August 5, 2009 11:00:00 AM
Columbus officials during the next few weeks will consider working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to determine if a black substance discovered near a local church is a toxic industrial byproduct.
The announcement came after the Rev. Steve Jamison, pastor of the Marantha Faith Center on Waterworks Road, spoke with the Columbus City Council during a Tuesday night meeting.
During the meeting, Jamison and Tennie White, president of the Troubleshooters consultant company in Jackson, requested the city ask the EPA to thoroughly investigate the area around the church for creosote contamination.
"We are asking the city to ask the EPA to help with what they (EPA) considers an acute problem," White said, shortly before the council agreed to take the suggestion under advisement. "We request that the EPA investigate the ditches in the area for creosote."
Last month, EPA crews took soil samples around the church, and will analyze the samples at the agency''s Georgia laboratory before determining if the soil contains creosote contaminants, Jamison previously said.
The soil samples were taken after construction crews discovered a black substance in the soil while excavating to build a parking lot at the church.
Church officials first discovered the area may have been contaminated with creosote more than 10 years ago, Jamison said.
"Seeing the seriousness of this matter, I would expect the city to ensure the health and welfare of its citizens," Jamison told the council. "We ask the city to ask the EPA to thoroughly investigate what we have found.
"I ask that the city do its very best to help remove this blight from the community," Jamison added.
Creosote was a product used from 1935 to 2003 to manufacture pressure-treated railroad ties at a Kerr-McGee manufacturing plant on 14th Avenue North in Columbus.
After the plant closed in 2003, environmental testing agencies discovered creosote contamination in sediment samples from drainage ditches and residents around the former plant.
Creosote is a thick and oily liquid -- usually amber to black in color --which commonly is used to preserve wood in the United States, and as a pesticide.
Scientists from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in September 2008 reported creosote found in the area posed a potential hazard as a skin contaminant.
In other business, the council:
The company will work to improve drainage along the road, and will complete several curb and sidewalk repairs required by the Americans With Disabilities Act.
After the repairs are completed, Columbus will use stimulus funds and donations from the Columbus Light and Water Department to repave all of Military Road.
"These are mostly ADA items that must be repaired before that road can be paved," said City Engineer Kevin Stafford. "This will clear the way for whenever stimulus funds become available for the paving project."
Although the project originally was scheduled to be completed by July 31, recent heavy rains prevented construction crews from finishing the project on time, said Columbus Federal Programs Director George Irby.
Digging near the intersection during the past few months has interfered with area residents'' water lines, explained Ward 5 Councilman Kabir Karriem.
"This project has become a burden. At times, some of the residents over there have lost running water," Karriem said. "How much longer will the citizens have to bear with this?"
"If they let the water lines fail over there, they are supposed to inform us every time," Irby responded. "We''ve learned some things on this project, and things will be done totally different in the future with these CDBG projects.
"We do owe the citizens in that area an apology," Irby added.
Although council members initially nominated Leonard James Weaver for the position, the council later chose Moore over Weaver after council members determined Weaver did not reside in the city limits.
hk commented at 8/5/2009 5:47:00 PM:
This is old news--it has all been paid out and dealt with years ago.. why are they still beating this dead horse? The homes should have never been built there. really sad.
to hk commented at 8/6/2009 10:55:00 AM:
Some people did not sign up woth colum law firm cause he did beat alot of people out of the money they did deserve i'm talking about millions! But anyway some sign with other lawyers who are still awaiting money so that they weigh all their options and get the value of their property for example some people got back like 6 or 7 thousand from colum and he got back like 14 to 20 thousand for each case. With other prominate lawyers from out of state they are trying to give you the value of your home for instance if your house is worth 60,000 you get that plus any pain and suffering amount you sue for cause after all if you try to sell your house to someone who is going to buy a house on contaminated land??? GET IT!!? So therefore your house automatically deppreciates to nothing just about and these houses were built back in the 60's through 80's so these houses were built before the found out about the contamination kerr mcgee was doing and alot of people got really ill and some died from this horrible event so if it is a dead horse people better beat it alive or stuff it and hang it on the wall!!
hk commented at 8/6/2009 11:28:00 AM:
I was saying--it is sad--they never should have put houses there and put people in harm's way.. they have paid out and I think that is all they are going to pay-which is bad and sad--because people have suffered..
to hk commented at 8/6/2009 3:32:00 PM:
Well put hk! :-)
Melody commented at 8/7/2009 9:15:00 AM:
This was from a precious article from the pastor.
observer4 | 7/20/2009 11:13:00 AM
The Pastor sure has put a lot of people out of work with his ungodly actions. Now look likw he is trying to stick it to the city of Columbus, that's you tax payers down there. The only people who have filled their pockets with filthy lucre, (millions)paid out by Kerr McGee, are the LAWYERS. Hope you are proud of yourself Rev. Now that Kerr McGee is in bankrupsy and many many people are unemployed!!!! The lawyers are laughing all the way to the bank.
Melody commented at 8/7/2009 9:20:00 AM:
This is from a previous article .
observer4 | 7/20/2009 11:13:00 AM
The Pastor sure has put a lot of people out of work with his ungodly actions. Now looks like he is trying to stick it to the city of Columbus, that's you tax payers down there. The only people who have filled their pockets with filthy lucre, (millions)paid out by Kerr McGee, are the LAWYERS. Hope you are proud of yourself Rev. Now that Kerr McGee is in bankrupsy and many many people are unemployed!!!! The lawyers are laughing all the way to the bank.
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