No cleanup at landfill, only remediation
After reading the Our View "Wasting away in Casmalia," I wish to offer my comments. I have attended most of the public and community meetings related to this site since 1991.
The strategy has been to determine what was sent there, how much, where on site and who the responsible parties are. Overall, the Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 has been open and up front in answering the concerned communities' questions.
Even with a turnover of EPA personnel it did not "take 28 years to figure this out." When it was first determined when and what could be sent off site, it was done. As time went on, new methods were used to stabilize the five areas. Four of the five areas have since been capped along with extraction trenches in place. Both air, water and ground monitoring have been ongoing. Yes, this site has some of the most dangerous compounds, materials, liquids and solids on the face of the Earth. Everyone involved takes this project very seriously.
There are six alternatives to addressing this issue with No. 6 being the quickest, yet No. 3 appears to be the best over the long haul. An issue also is the upper and lower fractures onsite within the clay stone. A wetlands has been established to address habitat for threatened and endangered wildlife with state and federal wildlife agencies involved.
A major issue not mentioned in Our View was the time needed to form a responsible party committee that is overseeing this site, and the time needed by the EPA legal department to fund this project.
There is also a community based oversite committee. Writers should never use the term cleanup, that will never happen. The term remediate must be used. There may be some materials that should not leave this location.
Since 1991 a lot has been accomplished with much to follow. Much has been learned nationwide as to the proper handling of hazardous waste. Those of you reading my response who have grandchildren, their great-grandchildren will also have to follow this issue.
Kenneth L. Wolf