Construction on Toxic Land is Approved
A new development was approved be built on land in Pocopson, PA where high levels of arsenic were found, according to The Daily Local News Online. Former property owners Northbrook Orchards sprayed this land with arsenic as a pesticide until it was banned in 1974.
The town approved construction on Monday, and is currently deciding on an insurance policy to cover health risks of future residents. Approval of the development was given with assurances that this issue would be resolved by the end of the week.
Adjacent property owners wanted supervisors to hold off the approval vote based on the environmental health risks. However, the township voted. "Ross Unruh, solicitor for the township, cleared the air by saying the board is bound by the township ordinances and despite how the board may feel personally about the contaminated parcel, it must vote for land use approval unless the plan fails to measure up to the ordinances." (Katrina MacCleod, The Daily Local News Online, 9/10/01)
Meanwhile, the health risks seem imminent. The Sovereign Environmental Group of Exton, who conducted an independent risk assessment, reported, "under reasonable worst case scenario, risks to a future child resident, a future adult resident and a construction worker were unacceptably high." Arsenic, lead and Diedrin were found. In addition, new testing show the arsenic has migrated off-site.
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