EPA Community Engagement Activities in Grenada, Mississippi
In keeping with its mission to protect human health and the environment, EPA continues to conduct community engagement efforts communicating the progress and results of the environmental study in Grenada, MS.
EPA canvassed Eastern Heights in August 2015 and met with many residents in person to inform them of plans to conduct an environmental study in the neighborhood. Since then, EPA has held two public meetings and sent several fact sheets to residents to provide updates. Presentations from these meetings and all fact sheets are posted on EPA’s dedicated website for the Grenada Manufacturing, LLC, investigation and cleanup effort.
EPA has worked with residents and their attorneys to acquire access authorizations and schedule sampling events at six homes in September 2015 and March 2016, and another 17 homes in May 2016. EPA is working to obtain access for a second round of in-home sampling planned for November 2016 in the same 17 homes tested in May.
After each round of sampling, EPA sends letters and makes phone calls to residents whose homes were sampled to review the results. Fact sheets summarizing the results, as they become available, are sent to all neighborhood residents and posted online.
While in the field, EPA worked with residents to get responses to a dwelling survey and assisted the residents with temporary removal and return of their household hazardous products during the sampling activities. During the May 2016 sampling activities, EPA invited residents aboard EPA’s mobile air monitoring laboratory (TAGA bus) to view the results of the room-to-room screening.
EPA continues to coordinate with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Mississippi Department of Public Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. EPA has provided regular updates regarding the cleanup activities to local Grenada officials and to representatives from Congressman Bennie Thompson’s office.
EPA is committed to keeping the community informed every step of the way. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Brian Holtzclaw.
EPA has received several inquiries about possible relocation. Based on all the results received to date, EPA has determined that there is no immediate threat to public health and EPA is not considering temporary or permanent relocation of any Eastern Heights neighborhood residents.
Relocation decisions are guided by the Agency’s National Superfund Permanent Relocation Interim Policy dated July 8, 1999. As stated in the policy, “EPA’s preference is to address the risks posed by the contamination by using well-designed methods of cleanup which allow people to remain safely in their homes and businesses.”
Permanent relocation is only considered in cases where, for example, contamination poses an immediate threat that cannot be mitigated or remediated, implementation of remedial measures would require the destruction of homes, or the cleanup requires residents to be temporarily relocated for over one year. None of these conditions exist in Eastern Heights.