Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Environmental Disaster II


It turns out that there was a Love Canal type landfill submerged by the New Orleans floodwaters.

    The Agriculture Street Landfill (ASL)... situated on a 95-acre site in New Orleans... is a federally registered Superfund site...[it] contains not only municipal garbage, but buried industrial wastes such as what would be produced by service stations and dry cleaners, manufacturers or burning. The site was routinely sprayed with DDT in the 1940s and 50s and, in 1962, 300,000 cubic yards of excess fill were removed from ASL because of ongoing subsurface fires. (The site was nicknamed "Dante's Inferno" because of the fires.)...Disturbingly, the site is also very close to the Industrial Canal Levee, a section of which collapsed and allowed flood waters to pour in, almost directly in the direction of the ASL site.


There is a detailed public health assessment of the landfill here and an EPA assessment here. Clean up activities seem to have been limited to the top 2 feet of soil in the areas where the site ovelapped residences. Not much help in this case.

Steve Bell


Earlier: The Environmental Disaster

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