Cleaning up at Carolina North

Breaking news! UNC has announced that they will begin an 8-year clean-up process for the former chemical waste dump at the future site of Carolina North. I would suggest we should take this announcement (below) with a grain of salt since it comes straight from the horse's mouth.

From a UNC press release:

The university’s consultants, Arcadis Inc., will plan and manage the soil clean-up efforts – expected to take up to eight years and cost an estimated $10.4 million – as part of the Registered Environmental Consultant (REC) Program managed by DENR’s Inactive Hazardous Site Branch. Under the program, the university and DENR enter into a three-part administrative agreement with Arcadis, which supervises the clean-up according to state standards.

DENR provides a 30-day public notice before granting final approval of the agreement. Then Arcadis would start developing a clean-up investigation plan that must be completed within three years. Within the following two years, Arcadis would oversee installation of a groundwater remediation system. The agreement requires clean-up of the source of the contamination to be completed no later than eight years after signing the agreement. University officials hope to have that work done sooner. Groundwater remediation will continue until it is completed.

Under the agreement, the public will be notified about the proposed remediation plan; citizens will have opportunities to share their comments about the clean-up efforts.

The university’s previous studies and years of groundwater monitoring already have provided a significant head start for the remedial investigation, said Pete Reinhardt, director of UNC’s Department of Environment, Health and Safety.

"Remediation is a complex process," he said. "We will proceed as quickly as possible, but it will take several years to do the job right. We are committed to safe and environmentally sound site remediation practices that comply fully with all local, state and federal standards and requirements."

UNC’s ongoing investigations at the site have shown waste in nearby groundwater that is spreading very slowly from the burial site, Reinhardt said. He emphasized that this groundwater posed no threat to human health. Most of the monitoring wells on the site have shown a decrease in waste levels; a few have shown an increase. All of the detected groundwater remains within the boundaries of the university’s property, he said.

This sounds pretty good, but I'm not totally sure what it means. (You wouldn't think I have a degree in Environmental Science.) Can someone talk about the significance of this? What about the Chapl Hill dump at the site? Most importantly, does this mean that the site will be remediated before construction begins, as many have asked for?



Why doesn't UNC build a new state of the art cancer hospital

rather than a "Streets of Northpoint" disguised as a satellite campus?

OK this is more helpful, the Chapel Hill Herald & N&O stories are much more readable:

It's a little weird that the new chair of the Town's Horace Hilliams Citizens' Commitee is some kind of environmental engineer. He knows so much about this stuff that I can't really understand what he says about it either.

It's so sad to me, the university dumped a lot of stuff in the ground 1973-1979, and now has to dig it up. ...not even thinking beyond this, it's just sad to me.

I wasn involved a few years back in cleaning up a property in Delaware that had once been a gas station and had underground tanks. They'd leaked, but, luckily no problem with contaminating ground water.

Oh, and, lord-have-mercy, memories of the childhood farm and the "dump." Every farm must have a "dump."

...but I ramble. I'm glad UNC is doing this. The appearance, anyway, is positive.


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