-69.

-------
12
         restored to a relatively uncontaminated state, it may be beneficial for citizens
         to assess the site's potential for commercial and industrial reuse."1
               The problems caused by a contaminated site, however, go beyond
         problems of decision-making and physical health. .Public fear is sometimes
         much greater than the actual health and economic effects of the toxics seem to
         justify. Efforts to help communities and families affected by contaminated
         sites must not only consider maintaining good communication and
         preventing physical health risks, but also the psychological effects of
         "hosting" a Superfund site.2
               The primary health issue for residents  is usually not the present
         danger, but the great uncertainty of the future.  The Woburn court case shows
         how medical experts disagree on the precise effects  of toxics on individuals.3
         Even worse, the most severe effects—birth defects, immune deficiencies, and
         cancer^—are the most feared of all medical problems because they are the most
         difficult to diagnose and cure. In addition, the fear that parents or children
         will become sick or even die from an unknown, uncontrolled, or
         unacknowledged toxic "time bomb" is only worsened  by the uncertain costs of
         these potential health problems. Fear of the  unknown is often manifest
         when neighborhood activists demand health studies to prove the
         unprovable. Unfortunately, "health studies may be an important tactic in
         advancing dump site clean up, but, just as likely, health studies may just
         delay and stand in the way of more aggressive remedial action efforts."5
               1 "Community  Relations in  Superfund,"  p.  4-10
               2Krimsky  and Plough mentioned the "major reversal"  of normality  that
         occurred  in  Nyanza, but then  concentrated on  communication  issues.
         "Nyanza," pp. 1-3.
               3£van T. Ban. "Poisoned Well,"  The New  Republic (March 17,  1986): 18-
         20;  Mamie  Samuelson,  "Learning from Woburn;  Statistical Truth and Toxic
         Waste," Boston Phoenix.  May 15, 1984;
               4 "No  risk, it  seems,  it more  dreaded in the  public mind  than cancer."
         Krimsky and Plough, p. 40.   The AIDS epidemic is also elevating public concern
         about  the body's immune system, which may  be even more  affected  by man-
         made  chemicals  than is cancer.
               5Moody and  Geiser,  "Wobum," Pan  II,  pp. 5-6.

-------
                                                                                1 3
      An individual's uncertainty and fear is exacerbated by involuntary
exposure to toxics.  These feelings are common to residents of industrialized
countries confronted with contaminated land.  As one English investigator
put it, families and communities "are exposed to risks without benefits,
without freedom of choice...[they] suffer from a great sense of
insecurity—isolation, depression, and helplessness.  Uncertainties may
remain even once the 'incident1 has been dealt with.  Feelings of isolation
may be increased when authorities and experts claim that the situation is not
immediately dangerous and that  technical solutions are available in the long
run." Groups with different interests, such as affected families, local officials,
and workers at the offending industry, may dash, further disrupting the
community and injuring individuals.1
      Toxic contamination not only threatens the physical, economic, and
sociological health of an individual, but also endangers cherished American
cultural institutions. The American home, and all it represents, is
particularly vulnerable.  "Toxic contamination represents both an invasion
and  an inversion of home, and consequently the individual's sense of
security and well being is multiply threatened...Toxic contamination in
residential areas poses a threat to the assumptions people have about
themselves and about the way life is supposed to be. "2
      The home represents the primary monument to America's work  ethic,
embodying personal independence, and, because of the capital investment in
a house, financial and  social mobility.  Toxic contamination therefore affects
many social norms, and threatens far more than an individual's health.  The
home is also associated with family.  Local citizen groups organized to deal
with  toxic issues therefore often feature various symbols of home and family:
       JM.A.  Smith, "An International Study  on Social Aspects  etc.  of
Contaminated  Land,"  1:.416-17, in Contaminated  Soil '88:  Second International
TNO/BMFT Conference  on  Contaminated Soil, 11-15  April  1988, Hamburg.
Federal Republic of Germany, ed. K. Wolfe, W.J. Van  Den Brink, and F.J.  Colon
(Dordrecht,  FRG: Kluwer Academic  Publishers, 1988), 2  vols.
       2Janet  M. Fitchen,  "Toxic Chemicals  in Residential Environments:
Threats to  Cultural Meanings  of  Home and  Homeownership." presented  at the
Annual  Meeting  of  the American  Anthropological   Association, Philadelphia,
PA, December 7, 1986. p. 15.

-------
14
         mothers, children, churches, etc.  Toxic contamination disrupts everyday
         family activities, interfering with the preparation of food, making bathing
         difficult, even hampering the ability to offer hospitality—a cup of coffee—to a
         visitor.  Victims describe contamination in terms similar to people who have
         been robbed or raped. Since people identify strongly with their homes, even
         if the toxics do not directly threaten health, both house and occupants may be
         affected.1
                The commonly bemoaned loss of property values may, in part,
         represent the strong emotional investments individuals have in their
         homes.  Investigators have attempted to identify changes in land and housing
         values to calculate losses faced by property owners  near toxic waste sites.
         These studies have foundered in a long list  of uncertainties associated with
         the specific sites chosen and methodologies followed by the investigators.2
         One reviewer of the studies noted that, aside  from various technical
                1 Ibid.,  pp.  3-5.   "Some of our informants  mentioned that they felt
         quarantined  as if  they had  a communicable disease." (p. 7).   "Some residents
         report  that  even  after  the  toxic contamination  problems  abate  or are  cured,
         they do not expect to ever  again feel  as safe  in  their home as  they  once  did."
         (P.- 5).
                ^Public Interest Economics  Foundation.  "Benefits  of Regulating
         Hazardous Waste Disposal: Land Values as  an  Estimator," for US EPA, Economic
         Analysis  Division,  1982  and 1984.   These  studied neighborhoods around sites in
         Pleasant  Plains, NJ, and  Andover. MM, and concluded  that loss of real property
         values.due  to  hazardous  waste  sites  "was impossible  to
         verify...empirically."(1984. volume  1,  p.  26)  Despite this  finding, the  study
         emphasized  that "It is  essential to  make  clear that the  failure  to  identify any
         effect  of proximity to a  hazardous  waste site on  property  values does not
         suggest that the economic cost of hazardous waste sites is small or that,
         similarly, the  benefits of  regulating  them are  not  potentially large....the
         finding of no gradient in  real  estate  prices  does not- constitute evidence that
         regulating hazardous waste  sites is  not of economic  value." (1984, volume 2, pp.
         15-16)A  branch of EPA also submitted a draft edition  of  "Valuing Changes in
         Hazardous Waste Risks:  A  Contingent  Valuation Analysis"  (2  vols., 700 pgs) in
         1984.  I  could not obtain a copy, and  as far as I  know it never went past  the
         draft   stage.

-------
                                                                               1 5
questions (free and open information, government action, scarce housing
data, limited data on cause and effect, and off-setting factors), the perception of
risks varies with the amount of control that an individual has over the cause
of those risks. 1
      The failure of real-estate value studies suggests that standard cost-
benefit calculations cannot be used to examine Superfund actions.  First of all,
market distortions are inevitably part of a hazardous waste site,  since the
potential problems remain unknown until a government agency steps in to
analyze the site before taking action. Second, the costs and benefits of
different remedial actions accrue to different economic entities.  Most of the
costs of any cleanup are paid by the federal government, farthest from the
affected neighborhood, whereas the benefits accrue primarily to  the affected
neighbors.  Generally, more expensive cleanup actions bring greater benefits
to the neighborhood.  Less complete destruction of toxics, on the other hand,
saves federal funds but increases the neighborhood's costs.
      Other involved parties  confuse the issue, particularly the state, which
is responsible  for 10% of the remedial costs plus any long-term operation and
maintenance, and the PRPs, which may be forced to pay for much  of the
cleanup costs,  and may try to reduce costs by offering a less complete and less
expensive cleanup option to the federal government.   In addition, the costs
faced by a contaminated  community are largely hidden, whereas the benefits
of complete cleanup are both more quantifiable and very large.  Economic
inquiry highlights the importance of social, psychological, and cultural issues
in the Superfund program. Post-remediation  use of Superfund  sites must
face these same issues.
      In their study of Nyanza, Krimsky and  Plough pointed out the
importance of good communication between responsible agencies and the
affected populace. Public participation appears to overcome many of the
psychological  problems associated with Superfund sites.  Isolation,
depression, and helplessness "may be alleviate by collective action by the
community affected...A community may gain  greater coherence as citizens
      'Temple,  Barker & Sloane, Inc.,  "Methodology Review  for RCRA Benefits
Analyses,"  US EPA. Office of Solid Waste,  Economic  Analysis  Branch, June  1985,
pp. IV - 5-7.

-------
16
         band together in the face of adversity."1  Redevelopment of a formerly
         contaminated site, particularly for residential or public use, depends on
         overcoming the taboo that forms from problems associated with the site. A
         citizens' advisory committee should therefore not simply coordinate
         community information, but should—as a decision-making body on par with
         the state—help select cleanup actions.2 The CAC should also have a lead role
         in deciding how the Superfund site will be used after remediation work is
         completed.  The sense of helplessness and violation which many victims
         report even after a contamination problem has abated, can perhaps be best
         counteracted by empowering the residents most affected by a Superfund site.
               1 Smith,  "Contaminated Land."  pp. 417 and 419.
               2"The  arguments  against formal citizen participation  in  the  decision
         making process usually state that  the  process  would be  delayed and  decisions
         may be less sound due to  their lack of technical expertise on the  issues.   In
         fact,  nothing could have delayed  the  clean up process  of two Superfund sites in
         Wobum  more  than the inherent weaknesses of CERCLA. and usually  exclusion
         of citizen  participation  results in  extensive delays  because  they  are  put  in  a
         position of  having to  react to decisions."   Moody and Geiser.  "Wobum," p. 11.

