Hattiesburg, Mississippi – On Thursday, May 19, a community meeting with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at CE Roy Community Center will take place regarding the future of the Hercules Inc. site, which sits north of West 7th Street.
The meeting will provide residents the opportunity to discuss questions and concerns regarding the EPA’s recent proposal for the site to be added to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). It will begin at 6 p.m.
On March 17, the EPA announced that it added 12 sites and was proposing to add another five, including the Hercules site, to the NPL where releases of contamination pose significant human health and environmental risks.
After a site is proposed for the NPL, the EPA opens a comment period for the public to provide feedback. The deadline for the public comment period is June 16, 2022. The EPA will consider all public comments before making a final decision and moving on to the next steps of the NPL process.
“As a part of promoting awareness and information about the comment period and its implications for our community, we are helping facilitate this event with the EPA to give our residents face to face time with representatives for questions and concerns,” said Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker. “Though this is out of our purview, we believe our residents need to have all of the facts with which to express an opinion if they choose to do so.”
Information that EPA used to support the NPL proposal is available for public review and comment at www.regulations.gov. The EPA will consider public comments before making a final decision about adding the site to the NPL.
The public is invited to submit comments through June 16, 2022, at www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. All comments MUST include the docket number EPA-HQ-OLEM-2022-0191.
Comments can also be mailed to:
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; EPA Superfund Docket Center; Mail Code 28221T; 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW; Washington, DC 20460.
Materials compiled by the EPA to propose the Hercules site to the NPL can be obtained in several ways:
- Online at www.regulations.gov. In the search bar, type in the docket number for the Hercules site: EPA-HQ-OLEM-2022-0191.
- To have a copy electronically mailed to you, contact the EPA Region 4 Community Involvement Coordinator, Marjorie Thomas (404-562-9151; firstname.lastname@example.org).
“Protecting overburdened communities from the toxic effects of Superfund sites is one of EPA’s highest priorities,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Daniel Blackman. “By proposing sites such as Hercules Inc. to the Superfund NPL, we are making good on our commitment to protect the people we serve and support local community revitalization by allowing land to be safely redeveloped for productive use.”
The Hercules, Inc. site is located on approximately 200 acres of land off of West 7th Street. The facility began operations in 1923. Throughout the facility’s history, the operations consisted of extracting and/or working with rosins to produce rosin derivatives, paper chemicals, and Delnav®, an agricultural insecticide (miticide).
Process operations at the site were shut down at the end of 2009. Many of the former plant buildings have been demolished. Hercules has had air, stormwater, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, and State of Mississippi-issued Water Pollution Control (pre-treatment) permits that covered discharges from the Site when it was in operation.
Since 2007, Hercules has conducted site investigations, interim remedies, and routine groundwater and surface water monitoring and reporting activities to comply with EPA and State orders. On May 9, 2011, the EPA issued a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Section 3013(a) Administrative Order that requires Hercules to conduct environmental investigation activities to determine the nature and extent of potential contamination on-site and off-site.
To learn more about the original release of details and more about Superfund projects, visit www.epa.gov/superfund/hercules-inc.