The EPA’s Region Seven spokesman Chris Whitley says the Iowa-Nebraska Light & Power Company site is located in Norfolk, where the soil and groundwater have been contaminated for decades.
“This one goes back to probably our grandparents’ day when it was used as a manufactured gas plant location,” Whitley says, “when it was used to convert coal gas and other products into energy.”
Whitley says the site in Norfolk is one of several nationwide that have raised environmental concerns.
“The contaminants there are basically the remnants of the old activity that was involved in manufacturing gas,” Whitley says, “different types of contaminants, volatile organic compounds. Benzene is a name of a contaminant that listeners may be familiar with.”
Part of the property is owned by Black Hills/Nebraska Gas Utility Company and the rest is owned by the Nebraska Public Power District.
The Superfund program has a national priority list, what Whitley calls “the worst of the worst” polluted sites that are slated for clean-up.
The State of Nebraska has expressed support for placing the site on the list.
There will be a 60-day comment period during which the public can speak out about this. Visit the EPA’s website to offer a comment.