-------
                                                                               17
                                   III
                 Post-Remediation  Land  Use  Issues

      At this time, few cleanups have advanced to the point where sites have
been eliminated from the NPL.l This makes studying post-remediation land
uses a matter of speculation.  EPA does not seem to be monitoring the few
decontaminated sites. It is difficult even to obtain names and locations. One
individual, not in EPA, told me that a site in Athens, GA, which had been
cleaned of radium, had been purchased by a person who turned around and
re-sold it, "and it is probably  a fast-food stand now." 2
      Since few sites have been cleaned up, this study focuses on citizen and
Agency concerns about the potential use of contaminated land. RODs show
the past and current  use of land on and near each site. Community Relations
Plans include either  a summary or listing of community and PRP concerns
about EPA's RI/FS; these concerns often expose current and potential land
use issues.   Because the Superfund program changed significantly since
Congress passed SARA, most of the data in this study came from RODs signed
after 1986.  Important information also came from citizen activists, local
officials, and various EPA officials. Land uses, for both the site and
surrounding areas, fell into three categories: residential, industrial, or
undeveloped.^. Since EPA after SARA mandated cancer risks of between 10"
4 and 10'7, comparing cleanup levels means an examination of
methodologies: destruction of toxics, solidification/fixation, on-site landfill,
or removal off-site.  This information should show whether nearby residents
            has eliminated  the following sites from the NPL after cleanup
work: Gratiot County,  MI; Freedman Property, NJ; Enterprise Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA; Lehigh Electric Company,  PA; Chem  Metals. Baltimore,  MD;
Kapatomo  Farms, American  Samoa;  Luminous Processing, GA; Wolcott
Chemicals. MS; Mars Arsenic, MN; Chem  Metals. OH; PCB spills in Guam, the
Pacific Islands,  and  along a North  Carolina  road.
      Interview with  Vance Hughes,  8  June 1988.  Mr. Hughes worked for
several years  with  Clean  Sites  and  ICF on  Superfund community  relations
issues.
      3These are the  land-use  categories used by the Massachusetts
Contingency Plan, which could be  a  model  for  EPA's NCP.

-------
18
         and local officials feel a particular cleanup "level" is insufficient to permit
         future development of a site, or sufficient to allow some use of all or part of
         the land. It should also be possible to determine the effects of that cleanup
         upon surrounding properties.
               The reactions of EPA  officials and others involved on a professional
         level with Superfund to the  idea of land use being an explicit consideration in
         toxic cleanups ranged from skepticism to outrage. Sandra  Rennie of ICF, who
         worked on a study for EPA of "Superfund Indicators of Success", stated that
         ICF had considered "restoration to appropriate use" as one indicator, but
         ruled it out. Site managers have been reluctant to lower the fences, even
         when cleanup goals are met. Before listing on the NPL, most  sites were
         dumps, she noted, so would "restoration to appropriate use" mean cleanups
         should be limited, since the  land would regain only that use?  "Don't believe
         for a minute," she told me, "that anyone wants to buy  into the liability of
         purchasing a Superfund site."l
                At this time there are at least two proposals to put housing and stores
         on portions of Superfund sites: Tinkham Garage in New Hampshire, and
         Operating Industries in California.  In Massachusetts, land  use is  considered,
         but it is not the only factor in cleanup decisions.  Potential  land use is part of
         EPA's risk assessment calculations; if EPA maintains risk assessment as the
         base for cleanup activity, the Agency shorrfd describe in the ROD the basis for
         those calculations. Development pressures, or other potential uses not
         known to EPA, could change the risks posed by a particular site or by EPA's
         cleanup goals.2  The only way to judge this is to address land use issues in the
         Superfund RI/FS process.
               Properties near Superfund sites are dependent upon EPA's cleanup
         actions. As Sandra Rennie noted, most Superfund sites are former hazardous
               1 Interview with  Sandra Rennie,  who has worked  with Clean Sites and  is
         now with ICF. 10 June 1988.  Two of the sites where development is now a major
         issue are Tinkham  Garage.  New  Hampshire,  and Operating Industries,
         California.
               ^At a public  hearing about the Waldick Aerospace site,  someone present
         told EPA officials  about plans for a housing development on pan of the site.
         The officials  expressed  surprise and promised to look into it.  The results of that
         inquiry  were  not in the ROD.

-------
                                                                             19
waste treatment and storage locations. Nearby residents are horrified by the
idea of building houses or stores on former dumps, though the restoration of
industrial areas seems to encounter less resistance.  The most important land
use issue in cleanup efforts may be how remediation will affect the area
around the site, particularly when contaminated groundwater moves beyond
the site boundaries. Some towns have passed outright bans on development
within a set radius of a Superfund site; Coventry, Rhode Island, now faces a
lawsuit because it banned building within 1800' of the Picillo Farm site.l
Post-remediation use of a Superfund site cannot be  studied in isolation from
neighboring properties, just as the geology, geography, and hydrology of the
site cannot be isolated.

                          Residential  Areas
      Few Superfund sites exist in long-standing densely-populated
neighborhoods; most are on marginal land in rural  towns.  Demographic and
sociological changes have made many of those areas prospective residential
properties.  Superfund sites in residential areas are  therefore usually found in
developing areas within commuting distance of prosperous cities.  This is
particularly apparent in Region I, where development issues are faced at
Tinkham Garage (Londonderry, NH), Picillo Farm (Coventry, RI), Ottati and
Goss (Kingston, NH), Re-Solve,  Inc. (Dartmouth, MA), and Keefe
Environmental Services (Epping, NH). Potential residential land use is also
an issue with a site in Middle Township, Cape May  County, New Jersey
(Region II).

Ottati and Goss; Kingston,  New  Hampshire.
      Kingston is about an hour's drive north of Boston and less than fifteen
minutes from the ocean.  This area of New Hampshire is undergoing intense
residential development as a result of Boston's booming economy and
skyrocketing housing prices.  EPA signed the Ottati and Goss ROD in January
1987; the document shows development was a major issue in the RI/FS
      1 Interview with  Coventry town  planner, James Finger.  29 June  1988.
Other places which have banned  development include Cape  May  County, New
Jersey (within one mile of the Williams  Property  site),  and Aurora.  Colorado
(within one mile of  the Lowry Landfill site).

-------
20
         process.  The 35-acre site, a former industrial waste storage and drum
         reconditioning plant, adjoins marshland and a large pond, and is—like the
         surrounding area-zoned residential.  The primary contaminants are PCBs
         and VOCs (TCE, PCE, 1,2-DCE, and benzene). EPA decided to treat VOC-
         contaminated soils (14,000 y3) by low temperature thermal stripping (also
         called aeration) and PCB-contaminated soils and sediments (5,000 y3) by
         incineration.  Decontaminated residuals will be backfilled and covered
         according to RCRA standards.  Contaminated groundwater will be extracted
         and treated by precipitation/flocculation, air stripping, biological treatment,
         and ion exchange.  EPA planned to decontaminate the site for about $20
         million. 1
               In reply to a comment from a PRP that site development was unlikely,
         and that aquifer cleanup was therefore unnecessary, EPA noted that the site
         had been zoned rural residential since 1978. The site may therefore be
         developed for residential use without special permits or for industrial use if
         approved  by both the board of selectmen and the town meeting.2 This
         suggests that residential development is more likely than industrial use.
         PRPs suggested institutional controls, such as deed  restrictions and  fences, in
         place of the treatment chosen by EPA, but EPA noted that the feasibility of
         permanent treatment meant controls did not meet SARA's requirements.
               A recent critique of Super fund congratulated EPA for its decision at
         Ottati and Goss, calling it "treatment to the maximum extent practicnble".3
         EPA's actions have not, however,  met with total approval, and this may affect
         future use of the site. Because of  a lawsuit certain information is considered
         confidential and cannot be released to the public; this has angered many
         residents.4 Martha Bailey, head of a local citizen organization involved  with
         the cleanup, was angry that the property has yet to be fenced, that "the air
         monitoring trailer  was never hooked up to the monitors," and that EPA's
               'Soil  decontamination  to  cost  $14.023,000,  groundwater decontamination
         to cost $5.812.500.
               Ottati and Goss ROD. p. 94.
               3"Right Train," p. 39
               4 "At the  beginning public info  meetings drew 250+, but when the law
         suit began residents  could  not get  questions  answered and had  to  go elsewhere
         for  information."   Martha Bailey's answers  to my questionaire, 3 June 1988.

-------
                                                                             21
documents fail to define the contaminated groundwater plume. She noted
that real estate prices have dropped within a mile of the property. Ms. Bailey
feels that the cleanup decision outlined in the ROD leaves the site without a
future source of drinkable water, and vows her organization will halt any
potential development.^
      At a public meeting in September 1986, Kingston residents seemed
primarily interested in the various cleanup alternatives, the monitoring of
private wells, and the alternative water supply proposed by EPA. They asked
the Agency if it would advise new home buyers about the groundwater
contamination; "the Agency said this was left up to the town and that the
buyer should beware." They were concerned that there were no means to
stop development on the site.2 They also worried that new businesses on a
nearby highway might increase the demand on an alternate water supply
proposed by EPA. The Agency's decision not to provide that supply angered
many residents.
      EPA noted in the ROD that  residents are "concerned about future
commercial and residential development of the area."(p. 95)  Martha Bailey,
wrote that "the site has been for sale since 1980. I have stopped any purchase
because there is no drinkable water on site [as] Kingston does not have a
municipal water supply.  The polluter and owner did not pay their property
taxes in 1987 therefore the Town of Kingston now has a lien on this property
and can control any future development.  WASTE [Bailey's organization]
would not allow a school, home, park or shopping center on this property."
Town officials, seeking refuge behind the lawsuit and EPA's dominance,
express an unwillingness to be involved in land use issues.3

Keefe  Environmental  Services;  Epping,  New   Hampshire.
      Epping, seven miles northwest of Kingston and along a major
highway, also faces development pressures. In 1978 the town granted Paul
Keefe a permit to construct a chemical waste storage and treatment facility.
Within a year, state and  local officials sought to limit or stop operations at the
facility because of terrible odors  and groundwater contamination. EPA
      llbid.
      2U.S., E.P.A., Ottati and Goss Feasibility Study  Public  Meeting Summary.
      3Telephone  interview with  a  Kingston. NH town official,  29 June  1988.

