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Video: EPA, Columbus Residents Meet to Discuss Creosote Clean-up

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — Columbus residents packed the Hunt Gymnasium Monday night to express their concerns over clean up efforts at the old Kerr McGee chemical site. Representatives of both the EPA and the Department of Justice answered questions concerning the recent settlement with Kerr McGee, how it impacts cleaning up the site, and the multi-state trust.

The Columbus plant on 14th Avenue North closed in 2003. Residents emphasized chemicals from the plant are continuing to cause illness, and the clean up process is taking too long.

A resident had this to say about the meeting: “We have waited long enough to get this place clean, and they’re dragging around, telling us one story after another. And we’re tired of lies. We want action.”

“We’ve taken some samples. We’ve started the remedial investigation and feasibility study,” said a EPA representative. “That usually runs 18 to 24 months. It’ll probably takes us a couple years to get full characterization on the entire site, and then to recommend some options for a remediation plan.”

The Kerr McGee site manufactured railroad ties and timbers that were treated with creosote.