Resident fears contamination in home after hearing from the EPA

By: Janelle Richards Email
By: Janelle Richards Email

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Monday, Nov. 12, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Carrie Braxton is terrified of living in her own home.

Her yard, once filled with plants, is now empty.

"This yard use to have nothing but fruit, nothing but fruit. Now it's just barren," she said.

Braxton and her neighbors were anxious to hear what the Environmental Protection Agency had to say about cleaning up this site on Peach Orchard Road.

"The main contaminant is PCE, it's in the ground water, so what were saying is if somebody gets their water from the city of Augusta, then they have no problems with this site," says EPA Remedial Project Manager Gizelle Bennett.

Braxton has lots of questions, but what she heard didn't calm her worries.

"It's a known carcinogen. I don't know, I'm not a risk assessor, so I couldn't fully explain it to you, but it is hazardous, it is a known cancer causer," Bennett said.

Braxton and her neighbors returned to their homes, taking their worries with them.

"The only thing that I got from that meeting was that the federal government was going to pay for it," Braxton said.

In 2007, the EPA came up with a strategy for cleaning up the three sites along Peach Orchard Road. But Braxton says nothing has changed since then.

"If it's contaminated, purchase it, let me get on," she said.

Braxton says she would like to see the EPA come back and do soil testing and not just at those dry cleaning sites but also in the nearby neighborhoods.

The EPA has already agreed to spend $5.8 million in a cleanup that will take the next three years to complete.

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