-------
22
         became involved when winter storms almost caused a waste lagoon to
         overflow into nearby wetlands. Various metals (particularly nickel) and
         VOCs (benzene, TCE, DCE, and PCE) were found in the soil, surface water, and
         groundwater. EPA decided to try in-situ vacuum extraction of VOCs from the
         soils.1 Groundwater will be pumped, air-stripped, and the VOCs filtered out
         by carbon adsorption.2
               The Agency justified the expensive effort to decontaminate the site by
         noting the importance of drinkable groundwater for the area.  Like Ottati and
         Goss, future development was a major consideration.  "Remediation to the
         proposed cleanup levels will provide for the protection of the aquifer and
         ensure its availability as a potable water supply.  The area surrounding the
         Site and along Exeter Road is currently experiencing residential and
         commercial development pressures. Therefore, EPA considers that it is
         reasonable and conservative to assume that the KES Site could potentially be
         developed for residential use."3  Community activists, however, do not feel
         that EPA has shown that it will dean the contaminated groundwater 4

         Tinkham  Garage; Londonderry, New Hampshire.
               Londonderry is also  located in the high-growth area of southern New
         Hampshire, along the region's major north-south artery, less than a one hour
         drive north from Boston. The ROD noted that "this is a high growth area and
         future development of land on site has been proposed.''^ The Tinkham site
         includes not only a garage, but 375 acres of residential and undeveloped land,
         including a large condominium complex which is one of the PRPs. As a
         result of contamination by VOCs (TCE, benzene, DCE, PCE, vinyl chloride), an
         aquifer which had serviced 450 residents is now unusable. EPA proposes to
         treat soils and sediments onsite , either by aeration, soil washing, or
               1  This process will take two years and cost over $4  million.
               2  This will  require five years and cost $1.878,800.
               3Keefe Proposed  Plan, pp. 8-9.
               4Questionaire from Martha  Bailey,  June  1988.
               5Tinkham  Garage ROD Summary, p.  15.

-------
                                                                             23
composting. Wetlands will be restored.  Groundwater will be air-stripped and
carbon-filtered, and may be used as part of the soil flushing operation.1
      Since an alternative water supply was installed, many of the
community's concerns about groundwater contamination have dissipated,
though several residences still utilize the bedrock aquifer. EPA has agreed to
provide an alternative supply for those homes still using wells if
contamination appears.  Several respondents expressed concern about air
pollution caused by work with VOC-contaminated soils. Others noted that
residential construction in the site and neighborhood could affect
groundwater flow and release VOCs from the soil.  The other major
community concern is the legal liability of condominium owners for the
contamination.  When a committee of the condo owners challenged the need
for groujidwater decontamination, EPA  noted that groundwater use could
not legally be restricted, and  that development pressures required the
expensive treatment.  At this time EPA is considering a proposal to build a
shopping center on part of the site.
Re-Solve,  Inc;  North  Dartmouth,  Massachusetts.
      North Dartmouth is located just west of New Bedford, about one hour
from Boston and less than a half hour from Providence, Rhode Island.  The
six-acre site is surrounded by wetlands and a hardwood forest. Land around
the property is zoned for one-acre residential housing, though two auto-
salvage yards and a privately-owned hunting area are nearby. All residences
in the area (in 1980, 326 people lived within a half-mile of Re-Solve) get their
water from private wells.  Re-Solve Inc. operated as a waste chemical
reclamation facility for nearly a quarter-century, closing in 1981.  EPA found a
variety of hazardous wastes on the site, including PCBs and a range of volatile
organics (TCE, PCE, methyl chloride,  and toluene).  EPA will seek the
destruction of all toxics, digging up and dechlorinating 22,500 y3 of PCB-laden
soils and 3,000 y3 of contaminated stream sediments. The vocb -mil ue
vaporized and condensed/contained in the two- year process. Pumping, air-
stripping, and carbon adsorption/filtration of the contaminated groundwater
            decontamination will  cost $3.6 million;  groundwater treatment  will
take  about 5 years and cost $4.16-$4.67 million.

-------
24
         will take 10 years.1  A citizen on the community advisory committee told me
         that air emissions from the stripping of VOCs from groundwater is still a
         controversial issue. 2
               Public comments in the ROD illuminate how assumptions about the
         future use of the Re-Solve site influences risk assessment and the cleanup
         remedy.  The Sierra Club, along with other respondents, asked EPA to use a
         "plausible maximum case" scenario instead of an "average case" to pinpoint
         the soil cleanup goal for PCBs meeting the designated 10~5 risk.  The Agency
         replied that the "average, case" under future site use conditions would suffice
         to protect human health and the environment. 3  The PRPs, on the other
         hand, charged that the Feasibility Study had been based on the unreasonable
         expectation  that the site must be reclaimed for unrestricted residential
         development. Other uses, such as conservation or industrial purposes,
         would be more consistent with existing land use.and federal regulations.  EPA
         replied that there was no active industry near the site, which is zoned single-
         family residential and  "is undergoing rapid development".  The Agency
         noted that a property owner adjacent to the site had asked to build a residence
         there, and that the potential existed for residential development on  the site.
               A  member of the Re-Solve CAC wrote, however, that "any future use
         of the site is pure speculation. Should the site ever be declared free of toxics
         (which even EPA says is  doubtful), we would probably still not feel
         comfortable with its being populated in any way. Its best use would probably
         be as open space, since it  is bordered on two sides by waterways, the Capicut
         River and Carol's Brook, and since the surrounding area is rural." This
         person also  noted that  EPA had received extensive criticism  for its early work
         on the site, so two local citizens groups formed the CAC to work with EPA on
         Re-Solve. The CAC was particularly concerned about the effects of Re-Solve
               1 Soil/sludge  cleanup  will cost  $9.27  million;  groundwater
         decontamination will  cost $10.7 million.
               2l-.lopl.onc. cuuvci action with a representative  Ol"  the  WcStpOrt  River
         Watershed Alliance, 27 June 1988.
               3  A table included in the  ROD showed different soil concentrations
         associated (10'4 to 10* ? levels of cancer  risk) with present site use
         (trespassing)  and future  site use  (residential), comparing avg  case  and
         plausible  maximum  case.

-------
                                                                             25
upon the Westport and Capicut watersheds, and possible contamination of
private wells. The committee is requesting regular testing of wells by EPA or
the state. The CAC member who wrote me now seems to trust EPA's work.
"We  are assured that after the cleanup process is completed, adequate tests
will be taken to determine the state of the site.  At that time any plans [to use
the site] would be dependent upon the effectiveness of the cleanup."1

Williams Property;  Middle  Township,  Cape May County New
Jersey.
      The 5.6 acre site is located in a wooded area, zoned for agricultural and
residential uses.  Theodore Williams lives on this property. In 1979 he gave
permission for 200-300 55 gallon drums of "unknown liquids and solids" to be
stored on the property. After being ordered by the state to remove the barrels,
unable to get the local landfill to accept full barrels, Williams drained the
drums onto the ground. As a result, a large plume of contaminated
groundwater forced Williams' well to be dosed in 1984.  Later, evidence of
widespread dumping of refuse and construction debris on the site was found.
Primary contaminants indude bis (2-eAhylehexyl) phthalate, PCE, methylene
chloride, and xylene.  EPA plans to excavate, and incinerate off-site, about 700
y3 of contaminated soil, and to pump and treat the groundwater.2
      Approximately 3550 people live within 3 miles of the site.  Also within
that  radius are three nursing homes, a county park, the county office complex,
and  two schools.  Nearby campgrounds boost the population within one mile
of the site from 485 to 4740 during the summer. The site was not fenced in
1986, and the ROD found ingestion of soil by children to be the greatest
potential risk. The toxic groundwater plume threatens the water supply of
about 60% of Cape May County's residents, though all local residences
downgradient from the site have been connected to municipal water. The
aquifer is also used heavily  for irrigation and fire control purposes. In
addition, gravel pits in the area, filled with groundwater, are heavily used for
swimming and fishing.  The ROD notes that "extensive development has
      1 Letter from  P.O.N.D. (Precint One  of North Dartmouth) member,  12 July
1988.
      2The estimated  captial cost of this remedial action is $513,750. with
annual  operation and maintenance of $64,600.  Williams Property ROD.

-------
26
         been planned for the region and the purity of this [groundwater] reserve is
         paramount to the plan."  As a result, all development within a one-mile
         radius of site has been banned by the county until either cleanup is complete,
         or EPA determined the exact dimensions of the contamination. Property
         values have almost certainly declined as a result of the moratorium.

