EPA makes action plan for B.F. Goodrich asbestos site

EPA makes action plan for B.F. Goodrich asbestos site
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The Environmental Protection Agency is beginning a cleanup plan to remove dangerous levels of asbestos from B.F. Goodrich, the former tire plant in Miami, Oklahoma.

A community meeting is shedding light on the EPA’s plan of action.

When Carol Benton moved into the area, her neighbors warned her to keep her children out of the dirt, fearing contamination from the nearby decommissioned tire plant.

“That was a concern for me because I have four kids that play in the dirt all the time, you know, so that’s always on my mind,” said Benton.

It’s on the minds of many Miami citizens present at the EPA’s meeting, discussing their plan of action since taking over the site last November when it was abandoned in 2014.

“Unfortunately, the owner, the company went into bankruptcy, walked away from the site and left what we see behind us here which is about 20 piles, roughly 16,000 cubic yards of demolition debris contaning asbestos,” said Mike McAteer, On Scene Coordinator for the EPA.

Officials are stepping up security in the area, adding a guard at night to cut down on trespassers exposing themselves to the harmful material.

“It can cause lung cancer, obviously, if it gets inhaled. It can cause non-cancer health affects suchs as asbestosis which is a scarring of the lungs and a difficulty breathing,” said McAteer.

Two building will be wet-demolished to keep any asbetos from traveling through the air and officials are taking extra precautions.

“Not only are we keeping it wet, but we’re gonna be doing air monitoring on the perimeter. We have samplers set up that measure dust that come off the site and we’re going to be measuring for asbestos on a daily basis through the entire cleanup process,” McAteer explained.

Even so, Benton feels like the EPA should’ve stepped in a long time ago.

“I mean it’s been closed down for years and they’re just now doing it, I am still concerned because they should’ve been on it years ago,” said Benton.

The hazardous material will be taken to Prairie View dump in Lamar, Missouri.

The EPA expects to finish their cleanup efforts by September.

Nearly 200 residents impacted by pollution in the area are still in litigation with Michelin North America, the company that purchased BF Goodrich in 1988.