On Tuesday September 10th local media reported that investigation of the former Burgess-Norton plant on Nims Street in Muskegon continues to drag on. Click here to read the article. A closer look reveals a troubling, and far too common scenario…….the precise scenario Shawn Collins discussed in his most recent blog post. We have a severe contamination problem…….highly toxic cancer-causing chemicals (TCE) in an approximate mile-long plume just feet below what looks like hundreds of homes in Muskegon. The regulator, MDEQ, has known about it since at least as early as 2006, and likely before. The concentrations of chemicals exceed standards that require a comprehensive investigation to see whether there are any vapors collecting inside or under the homes. No such investigation has taken place. Key questions remain unanswered. Among others:
- Are toxic vapors from the plume in, or under, any of the homes sitting on top of the hot plume?
- When will we know?
- How long have the regulators known about the problem?
- How long has the company known?
- Why haven’t the residents been taken out of harm’s way?
- Is it safe for them to stay in their homes?
- Will they be able to sell their homes?
The polluters and regulators must come to understand that these problems are not science experiments that can drag on for decades. The people directly affected deserve immediate answers. We could have, and should have, known the answers years ago. There is no justification for further delay.