         Picillo  Farm;  Coventry, Rhode Island.
              Twenty miles southwest of Providence, Picillo Farm has generated
         considerable controversy and community anger, not only because of the
         origin of toxic contamination, but also as a result of past EPA actions.
         Coventry is the only residential area that I examined where EPA decided to
         create an on-site landfill instead of decontaminating the soil, and where the
         Agency originally selected  groundwater monitoring instead of treatment.
         The eight-acre site had been a farm before the owners allowed  the illegal
         dumping of chemical  wastes on the land for several months in 1977. EPA
         found a variety of VOCs, phenols, and PCBs on the site.
              There are about thirty to forty dwellings within a one mile radius of
         Picillo Farm, but the site is  surrounded by marsh and thick woodlands, and is
         thus very difficult to reach  The Agency cited these characteristics as the
         primary reason for rejecting soil decontamination.  The site is too difficult for
         people to reach, and infrequent exposure means low health risks. Besides, the
         ROD notes, if someone falls in the  swamp they'll immediately clean off the
         toxic muck, thereby removing any  risk.  Similarly the contaminated
         groundwater presents no risk because no one drinks it.
              The  community, of course, wanted the contaminated soil removed,
         and the groundwater  pumped and  treated. They distrusted the effectiveness
         of promised site security, because of the area's isolation. They expressed the
         concern that their drinking water could become contaminated  by the plume
         of toxics, particularly, if expected development along a nearby highway
         disturbed the area's hydrology. They also complained that "Real Estate
         interests are telling clients everything is cleaned up", and told  EPA that "the
         area is critical for future Rhode Island water development". EPA noted that
         groundwater withdrawal rates were very low, and  that the flow was unlikely
         to change even with expected development. The Agency promised to
         monitor the groundwater.

-------
                                                                            27
      In interviews and public meetings in 1984 area residents expressed the
concern that the Pitillo family would continue to own and manage the site
and surrounding property. They asked a government agency-any agency-to
take control of the land,. EPA responded that "as a policy, EPA does not take
ownership of Superfund sites." The Agency noted, however, that it was
considering "providing funds to have an acceptable party assume ownership
of the site".  Nothing has happened since then.  Coventry's planning director,
James Finger, told me that the property's owner is still collecting rent on
some houses next to the site.1
      Finger complained about the work that EPA and the Rhode Island
Department of Environmental Management had already done on the site,
saying that they made the problem worse by crushing some of the barrels and
blowing up others, which has forced more contaminants into the
groundwater.  With that kind of work, he said, it won't be dean in 100 years.
In addition, residents have reported chemicals in the marshes 1/2 mile from
the site, so the town fears that groundwater contamination is much worse
than set forth in the ROD.  There is still, Finger told me, no schedule for
groundwater decontamination.2 He also complained that, until about six
months ago, there was terrible communication and coordination between
EPA, the state, and the town.  Things have improved now that the site
manager has remained in his job for a while, and has made a point of seeking
and maintaining contact with the town.
      Ten years ago, Finger told me, EPA declared that Picillo Farm was so
isolated that a contained hazardous waste site did not place people at risk.
Now, however, development pressures are increasing. Coventry has refused
to seize the property, fearing liability, though taxes have not been paid by
Picillo.  Last year George B. Dupont applied for a building permit to build  near
the site. The town engineer recommended that the town deny Dupont a
building permit because of the contaminated ground water. Dupont's lawyer
informed the town that it did not have the authority to refuse a permit.
Coventry therefore passed a special building moratorium, forbidding new
building permits within an 1800' radius of the Picillo Farm property line.   The
      1 Telephone  interview,  29 June  1988.
      2 This indicates a change  from the "no  action" preference set out in  the
ROD.

-------
28
         town also requires a series of groundwater tests before any new construction
         is approved within an 1800' radius beyond the area where building is
         prohibited. This moratorium is designed to halt construction until EPA
         completes a hydrology study to determine the dimensions of the
         contaminated groundwater plume. Dupont is now suing the town.
         Proposals to build eighty homes near the site await the result of his lawsuit.1
               After the site and the groundwater is finally detoxified, Finger said/ it
         and the surrounding area might be used for something like a firing range,
         but never a residential area.  Any residential development would mean that
         the groundwater would have to be tested constantly, since the geology of the
         area means that the groundwater flow is quite unpredictable.

               All of these sites were  undeveloped and marginal land, surrounded by
         rural residential or mixed-use properties.  Development pressure, however,
         increased the residential density near each of the sites, and ended the
         marginal nature of the land.  Local residents are invariably concerned  that
         their community is growing and changing at an uncontrolled rate.  Any
         potential development on a Superfund site must not only overcome health
         concerns, but also faces a  community's fear of change. Future site use,
         however, seems less controversial than the effects of EPA's cleanup actions
         on the surrounding properties, particularly where groundwater
         contamination spreads the contamination. The Agency has acknowledged
         that caps and other landfill technology cannot permanently isolate toxics
         from groundwater.  Therefore, particularly where a community faces a
         combination of rapid development and dependence on  groundwater, EPA
         may find it necessary to ensure decontamination of the  site and groundwater.
               The Superfund process appears to scar relationships between some
         communities and EPA.  Neighborhoods are angered when contaminated  sites
         are left unfenced and unrestricted during the RI/FS process. Where EPA
         plans incineration of contaminated soil and sludge, neighbors of the site fear
         the toxics will  become airborne.  The most common complaint, however, was
         of poor communications between EPA and the towns. Technical
         uncertainties, of course, may prevent EPA from giving townspeople the
               JTown of Coventry, Rhode Island, Ordinance  No.  4-88-1049;  "Building
         ban imposed  near  Coventry dump."  Providence  Journal. 24 Februry 1988.

-------
                                                                                29
precise data sought, such as the exact dimensions of a contaminated
ground water plumed  Unknowns may be easier to deal with, however, if a
community feels that it is working with EPA instead of being a helpless
spectator. The Technical Assistance Grant program is a good instrument, but
the Agency must be willing to work with the town and state to coordinate site
investigation, institutional controls,  cleanup, and monitoring.2  This is
critical where development pressures have created a sense of insecurity in
communities.

                            Industrial  Areas
      Sites in industrial areas appear to generate less controversy than
residential zones. This may be because pollution is an acknowledged
byproduct of industrial production, and such sites have always been off-limits
to residential development. Towns isolate industrial zones from residential
areas., and usually housing nearest industries is the lowest quality in town.
In rural areas industries may own such large pieces of property that
contaminated sites are far removed from residences and other businesses.  In
many cases, as long as no one faces an immediate health threat, industrial
pollution is seen as nasty but necessary. When a contaminated site threatens
the immediate health or welfare of the community, however, controversy
explodes. In all cases towns tend to be more tolerant of containing instead  of
treating toxics in industrial areas than they would be of similar actions in
residential or  developing areas.

Chemical Control Corporation;  Elizabeth,  New Jersey.
      The Chemical Control Corporation operated from 1970 to 1978 as an
industrial (i.e., hazardous)  waste treatment, storage, and disposal facility.
Throughout its operation Chemical Control had been cited for various
      1 Martha Bailey, involved with both the  KES and Ottati and Goss site,
complained that the KES site  may not  be clean for a century.  "EPA does not
outline the depth, shape and  size of ground water aquifers  so  no  one knows
where [or when]  clean  water will be  available."  Questionaire,  8 June 1988.
      2Citizen activist  Martha Bailey said  that her  organization would only be
satisfied  if  they  were "part of all design,  implementation, testing, and  [could]
approve   all  cleanup  methods."

-------
30
         pollution violations; in 1977 an illegal dumping incident at the site led to the
         jailing of the owner. The property consists of 2.2 acres alongside the Elizabeth
         River, across from Staten Island, in an area long dominated by heavy
         petrochemical  industries.  Densely populated neighborhoods are directly
         across the river from the facility, which had been destroyed by fire in April
         1980.  Before the fire the state had removed most of the stored toxics and some
         of the contaminated soil, covered the site with one to three feet of gravel, and
         put a  security fence around the property.
               EPA found the soil, groundwater, and river sediments badly
         contaminated  with VOCs  (TCE, PCE, DCE, and benzene) and PCBs.  The
         Elizabeth River and groundwater were so badly polluted from the vast array
         of industries in the area that EPA decided to treat the water or sediments. The
         Agency projected that excavating and transporting soil posed high health
         risks,  and found the site too small to install an incinerator. EPA therefore
         picked an in-situ solidification/fixation process to contain  the toxics. 1
               The Agency has been criticized for picking  a treatment which failed
         under similar circumstances. The criticism has come from the local press and
         officials, and environmental and Congressional "watchdogs"^.  Residents of
         the area have shown little interest in the RI/FS process for this very
         dangerous site. The apathy may be because the state had already removed all
         visible toxics from the site, or because the past problems (the many civil
         citations, criminal  conviction and jailing of the owner, and the terrible fire)
         made current issues seem trivial. The heavy petrochemical industries
         alongside the site may have lessened the importance of remaining site
         contamination. EPA acknowledged surrounding land use when it decided
         not to treat the groundwater or river sediments.   Residents silently
         acknowledged the same situation by failing to comment on the  Agency's
         actions. The combination of past circumstances and long-term land uses
               ]The present-worth  cost of this treatment is estimated  at  $7.425.000.
               2"Right Train," p. 30.  The OTA, in "Cleaning Up,"  noted that there was
         "an  unusal interest in the  RIFS and ROD process  in reusing  the [Chemical
         Control]  site and  constructing something  on  it, despite the uncertainty  of  the
         selected  cleanup, despite  the contaminated materials to remain  onsite,  and
         despite the  other nearby  sources  of contamination."(p.  25)   I found, however,
         little indication  of future land use in the ROD.

