EPA: No more chemical contamination in Baldwin County town

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After nearly 50 years of cleanup and monitoring by the Environmental Protection Agency, officials say Perdido’s groundwater is no longer contaminated with the chemical Benzene.

According to the Centers of Disease control the major effect of benzene from long-term exposure is on the blood. The CDC says Benzene causes harmful effects on the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia.

In 1965 a train derailment by CSXT (now Louisville and Nashville Railroad) spilled an unknown amount of benzene spilled into the groundwater. In 1982 benzene was identified in several residential water wells in Perdido.

From 1992 to 2006 a groundwater treatment system removed benzene from the groundwater. Sampling was done monthly to confirm the system was working properly. The EPA says  last round of tests conclude the water has been benzene free for five consecutive years.

According to the Centers of Disease control the major effect of benzene from long-term exposure is on the blood. The CDC says Benzene causes harmful effects on the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia.

EPA says there have been no reports of illness in Perdido. Even though EPA is now closing the case, Gary slay is still cautious.

” I don’t know…I mean that is nothing you want to play with,” said Slay.

Slay says his family used to drink from well water, but that changed after the spill.

” I got city water now.  You know?  I mean I still miss the old cold well water but it is what it is, ” said Slay.

Eubie Byrd says he is confident in how the EPA has treated the case.

” They tested it over, and over and over,” said Byrd.

Byrd said he will happily continue to drink his well water.

” I believe what they say because because they really, really tried,” said Byrd.

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