New Aberdeen School Environmental Assessment

For a full analysis see the link at the bottom of this post.

I spent much of today – I know I need a life… researching the environmental issues surrounding the new Aberdeen school location and its proximity to the Superfund Site known as the “Aberdeen Pesticide Dump Site.”

Unfortunately, there are some legitimate concerns.

It’s complicated. The site is technically SIX non-contiguous sites. All of these sites have been in active remediation for decades. Some are cleaned up to acceptable standards and some are not.

Two of these sites, called Operational Units (they’re not Super Fund Sites but related to the original contamination) are within about a half mile from the school site. Both of these were storage/disposal sites for by-products of the pesticides being manufactured nearby. The concern is with pollutants that have seeped into the groundwater under the soil. Contaminated soil is relatively easy to clean up, groundwater not so much.

The site that worries me is called the “McIver Dump Parcel.”   It was a dump in the middle of the woods south of the school site. In reading the 2018 Five-Year Review Report it appears that the groundwater flows in the direction of the new school. This means that contaminated groundwater (groundwater is underground and flows along underground paths) could reach the site. The good thing is that there is a stream called Patterson Branch that is in between. The chance that groundwater will travel uphill beyond the stream is highly unlikely but possible.

The closest site is called “Fairway Six Parcel” named after the sixth fairway of The Pit. Although that site was also pretty polluted, everything flows away from the school site.

The issue of course with groundwater is that it doesn’t always stay under the ground. Little kids like to play in the dirt and they don’t always wash up properly.

The only real answer is to do a Phase II site assessment. These cost around $20,000 and probably would have been required if a bank was financing the project. I know that’s a lot of money but because of the site choice it just has to be done. If it comes back clean MCS is in the clear. It will include sinking monitoring wells that can be checked regularly to make sure the property is safe.

It’s a worthwhile precaution.

aberdeen superfund analysis