Oregon regulators have approved expanding a plan to move pesticide-contaminated soil from a proposed Salem subdivision to a nearby farm, where it will be declared clean fill dirt.
Now, the developer will also move some of the contaminated soil from the area designated for single family homes to a 15.5-acre section where apartments will be built.
Contamination levels can be more than twice as high for apartment dwellers than home residents, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality officials say,because homes typically have yards and gardens thatcould create more exposure.
“It is also assumed that families reside in these homes for a longer period of time,” DEQ spokeswoman Katherine Benenati said. “People living in apartments are assumed to have less exposure to soil and assumed to reside in the apartments for a shorter duration.”
The new plan was necessary because the amount of soil needing to be removed has increased by about 50 percent. There’s not enough room for it all at the farm, the subdivison’s developers, Clackamas-based I&E Construction, told regulators.
It also will save them as much as $350,000 on the cost offill dirt needed for the apartment development,they said.
Pesticides persist in soil
Last November, Oregon approved the developer’s plan to truck the soil from the proposed residential development, called Northstar, to fill two former quarries on a farm 6 miles away north of Keizer.
The soil, contaminated with dieldrin, would pose ingestion, inhalation and skin contact hazards for new residents, but “should be safe for farm use,” DEQ officials said.
Dieldrin is a breakdown product of the insecticide aldrin, which was banned for crop use in 1970. It persists in soil for years and can accumulate up the food chain.
Neighbors and government agencies raised alarms when the plan was announced, saying it had the potential to contaminate groundwater and surface water and could spread contaminated dust as the dirt is trucked through neighborhoods, passing three schools. They also questioned the safety of using the soil to grow crops.
In response, DEQ said those risks are minimal.But they did require the developer to cover the trucks and use dust-control measures at the site.
Read More HERE | Source: Statesman Journal