An old landfill at the Armstrong World Industries site in south Macon is one of six new hazardous waste locations in the Southeast added to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites, the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday.
The federal Superfund program provides cleanup funds for areas with the worst pollution in the country. The Armstrong site is believed to be a source of cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyls, which travel up the food chain to humans through fish. The 7.7-acre landfill there closed in the early 1990s.
Georgia regulators detected PCBs in two flathead catfish sampled in the Ocmulgee River in 1999, downstream from that area. After that, signs along nearby Rocky Creek warned against fishing because of PCB contamination. The ceiling tile manufacturer has cooperated with the EPA over the years.
To date, 1,652 sites have been listed on the National Priorities List. Of those, 350 sites have been cleaned up.
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Each Superfund site is investigated to determine the full extent of contamination before cleanup is started. Therefore, it may be several years before significant cleanup funding is required for the sites, the EPA said in a statement.
The Armstrong site is the fourth Middle Georgia location on the list. The other sites are at Robins Air Force Base, the Woolfolk Chemical site in Fort Valley and the former Powersville landfill in Peach County.