Upstate Company Plans Underground Injections Near Toxic Plume Af - WSPA.com

Upstate Company Plans Underground Injections Near Toxic Plume After Neighbors Sue

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A company plans "remediation" to handle an underground plume of chemicals that neighbors said made them sick. A company plans "remediation" to handle an underground plume of chemicals that neighbors said made them sick.
SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. - The plant is on the other side of an Interstate highway but it’s a small stream that separates the old Hoechst Celanese site from homeowners in Spartanburg’s Cannons Campground community.

Somewhere beneath the soil is an underground plume of dangerous chemicals but a federal judge will have to determine where the chloroform plume extends and whether anyone’s health was impacted.

Now, four years after a Community Watchdog Investigation first uncovered the chloroform plume, Celanese corporation took new steps to “remediate” the contamination.

According to documents obtained from the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, Celanese expected groundwater sample collection to end April 7th.

The company would then inject another solution called “sodium lactate” underground to dilute the chloroform plume.  In a letter dated April 2nd, Celanese said “The first delivery of sodium lactate is scheduled for the week of April 14th.”

“Well that's just fabulous why now?” asked former Cannon’s Campground resident Lisa Neilsen. “If there's no pollution why now? Why would they step up and do this at this moment?”

Neilsen believed the new cleanup measures resulted from a class action lawsuit filed by several Cannon’s Campground neighbors who claim they were sickened by the chloroform plume.

The original Community Watchdog Investigation was the first to document those claims in 2010.

In an email response to Community Watchdog questions, Celanese spokesman Travis Jacobsen wrote that while “concentrations of chloroform exceed regulatory levels” the community has not proven that contamination made them sick.

“The investigations have shown that the plume location does not present a danger to the community,” Jacobsen wrote.    

A federal judge will rule on Celanese Corporations motion to dismiss the class action lawsuit.  Attorneys for the plaintiff’s said they would have no comment until the judge’s ruling.
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