Letters to the Editor

We need to know more about contamination

I am not writing a letter for or against a marijuana operation at the K2 site. I simply want to clarify why I think it is important that a more thorough site evaluation to assess potential contamination be done at K2. I understand why people are asking, “Why bring up these issues now?” I did not know that a site evaluation had been done back in 2008 and only recently obtained a copy of the reports. These reports were apparently commissioned by K2 and were intended to be internal documents.

The first document, referred to as a Phase 1 evaluation, identifies Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs) where there is the likely presence of hazardous substances or petroleum products that could be present in the soil, surface water or groundwater. The report identified 13 locations (RECs) of concern at K2.

The Phase II evaluation is supposed to be on-the-ground testing of all of the identified RECs to see if there is contamination. As I look at the lay of the land, it seems as if the sampling plan was designed NOT to find anything. Indeed, no samples were taken to assess contamination in seven of the 13 identified RECs. When soil samples were collected, they were often up gradient from the identified source of contamination — even hazardous waste flows downhill, folks. All samples were collected on one dry day in June, so there was no attempt to evaluate contamination of our surface or ground waters.

Despite the incredible deficiencies in the sampling program, three of the 12 soil samples, taken at random depths between 4 and 14 feet, showed contamination with trichloroethylene (TCE), a degreaser and probable carcinogen. This result, although below the levels requiring clean-up, gave me pause — 25 percent of the soil samples taken at random depths show contamination with a probable carcinogen. We need to know more and if clean-up is warranted, let’s make it happen.

— Susie Kalhorn

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