-------
                                                                             31
meant that the limited cleanup picked for Chemical Control, though
criticized by some, had little social or economic effect on the community.
Sodyeco; Charlotte,  Mecklenburg County,  North  Carolina.
      By comparison, Sodyeco is a huge industrial "park" of 1300 acres,
forming a buffer between the rural Mecklenburg Country and the industrial
section of Mount Holly City across the Catawba River. About twenty to thirty
people live within a quarter-mile of the site, which is only 20% developed.
Sodyeco, a division of Sandoz Chemicals since 1983, is one of the area's largest
employers, producing a variety of petrochemical products. The factory had
manufactured dyestuffs since 1936, landfilling wastes on the site.  Sandoz, as
the responsible party, produced the RI/FS for the EPA, and found high levels
of TCE, PCE, DCE, benzene, toluene, and xylene.  EPA decided to treat
different areas of the site in different ways: part capped with asphalt, part
treated in-situ, and part excavated and incinerated off-site.  Groundwater will
be pumped and treated.!
      Local residents had few comments on the RI/FS.  Community concern
about Sodyeco had been high  in the 1960s when the company burned solvents
outside the plant. Sodyeco terminated open-air burning in the late 60s, and
controversy about the plant ended with it.  No one objected to Sandoz
carrying out the study, and—other than two questions about potential private
well contamination—no one questioned either  the study or the cleanup
chosen by EPA. The site is, of course, both industrial and undeveloped, and is
therefore both isolated and already established as marginal property. Sodyeco
is also the largest employer in the area, and Sandoz seems to have made an
acceptable effort to remedy a situation the corporation did not create.  These
circumstances appear to have minimized the social and economic effects of
the contamination upon  the community.

Industriplex;  Woburn,  Massachusetts.
      Vastly different from both Sodyeco and Chemical Control Corporation
is the Industriplex site about thirty miles north of Boston. The site includes
      1 Cleanup costs are projected to  be $2.089 to 3.86S  million.

-------
32
         245 acres, and is about 3/4s of a mile from residential neighborhoods.
         Various industries since 1853 have buried nearly every industrial by-product
         known to man, including wastes from the manufacture of glue (animal hides
         and carcasses), sulfuric acid, arsenic insecticides, acetic acid, munitions, and
         organic chemicals.  These materials were discarded in wetlands, lagoons, and
         as construction material on the site. After the lowlands were filled in 1934,
         the piles of wastes reached nearly forty feet tall.
               A developer excavating and grading part of the site for a new industrial
         park in 1979 disturbed large stacks of buried animal hides, releasing strong
         hydrogen sulfide gases.  The resulting infamous "Woburn  odor" generated a
         stack of lawsuits and restraining orders, which the developer ignored.  The
         glue wastes were removed and stacked in a small pond on the northern edge
         of the site, 40' tall, and 250' by 100'. The state environmental agency and EPA
         have, since 1980, sprayed a temporary latex cap across an exposed arsenic and
         lead deposit, and fenced the site to reduce human contact with  the
         contaminated soil.  Most of the hazardous waste is  in the western 100 acres,
         and includes approximately one million y3 of soil  contaminated with not
         only decaying animal carcasses, but also metals1 and VOCs (including
         benzene and toluene).
               EPA decided to install a permeable cap over certain areas after soils and
         sludges were graded, and surface water, which is not used, will be monitored.
         RCRA post-closure regulations will be followed.  "Hot spots" in the
         contaminated groundwater plume will be pumped, air stripped, and
         discharged. To cut down on air pollution, the pile of animal carcasses will be
         stabilized, an impermeable synthetic membrane cap installed, air emissions
         from the cap filtered, and the air monitored.^  This treatment is far from
         decontamination of the toxics stored at Industriplex.
               The ROD notes that the "site development issue is one of serious
         community concern."  As the RI/FS process unfolded, conflict erupted
         between those who wanted to push industrial development-City of Wobum,
         surrounding communities, Chamber of Commerce—and the majority of the
               1  Arsenic (avg. 228 ppm, up to 30,800 ppm). lead (avg  1,263 pm, up  to
         54.400 ppm), chromium  (avg. 718  ppm, up to 80,600  ppm)
               2Estimated capital costs are $12.6 million, plus O & M of $285,000 to
         $311.000.

-------
                                                                             33
members of the citizens advisory committee, who opposed any development
of the site.  A federal consent decree had been issued requiring cleanup of the
site before any development. All parties raised questions about responsibility
for site closure and post-closure activities. Commenters were particularly
concerned about who would determine when EPA's action was completed,
who would oversee closure, and how monitoring and the enforcement of
compliance with site restrictions would  be accomplished. The Agency
answered all of these questions in the ROD, but declared it too soon to address
the issue of post-closure monitoring and restriction enforcement. Given the
history of the site, and  continued trespass in some of the most contaminated
areas, that question was probably critical to the community.
      Unlike the Sodyeco site, residents distrusted the RI/FS done by
Stauffer, the responsible party.  EPA rejected several of Stauffer's
recommendations, deciding on stricter standards. The CAC wanted more
control of the actual cleanup and post-closure operations. They wanted to
review specific remedial design plans, and any plans for monitoring the site
for which Stauffer had responsibility. They also asked that Stauffer's 15-year
monitoring plan include a process which allowed the CAC to review
proposals to alter the site, with the filing of annual reports by the monitoring
party to provide details on maintenance, security, and any alterations of the
site.
      The community  showed great  concern about future site development.
The CAC asked that the piles of animal  carcasses be completely restricted from
any development, use, or alteration after the completion of remediation
work.  EPA received other requests to ban future development of those areas.
The Agency, however,  replied that such restrictions are "unnecessary and not
warranted. The  Agency believes that portions of the Site may be developed in
some limited fashion so that the effectiveness of the implemented remedial
action is not compromised. The Agency proposes to control future site
development through the use of institutional controls."1  The CAC also
suggested that the federal government  acquire sealed site areas and turn the
      1 Industriplex  ROD p. A-2S-27.

-------
34
         title over to the City of Wobum, but EPA did not reply to this idea.1  The
         community seemed most concerned about the source of the infamous
         "Wobum order", and obviously had been badly shaken by the developer's
         disregard of court and government agency orders.

         Renora  Inc.; Edison  Township, Middlesex County/ New  Jersey.
               From 1978 to 1982, Renora Inc. operated a hazardous substance
         transportation, storage, and disposal facility at a one acre site alongside the
         New Jersey Turnpike.  During that time, the town and state cited Renora for
         numerous violations of health and safety laws. After Renora abandoned the
         site, Federal and state investigations revealed that the soil and groundwater
         was contaminated, primarily with PCBs and polycydic aromatic hydrocarbons
         (PAHs), but also with VOCs and heavy metals (including lead).  EPA decided
         to excavate PCB-contaminated soils and treat them off-site, and biodegrade
         PAH-contaminated soils using the groundwater as an irrigation medium in
         the process.^
               Renora is in a light industry zone, next to welding, machinery, and
         electric supply stores, and an auto repair shop.  Within 2000' of the site is a
         residential  zone with a  nursery school, a senior citizens' center, and an
         apartment  complex. The Renora ROD is unique in that it contains an
         endangerment assessment for different uses of the site. The ROD estimates
         cancer risks for light industrial use and for residential use of the
         contaminated land.3  Potential land use is considered with each remediation
         alternative. Most alternatives specify "future light industrial uses", but EPA
               ]This request, noted in  the Industriplex ROD on  p. A-24, indicates  that
         the CAC  and the City did not  disagree on the issue of site development, as the
         ROD stated  earlier on p. A-4.
               2EPA has estimated that the  present worth  of  the  remediation  costs will
         be between  $1,401.000 (if the  PCB-laden soil is  landfilled) and $6,021,000  (if the
         soil  is incinerated).
               3"Estimation of risks to workers associated  with  this [light  industrial]
         exposure  scenario  indicates that the  potential excess cancer  risks  are  1  x 10""
         and 1 x  10*4  for  the  average and  plausible maximum  scenarios  respectively."
         With residential  development, those risks would rise to 2 x 10*3 and 1 x 10"3.
         Renora ROD. p.  19.

-------
                                                                             35
noted that, if the preferred alternative is successful, land uses for the Renora
site "should  be almost unrestricted".
      John Grun, the Health Officer for Edison Township, expressed some
doubts about EPA's ability to completely decontaminate the area, "because the
site boundaries are sometimes viewed bureaucratically in terms of block, or
lot, and not necessarily as they should in terms of pathways of migration of
contaminants."  He also criticized the state and national politics involved
with the site. New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection created
a "media blitz" about toxics at the site, but lacked "the intention or money to
see the project through."  In addition, "the community was thrilled to see
removal of leaky drums and soil, and was dumbfounded to see recent attacks
on [EPA's] remediation by [Congress's] Office of Technology Assessment!"
The recent report on Superfund  by environmental groups also criticized EPA
for failing to remediate lead contamination at Renora. 1 Despite these
problems, Grun felt that EPA "can and does function effectively when it is
permitted to give real control to  [the] site managers." 2
      EPA characterized  public involvement as "relatively limited", though
local officials and the press have been quite concerned about Renora.  During
the comment period one local official requested guidance from EPA about
potential land  uses for the site, and asked for that information in writing.
The Agency promised that the ROD would contain this information.  Mr.
Grun believes  that EPA's  plans will allow commercial or industrial use of the
Renora site.  He noted that "a park, shopping center, store, or industry, is
acceptable. The areas [Renora and another nearby Superfund site] are now
used by industries and I see no good reason why  it cannot continue."

