Don't draw conclusions about Beazer's remediation strategy


Published: Monday, January 17, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 16, 2005 at 9:44 p.m.
I wish to point out several distortions of fact in the comments made by government officials that Beazer East Inc., the company responsible for the environmental obligations on the Koppers portion of the Cabot Carbon/Koppers Superfund site, is not doing enough to protect the city's water source from contaminants.
Shortly after it was discovered in 2002 that the Hawthorn Group was impacted below the Koppers site, Beazer hired my company to assist them in better understanding the local geology. I am impressed by Beazer's scientific team, particularly James Mercer, Ph.D., one of the world's leading experts on these sites who is often retained by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense to assist with projects.
Since 2002, Beazer has spent more than $2.5 million in investigative work on the site and is using that data to help determine options for remediation. It is premature for Gainesville Regional Utilities' panel to make conclusions on Beazer's remediation strategy without ever talking to the company's scientists or before Beazer has even presented its proposed remediation strategy.
Source removal is often thought of as a primary goal in environmental cleanup projects. However, government agencies and companies often find that source removal has many limitations and may be more dangerous to the site and local community than finding effective solutions on-site.
Beazer has stated repeatedly that information being gathered will be used to determine whether it is appropriate to include source removal as part of the final remedy or whether other remediation approaches would provide a more safe and effective solution.
Beazer has continued to communicate its commitment to work with the agencies to develop a final remediation strategy that ensures the protection of Gainesville's drinking-water supply. I hope the local agencies will commit to working with Beazer to find an appropriate solution instead of dueling it out in the media.
Anthony Randazzo, professor emeritus of geological sciences, president of Geohazards Inc., Gainesville

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