a new report Urges the Environmental Protection Agency to thoroughly investigate pollution in Franklin and avoid mistakes made decades ago before coming up with a final cleanup plan. Leftover contamination from old industrial sites in the area is believed to have caused the rare child cancer.
Models in the Mundell & Associates report show that it is likely contamination from an old amphenol industrial site that extended further south or deeper into the ground. Industrial chemicals can also be found in Hurricane Creek, which flows through elementary schools, neighborhoods, and a trail.
New Jersey environmental health advocate Shannon Lisa collaborated on the report. He said that after decades of the EPA and the party claiming the pollution was under control, they are responsible to the people of Franklin for ensuring it.
“This time around a lot is at stake to make sure the cleanup is done right and that more contamination isn’t overlooked,” Lisa said.
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Kari Rinehart is the co-founder of the Franklin advocacy group If It Was Your Child. She said it is still unclear how toxic chemicals got outside the EPA’s study area, such as in primary schools – and the community needs answers. Rinehart said that it is therefore important that the people of Franklin ensure that the agency and party responsible for the pollution are fully functioning.
“We need to tell people that this is important to us and we need you to move forward. Our children are important to us. We want you to move on. We don’t want to bury more kids.”
Rinehart said that although the EPA is working to clean up some of the pollution ground water and around sewer lineThe pandemic has slowed some of the EPA’s work. She said this is not the time to slow down because Franklin residents are still at risk, and that the agency can do most of its work safely.
At least 78 children in Franklin have been diagnosed with a rare cancer since 2008.
Indiana Environmental Reporting is supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, the Indiana University Grand Challenge Project, which is developing Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to environmental change problems.
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