Wai dick  Aerospace  Devices;  Wall  Township,  New  Jersey.
      Waldick is an inactive industrial facility located along an industrial-
commercial corridor, Highway 35, that separates largely undeveloped land on
the west from  developed  land on the east.  An uncontaminated building on
the north side  of the site is now  used as a retail outlet for plumbing supplies.
Across the highway from Waldick are two automobile dealerships. A nursery
school is just south of the site. Most of the area contains woodland,
      1 "Right Train." pp.  44-45.
      2Letter from  Mr. John Grun. 5  July 1988.

-------
36
         agricultural plots, and scattered residences.  The state and EPA found that the
         site had contaminated soil, groundwater, surface water, and stream
         sediments, polluted with metals (chromium, cadmium, nickel, lead, and
         zinc) and VOCs (TCE, Bis [2-ethylhexyl] phthalate, and PCE).
               The first ROD, signed in September 1987, dealt only with removing the
         source of contamination by treating soils. EPA and the state chose to
         decontaminate and remove toxic residuals from Waldick by air stripping all
         contaminated soils to reduce VOC levels, excavating and disposing off-site all
         residuals and metal-contaminated soils above the cleanup goals projected for
         the site, and decontaminating or demolishing the remaining buildings.  Site
         fencing, well restrictions, and a comprehensive monitoring program with
         additional  test wells were also part of the remediation chosen.1 Any re-use of
         the site must await treatment of other contaminated media.
               Residents of the township  and Monmouth County were very involved
         with  this site. A public meeting in December 1985 drew about 100
         participants. Additional comments were received in July and August 1987.
         Residents had few complaints about  EPA's  remediation decision. Most
         comments  focused on the effects of the site on nearby property, particularly
         because of the delay for ground and  surface water remediation.  Businessmen
         were worried that the site affected their trade, and also expressed  concern that
         owners of nearby properties might be held liable for any harm to individuals
         caused by migration of toxics. Users  of private wells for irrigation asked to
         have their wells tested for possible contamination.
               Residents expressed little opposition  to post-remediation use of the
         site.  One person  asked if the site was securely fenced with public access
         restricted; EPA confirmed this. Another resident asked about demolition of
         the contaminated buildings; EPA responded that decontamination might
         suffice, and that "EPA's responsibility is to maximize the potential for re-use
         of Superfund sites."2 Another wanted EPA's assurance that the area would
         be completely cleaned up, and EPA responded that the site would receive
         exhaustive testing.  During the comment period, EPA received information
         that a housing development was being constructed near the site.  EPA's
         response noted their surprise at this  development, but noted that local,
               ]The estimated net present worth of capital costs and O/M is $3.120,603.
               2Waldick Aerospace  ROD, Community Relations Plan, p. 7.

-------
                                                                               37
county, and state officials had imposed a number of zoning restrictions on the
area around the site. The Agency looked into it, and found that the building
was upgradient of the Waldick site and met all flood control requirements.
      Local officials expect redevelopment of the site after EPA completes its
work.  The Monmouth County Public Health Coordinator wrote that Waldick
"will probably be used for light manufacturing by [the] present owners."  The
site is zoned industrial /commercial, and since the area is "saturated with
shopping centers...light industry is the logical choice." .  Currently a light
metal fabrication facility operated on the site, and he expected that use to
continue.  He characterized public concern as "limited", and noted that the
site was not adjacent to residential areas and that the surrounding property
was owned by the company that held title to Waldick. He did not feel that a
different remediation plan would have changed his opinion of site
redevelopment, and trusted EPA's judgement of the cleanup work.  The only
significant issue for the community, he wrote, was "identification and
damage assessment of [the] 'responsible party'."!

Brio Refining;  Harris County,  Texas.
      The 58.1 acre site, located twenty miles from Houston, operated as a
petrochemical waste recovery facility and petrochemical production plant
between 1957 and 1982.  About 500,000 to 700,000 y3 of soil on the site, is
contaminated with very high levels of various VOCs, including DCE,
methylene chloride, toluene, chlorobenzene, and TCE. EPA decided upon
destruction of toxics m all soils that pose a health risk, choosing infra-red
incineration unless the aqueous-phase biodegradation proposed by PRPs is
first proven effective at the site.
      Unlike the other industrial Superfund sites, the area near Brio
Refining is heavily populated. Several subdivisions, a junior college, an
elementary school, and a hospital are located within a half-mile of Brio.
Within a mile of site the population (in 1985) is 5,751; within four miles
reside 71,000.  When determining the cleanup methodology, EPA projected
      'This material  is from  a  questionaire  completed by  Lester W. Jargowsky.
M.P.H..  Public Health Coordinator.  The Monmouth Country  Board of Health,
Freehold, New Jersey.

-------
38
         that the site would remain "a secured industrial facility" in the future.*  As a
         result, EPA and local residents disagreed on how extensive treatment should
         be.  The community asked that "all measurable amounts of affected soils
         found on soil should be treated.  EPA, however, proposed to treat "only
         affected materials and soils that pose a health threat." As a result, "some
         measurable amounts of contaminants will remain on site, however, deed
         restrictions will be imposed and site access will be controlled."  The ROD did
         not specify the nature of those restrictions.
               Residents also expressed concerns about a  decline in property values,
         and a halt to economic development in the area, if complete
         decontamination was not accomplished.  The only remedy gaining the
         consensus of  the community was off-site disposal, with all measurable
         contaminants removed.  In what it saw as an effort to meet community
         concerns, the Agency asked "any settling party" to look at "creative design and
         landscaping ideas, in cooperation with local residents, that might reduce any
         adverse economic impact the site might have on the  area and enhance the
         aesthetics of the site."  The ROD declared that any more expensive solutions
         "which account for local property values and economic development" lay
         outside EPA authority and must be paid for by the state.
               As in other sites, controversy grew out of the effects of EPA's treatment
         decision, not  on the site itself, but upon the surrounding community. Efforts
         to "enhance the aesthetics of the site" may be useful.  The neighborhood,
         however, needs to be assured not only that contamination from the site will
         not reach their homes, but also that the site will not be accessible to either
         future intensive uses or open to children. If complete decontamination of
         the site could not be accomplished, a precise plan of institutional land use
         controls should have been developed with the CAC and set forth  in the ROD.
               1 "Using  a trespass  exposure scenario,  which  assumed that  the site  would
         remain  a secured  industrial  facility,  target  removal and  treatment  levels  for
         selected  chemicals  were developed.  These target levels were based on a 10" 6
         increased cancer  risk for  carcinogens and on  an  acceptable  chronic daily
         intake for non-carcinogens.   The  endangerment  assessment  also  examined an
         unrestricted  access ^exposure  scenario  which  indicated  that greater  volumes  of
         affected  materials and soil  would have to  be  treated should exposure to the site
         increase."

-------
                                                                              39
      Like sites in developing residential areas, post-remediation use of
industrial Superfund sites will be shaped by public perceptions of the property
and its effects on the commonweal.  Industrial use of a site with isolated
wastes, such as Sodyeco, appears to generate little controversy, particularly
when that property (and the toxics it contains) is far from residential areas.
Sandoz's efforts at Sodyeco, and their operating record for the past two
decades, also appear to have eased continued use of the site. New industrial
developments on old sites, with the disruption and alterations of the land,
represent more of a threat to the surrounding community.  The primary goal
of many Woburn residents was a permanent ban on any use of those parts of
Industriplex where the animal carcasses were buried. Communities do not
object to the reuse of a Superfund site, but insist that EPA ensure toxics
cannot spread through air, water, or soil to the surrounding residential areas.
Residents near  the Brio Refining site did  not challenge  EPA's assumption
-that the site could be reused as a "secured industrial facility". The community
did seek a more complete  scouring of the site, primarily to ensure the purity
of surrounding properties. At both Industriplex and Brio Refining residents
needed detailed descriptions of institutional controls or limitations on the
future use of those sites from EPA. EPA appeared  to gain credibility when it
examined post-remediation land uses in the ROD,  as it did at Renora.

                         Undeveloped  Areas
      Many Superfund sites, particularly in the south, are located in sparsely
populated rural areas where development pressures do  not exist.  Often land
near the sites is used for recreation, particularly hunting, and fishing. The
lack of both development  pressures and an activist local government can
blunt the perceived socio-economic effects of a Superfund site.  Yet
anticipated development,  or a community's dependence upon  endangered
resources, can make the cleanup of unused land a sensitive issue.

Cleve  Reber;  Ascension  Parish,  Louisiana.
      The 24.6 acre site between Baton Rouge and  New Orleans was used as a
municipal and industrial waste landfill between 1970 and 1974.  East and
south of the site is swamp land with dense vegetation.  North and west the
land is sparsely settled with some agriculture.  Contaminants, primarily

-------
40
         hexachlorobenzene and TCE, have been found in a shallow aquifer under the
         site and could threaten surface water since the site lies in the 100-year flood
         plain. Area residents draw their water from a deeper aquifer, separated from
         the contaminated groundwater plume by 220' of clay.
               When EPA held the first public meeting in June 1985, the Agency had
         not found any contamination of the shallow unused aquifer, considered the
         site an impervious  natural vault, and therefore proposed simply capping the
         toxics.  After discovering the aquifer contamination, however, the Agency
         decided to incinerate all toxic wastes onsite and cap the residuals. Since the
         aquifer is not used, and destruction of the  toxics will remove the source of
         contaminants, groundwater will  be monitored but not treated.  The entire site
         will be monitored for thirty years.  EPA did not propose site restrictions or
         other institutional  controls.
               Residents, including the local environmental group Save Our Selves,
         opposed the initial EPA capping  proposal, and asked that the toxics be
         completely removed from the site and put elsewhere. After EPA changed its
         recommendation, questions and comments on the thermal destruction
         remedy focused on the potential effects of incineration  Potential drinking
         water contamination does not seem to have been an issue. No land use
         issues were raised in either the public meeting or during the comment
         period.  Public reaction to EPA's selection of cleanup remedies was quite
         different from that  which occurred at the Geiger site in South Carolina.

