St. Louis Public Radio News
4:45 pm
Thu August 7, 2003

Granite City Residents Demand Toxic Waste Cleanup

Granite City, Ill – Metro-East environmental and religious activists say the federal government is neglecting a Superfund toxic waste site in Granite City.

The Jennison-Wright Corporation left behind creosote-contaminated soil when it closed a wood treatment plant in 1990. The plant was used to coat railroad ties with creosote.

The Rev. Sharon Smith of United Congregations of Metro-East says the U.S. EPA should make the site a priority.

"We want the Bush Administration to increase the funding, and fund Jennison-Wright, so that this toxic waste will no longer harm our communities and our children," Smith said.

The Illinois EPA recently removed the company's abandoned factory buildings, but does not have the money to clean up contaminated soil. A U.S. EPA spokesman says the Superfund budget has been stretched thin in recent years.

Jennison-Wright is adjacent to a water treatment plant, and activists say 31,000 people live within a mile of the site.