Hattiesburg’s Hercules Site joins Superfund National Priorities List
HATTIESBURG Miss. (WDAM) -What once was an area used for manufacturing in Hattiesburg, continues to pose many questions and concerns for residents.
In Thursday night’s community meeting, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the 200-acre site known as the Hercules Site has been added to the Superfund National Priorities List, which is a federal cleanup program established by Congress in 1980.
With the site now being a Superfund listing, the EPA said it will oversee investigation activities to ensure a healthy environment is the end result.
“We will go out and figure out where the data gaps are and then we will figure out what contamination is there and then where it is and that will be vertically and horizontally,” said Diedre Lloyd, remedial project manager for the Hercules Site.
The site was in operation from 1923-2008 and produced products like rosins, paints and print ink
But along with production came site contaminants, including carbon tetrachloride and benzene.
Officials say they are now looking to use different technologies to clean up the site in the fastest and safest way possible.
“It varies from digging materials up with a backhoe and taking it to an approved landfill and some of it is injection chemicals into groundwater that can help accelerate some of the degradations of some of the concentrations,” said Tim Hassett, project coordinator.
Although plans are moving forward to clean up the site, residents are wanting a change of scenery for the area.
“Maybe a park for this side,: Hattiesburg resident Jenny Ford said. “We have the McCarty Park, which is great, it’s a smaller community park, and now, with the new baseball field area, that’s been great that they have expanded.
“But to really have something, to take over a spot and become a landing spot kind of like Tatum is.”
According to the EPA, Hercules will pay all clean-up costs required to protect human health and the environment.
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