         Geiger (C&M  Oil); Charleston County,  South  Carolina.
               The five acre site was permitted between 1969 and 1971 as a waste oil
         incineration  operation.  Eight unlined lagoons were constructed by Adams
         Run Services, Inc. to hold oil.  After public complaints that oil overflowed
         from the lagoons, the state ordered the site closed. C&M Oil purchased all the
         reclaimable oil in 1974, but decided not to recover the oil.  The site was
         purchased in 1982 by George Geiger, who filled in the lagoons with local soils,
         and uses the site to store equipment for his company, Pile Drivers, Inc. The
         Remedial Investigation found high levels  of VOCs (including TCE, toluene,
         and benzene), lead, chromium, and mercury in the soil and groundwater.
         EPA chose on-site thermal destruction of contaminated soils, chemical

-------
                                                                                 41
fixation of residuals and metals, and extraction and decontamination of the
groundwater plumed
      The Geiger site is located about ten miles west of Charleston, South
Carolina, in a sparsely populated area four miles from the small town of
Hollywood. About ten residences are located adjacent to the property, and
several small businesses are about a half-mile away along Highway 162.
Forests, wetlands, and some agricultural lands surround the site. The nearby
marsh and estuary streams are critical habitats supporting several endangered
species.
      The residences in the area  get their drinking water from private wells.
The state  environmental agency had recommended in 1985 that those  using
groundwater find another water  source. The RI/FS, however, found that the
levels of contaminants in the wells met federal guidelines (MGLs). Yet the
document also projected that the contaminated groundwater plume could
threaten the habitat of endangered species in ten to fifteen years. Local
officials and citizens dashed with EPA representatives at public hearings
about the contaminated well water. Residents, hoping that EPA would help
obtain an alternative water  supply, objected to animals receiving more
consideration than humans.2 They also asked EPA to test more of the wells
downgradient from the site, instead of relying upon a projection of the
      1 Total present worth cost of EPA's remediation decision is estimated  at
about $8  million.   The  recent environmental  coalition report  on Superfund
presented the Geiger ROD  as  an example of  the "successful implementation  of
the remedy  selection process"."Right  Train,"  pp. 35-36.
      2lronically,  while  EPA  is critcized by  environmental groups for
neglecting  the  risk to ecosystems posed by loxic wastes ("Right Train," pp.  64-
70),  the residents of Charleston County were  upset  when  EPA  addressed this
issue.   "True, you  have  endangered species,  but when you put endangered
species,  like  bald-headed eagles, above human  lives,  these children and  these
people have  to  drink this water,  which  they have been told is  not  safe to drink.
They have to haul water 1500 feet,  and you're putting all of this and  their  need
for a bald-headed  eagle... I think somewhere  the human  element is far more -
You're  talking  endangered  species when  we're talking  humans  here." Geiger
ROD. p.  16.

-------
42
         plume's size. The conflict between the advice given by the state agency and
         EPA's findings generated suspicion and alarm among residents.
               EPA stated that its remedy would remove all risk of human and
         environmental  contact with toxics, allowing the current land use (storage of
         construction equipment) to continue. The Agency did not examine whether
         residential development on the site would change this risk assessment, but
         ruled out the need for long term maintenance or institutional controls. The
         Mayor of Hollywood, Lela Dickerson, objected to the current and proposed
         controls for the site. "The Geiger Site is not fenced in nor is the area
         designated as a Hazardous Waste Site...this should be done. I feel that the
         deeds of this property should be restricted to allow limited use and should
         never be allowed to be used as residential area."  Mayor Dickerson was
         particularly concerned that the property had changed owners three times
         since 1969.1 Local residents, represented by Mayor Dickerson, EPA's primary
         contact, had been given conflicting advice, and distrusted outside agencies.

         Palmetto  Wood  Preserving;  Dixiana,  South  Carolina.
               Palmetto Wood Preserving is a 5-acre wood-preserving facility that
         operated between 1963 and 1985.  The company used products which included
         arsenic, copper, chromium, and pentachlorophenol compounds. After the
         state received several complaints about green liquid coming from the  site
         during heavy rainfall, an investigation found high concentrations of
         chromium in the site's soil. The state also found high levels of chromium
         and copper in a private well near the site. "EPA decided to excavate and flush
         soils on-site, extract, filter and treat the groundwater, and to provide an
         alternate water supply for the residences with contaminated wells.2 The ROD
         gives little information about the area around the site.  At a public meeting in
         August 1987 local residents "seemed to favor treatment of ground water and
         soil flushing of contaminated soil".3 Perhaps because this was also EPA's
         choice, no comments were received by the agency after the meeting. There is
               1 Letter to Chief of the Remedial  Action Section, EPA Region IV.  16
         January 1987, made pan of the ROD (p. D-5).
               2The estimated capital  cost of the remedy at Palmetto is $1,393,000.  with
         an  annual O/M  of $176,163.
               ^Palmetto Wood ROD. p. 37.

-------
                                                                               43
no evidence that land use issues, or controversy about the effect of
remediation upon the community, emerged at Palmetto Wood.

Lowry  Landfill;  Aurora, Colorado.
      Anticipated growth can turn even undeveloped areas into
controversial Superfund sites.  The Lowry Landfill site contains 400 acres, and
is part of a 2700-acre municipal waste landfill owned by Denver.1  The City of
Aurora, north of the site, is considering annexing properties south and west
of the site, which is projected to be the city's future center.  In addition, a
recently approved international airport will be built nearby, and the highway
east of the site will become both the primary route between the airport and
Denver and part of a new Beltway around the metropolis.  Aurora's and
Arapahoe County's  Comprehensive Land Use Plans anticipate commercial
and dense residential development around  the site, and the highway is
expected to generate commercial development extending a half mile into the
Superfund site.  The City of Denver continues landfilling municipal waste at
the north  end of the property.2
      Like Coventry with the Picillo site, "uncertainty about health-related
risks" led  Aurora to  prohibit all development within a one-mile radius of the
Lowry site until the contamination is pinpointed or stabilized.  Carol
Maclennon, Chairperson of Aurora's Lowry Task Force, and who  works for
the Aurora Cry Manager's Office, told me that the area is largely
undeveloped now.  "Because of the recent  severe downturn in Denver's
economy, there is no current pressure for actual development. Nevertheless,
area landowners indicate that because of Aurora's ordinance, they have
already suffered economic impacts in the millions of dollars due to lost
opportunities for the sale of their properties. If the selected remedy  for the
site supports the maintenance of a significant buffer around Lowry, economic
      ]The Lowry  ROD has  yet to be published, but the  initial  site  information
update  issued in June 1988  indicated a very complex contamination problem
due to  the geology  of the site,  the types and volumes of wastes  discarded there,
and the  disposal  practices at  Lowry.   EPA  Region  VII, Superfund  Program,
"Lowry  Landfill Information Update No. 1,"  (June  1988).
      ^Letter  from  Carol  Maclennon,  Chairperson. Aurora  Lowry  Landfill
Superfund  Taskforce,  21  June 1988.

-------
44
         impacts will accrue in the form of foregone development opportunities to the
         private sector and tax revenues to the City." In addition, a new $33 million
         high school has not yet opened due to a slower than projected population
         growth in the area near the landfill, and a parent's group has formed to
         oppose opening the school.*
              These circumstances indicate that both the speed and thoroughness of
         EPA's cleanup decision will be subject to great public scrutiny. Madennon
         feels that the issue of greatest significance to the community will be the risk
         from  VOCs released during air-stripping.  "The public is aware that ambient
         air monitoring is an imprecise science and fears both (1) that detection of
         contaminants will be difficult and (2) that  EPA will allow exposure to unsafe
         levels of airborne contaminants simply because the health effects of long-
         term, low level exposure to these compounds have simply not been
         identified and quantified. "2

              Groundwater contamination seems the primary concern in
         undeveloped areas.  At Geiger it  seemed that any level of toxics— even levels
         meeting EPA's MGL standards- were unacceptable.  The situation was
         exacerbated by conflicting evidence in the ROD; contaminated groundwater
         was projected to endanger eagles  but dismissed as too  low to affect humans.
         Advice from a state agency which conflicted with that  given by EPA
         assessment also seemed to discredit EPA's .assessment.  Undeveloped rural
         areas are particularly sensitive to groundwater contamination because their
         private wells cannot, as a practical matter,  be regularly tested.  At Cleve Reber,
         the evidence consistently showed a thick layer of clay between the
         contaminated unused shallow aquifer and the deep aquifer used by residences
         in the area. This seems to have eliminated the groundwater  contamination
         issue.  EPA also demonstrated  concern for keeping drinking water pure when
         the Agency changed its remediation strategy after finding that the unused
         shallow aquifer contained toxics from the  site.
              Post-remediation use of Superfund  sites does not seem as sensitive an
         issue  in undeveloped areas as  in  developing  residential communities.  At the
         same time, EPA should seek to meet a town's desire for land use restrictions,
              ilbid.

