Generations of residents from Riverside Gardens in Louisville, Kentucky, have suffered from a host of deadly diseases due to an inefficient cleanup concluded in 1988. Residents were left in the wake of the fiasco with a toxic blight still looming next to their community. In addition to leaching poisonous chemicals to the nearby community of Riverside Gardens through both the groundwater and air, the site is adjacent to the Ohio River, posing a potential hazard to all communities along the river. The time for action is now—help the residents demand that the site be relisted as a Superfund Site on the National Priorities List!
The deadly 112- acre Lee’s Lane Landfill is located in the City of Louisville, Kentucky directly adjacent to the Ohio River. Historically operating as a sand and gravel quarry, the site began to receive domestic, industrial and commercial waste in 1948. However, in 1973 the disturbing truth was officially discovered-- the operator of the site had also been illegally receiving and dumping toxic waste into the landfill. Although the site closed in 1975, the tragedy was just beginning.
Over 212,000 tons of mixed waste was indiscriminately dumped at the Lee’s Lane Landfill. The decomposing waste at the site produced gases, including methane, which migrated into the homes of the Riverside Gardens residents. Then, in 1975, some residents began experiencing flash fires near their water heaters from the explosive levels of gases entering their homes. Despite extensive soil, surface, and groundwater contamination, including carcinogenic chemicals such as arsenic, chromium, benzene, and lead, the site was not added to the Superfund National Priorities List until 1982.
Unfortunately, the cleanup consisted neither of fully removing or remediating the toxic waste. Plans for a venting system to thermally treat gases from the site were only partially implemented, and no serious attempt was made to control for potential groundwater contamination. In fact, the USEPA decided not to conduct necessary drilling tests on the extent of groundwater contamination due to a fear of health risks to workers associated with drilling through the toxicwaste material.
Now the venting system is languishing in disrepair and the residents are still being poisoned from the inadequate initial cleanup. Please write to the USEPA and tell them to end the legacy of pollution in Louisville, Kentucky. We need to stand up to protect the health and safety of this community—demand that the Lee’s Lane Landfill be relisted as a Superfund site!
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