2004.06.04 – STATE FINDS 4 WELLS FREE OF CONTAMINATION

STATE FINDS 4 WELLS FREE OF CONTAMINATION:
Rush Twp. sites tested because of concerns about rare cancer.
By David Slade
The Morning Call Inc., Copyright 2004
Reprinted With Permission

June 4, 2004

The state Department of Environmental Protection has found no contamination in four wells tested along Ben Titus Road in Rush Township, where some residents believe toxic waste is causing an unusually high incidence of a rare cancer.

The wells were tested using a comprehensive sampling that looks for contaminants including heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, herbicides and pesticides, DEP spokesman Mark Carmon said.

The testing was done in response to concerns from residents and an environmental group. He said the owners of the four residential wells were informed of the results by telephone Wednesday.

The environmental group Carbon County Groundwater Guardians says three people along the road have developed a rare bone marrow disease, polycythemia vera, that afflicts one in 200,000 people.

On Wednesday the group met with residents of the Quakake area to call for more state action. Some believe illegal dumping of toxic waste into old coal mines or pollution leached from a former Superfund site is to blame for illnesses.

Among other things, they want the Department of Health to conduct a new study. The department did a 1993 study that found no contamination spreading from the former McAdoo Associates Superfund site, about two miles from Ben Titus Road.

State Rep. David Argall, R-Schuylkill, has also called for more studies.

Carmon said Thursday that concerns about the area are not new.

”We’ve looked at this for many years,” he said. ”This is not the first time we’ve had allegations of dumping.”

Carmon said the department has made no decisions on additional sampling.

Bookmark and Share