-------
                                                                            45
particularly if the Agency mentions a specific land use in connection with the
remediation strategy. For example, the Geiger ROD mentioned that the
cleanup chosen would allow the current storage of construction equipment at
the site to continue.  Yet EPA in the same document ruled out institutional
controls to maintain that use, a decision which drew strong protests from the
town's mayor.  Anticipated development may lead a community to ban new
construction near the site until the town is reassured that the site does not
threaten surrounding properties.  Such moratoriums have been instituted in
Aurora, which sees the likelihood of rapid growth around Lowry Landfill, as
well as in Middle Township, Cape May County, N.J., (Williams Property) and
Coventry, R.I.  (Picillo Farm) where development is a more immediate issue.

-------
46
                                           IV
                   Superfund.  Communities,  and  Land  Use  Issues

               Too few cleanups have been completed to permit an analysis of post-
         remediation use of Superfund sites. In addition, EPA has not tracked the use
         of the sites which have been deleted from the NPL.  EPA has recently asked to
         declare its remediation work complete at several sites and drop them from
         the NPL. SARA requires EPA to re-evaluate sites deleted from the NPL,
         where contaminants were left, at least once every five years.l The Agency
         should, in addition,  track the use of all sites after Superfund remediation
         work is completed.  Information gathered will not only indicate what land
         use can be expected  at contaminated sites, but would also show how
         communities perceive EPA's work.  Tracking sites would also be another
         illustration that EPA cares about the concerns of communities which had
         been subjected to toxic contamination.
               Superfund sites in developing areas are particularly controversial.
         Rapid residential development creates a Shockwave of socio-economic change
         that heightens concern about the community.  Increasing demands on
         limited resources, particularly groundwater, leads a community to carefully
         guard what they have. Distress about growth is intensified when a Superfund
         site is found in the town.  Property owners near the site, who may have
         hoped to sell their land for profit, find their property less valuable than that
         further away from the site.  Towns may even ban development within a half
         mile or more of a Superfund site.  Newcomers, who may have moved to the
         area to escape the unhealthy city, are outraged to find an unexpected toxic
         threat in their pristine country home.
               Residents of developing areas are thus more  likely to seek as complete
         a decontamination of the Superfund site as is technologically possible. They
         will also seek the destruction of off-site contaminants, such as groundwater,
         even if not used, and pond or stream sediments.  Any on-site residuals must
         be immobilized and  their storage areas dearly bounded by a strong security
         fence. Even after obtaining these measures, a community may insist on strict
         institutional controls for the entire site.  Communities will seek
         decontamination and land use controls, not necessarily so the site can be
               1 Draft NCP, p. 143.

-------
                                                                              47
developed to its highest use, but more likely to ensure that surrounding
properties can be developed.
      Town officials and activists, already aroused by rapid development,
will seek an active role in Superfund. Their involvement is an important
factor in public  acceptance of future site use, and may even ease EPA's work at
most sites.  Citizen advisory committees, like those at Nyanza and Re-Solve,
have helped EPA achieve far better community relations than at
controversial sites where CACs haven't existed. CACs should be
institutionalized by the Agency as part of the RI/FS process.  CACs are
particularly important where residential development pressures make land
use issues an important factor in risk assessment and cleanup levels.
      Citizen advisory committees are not, of course, perfect solutions for
EPA's community relations problems. Yet such organizations could help ease
many difficulties. A site manager in Missouri told me of his experiences
working with rural communities there. One significant problem, he noted, is
that Agency representatives are urban outsiders.  He said there is physical
separation between Agency reps in suits and townfolk; the feeling of "us vs.
them" comes through even in the  most amicable of meetings.  In addition,
EPA is the accessible target since, in contrast to the PRPs, EPA invites
comments and criticisms.  A local  representative body would reduce EPA's
isolation. The Agency needs a community to feel at least partially responsible
for a cleanup decision.  EPA may be forced to occasionally make an  unpopular
decision, but a CAC would reduce this problem.
      EPA may find it useful to give the CAC control of the site for post-
remediation land use decisions.1  Giving control to the community, while
possibly creating some problems, will help end the sociological and
psychological problems described in the second section of this paper.
Overcoming those problems could be the key to redevelopment of a
Superfund site after EPA leaves the area.  If insufficient public interest exists
for a CAC, or the CAC does not wish to control the use of the site, then EPA
could institute necessary control.
      'The CAC could be set up as a quasi-government corporation, or
whatever  legal  status is necessary  to gain control  over  the use of the  site
without  facing   the  liabiltiy  for any  remaining contaminants.

-------
48
               Few Superfund sites exist in densely populated areas; those that do-
         like Chemical Control Corporation in Elizabeth, New Jersey—are in industrial
         zones that have long-standing reputations of endangering human health and
         the environment.  Cleanup strategies are best undertaken with the entire
         zone as a target. This will be a very long and expensive process, but can be
         done as part of land  use planning to involve the community in cleanup
         decisions. Individual sites need to be cleaned to below background levels in
         order to begin decontamination of the industrial zone.  It is very unlikely,
         however, that communities will use Superfund sites in badly contaminated
         industrial zones for any use other than heavy industries or for parking lots.
               Communities appear to accept isolation of wastes, instead of
         decontamination, at sites located in industrial zones. Industrial areas are
         generally accepted  as sources of pollution; zoning  invariably places industry
         in marginal areas far from residences. In undeveloped locations industries
         may own huge tracts of property, effectively isolating toxics from neighboring
         areas. As long as human health or important resources are not endangered,
         industrial pollution is perceived as somewhat inevitable. Re-use of
         contaminated industrial sites is more acceptable than development of
         Superfund sites in  residential areas.  Where a threat is perceived, however, as
         in Woburn, communities will insist on an active  role in remediation and
         land use decisions. In such cases EPA should, as in residential areas, set up a
         CAC empowered to control post-remediation use  of the site.
               If law or regulations do not allow a CAC to control site use, then EPA
         should specify in the ROD precisely what kind of institutional controls will be
         used in remediation.  In particular, if land use restrictions are part of EPA's
         plan, the ROD should state what restrictions will be imposed. Residents are
         often concerned that  owners of the property may try to avoid responsibility
         for cleaning up the site, and then sell the property after EPA and the state
         complete the cleanup. Aside from the moral issue of making a profit based
         on work taxpayers paid for, the community is worried that the owner will sell
         or use the land for an irresponsible use. This is an important issue at the
         Picillo Farm site, as well as at McKin in Maine.
               Other actions by  EPA during the Superfund process could ease
         community relations and facilitate consideration of post-remediation use of a
         site.  Sites ought to be fenced immediately after the preliminary assessment
         indicates the general area(s)  of contamination. Barriers can provide

-------
                                                                             49
important psychological protection for people living in the surrounding area,
as shown by the generally low-key reaction to secluded industrial sites.
Fences should be authorized under emergency action regulations and not
await remediation of the site.
      Finally, EPA should be aware that the fear of air pollution from
hazardous waste incineration is widespread. Ms. Maclennon at Lowry
addressed this problem, and similar fears were expressed by respondents at
other sites. Martha Bailey in New Hampshire voiced considerable anger
when a visitor to Ottati and Goss reported air monitors were not operating.
Fear of incineration may die down as a favorable record of the technology is
established, but this community reaction must be anticipated by the Agency.
Anticipated air pollution is, of course, an effect of a cleanup level upon the
surrounding community, and anxiety about that remediation method could
worsen a neighborhood's perception of the site.
      The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment recently criticized
EPA for failing to directly address the issue of post-remediation use of the
Superfund site. "Most RODS seem uncertain about or do not address future
land and water use in judging whether a selected remedy will be safe and
permanent.  In some cases, there is a lot of interest in reusing the land for
productive purposes...Any remedy that leaves hazardous waste in place or
caps it suggests the need for  explicit attention to future land and perhaps
groundwater use."1  The process of risk assessment implies that post-
remediation land use is considered by EPA.  EPA should make land use, both
of the site and of the surrounding area, an explicit part of the RI/FS process.
      Post-remediation land use cannot be made an objective standard  by
which to develop cleanup plans. No accepted objective standard exists  to
determine, for example, whether a community is a small town, undeveloped,
rural residential, or under development pressures.  The past, present, and
expected use of a Superfund site and surrounding properties, however,
certainly influences public perceptions of EPA's cleanup decision.
      EPA could follow the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP, 310
CMR).   The first report DEQE files about a site, the "Preliminary Assessment
Report", identifies property present, property past, and the surrounding area
as industrial, commercial, residential, agricultural, or undeveloped. This
      'OTA, "Cleaning Up?," p.  14.

-------
50
         "characterization of past and present land use nearby the location" becomes
         part of the Phase I - Limited Site Investigation (310 CMR 40.543).  Phase II, the
         Comprehensive Site Assessment (40.545), demands "identification of existing
         and reasonably foreseeable land uses" at  the site; a judgement withheld from
         EPA RODs. DEQE is required to evaluate each remedial response alternative
         in light of "reasonably foreseeable land uses at and nearby the disposal site."
         (40.546)  This information is important to all interested parties, particularly
         the neighboring community.
               Communities  do seem to respond  differently to Superfund sites in
         industrial areas  than they do to sites in residential zones. EPA should
         therefore consider making post-remediation site use part of selecting a
         cleanup level. The risk-assessment process already appears to be based upon
         land use. Explicit consideration of post-remediation land use can have two
         effects. A community may be reassured by this information, particularly if
         EPA supports an acceptable decision with a detailed plan of legal and physical
         land use controls.  If, on  the other hand,  residents object to the cleanup level
         chosen by EPA, land use issues could become the basis for either seeking a
         compromise, or providing additional measures that satisfy community
         concerns. Superfund community relations would also be improved by
         instituting citizens' advisory committees  with the power to control use of the
         sites after cleanup.

-------