Mike Hebert, the Regional Project Manager from the Environmental Protection Agency presented the DeRidder City Council with an explanation of the Superfund Process related to the American Creosote Project in the meeting last night. He was accompanied by Janetta Coats, the Community Involvement Coordinator assigned to the project, and Amber Howard, Remedial Project Manager.
Mr. Herbert showed the Council the steps that have already been taken: the preliminary assessment/site inspection was completed on August 30, 2016, the site was proposed to the National Priorities List August 2, 2017, and finalized on the National Priorities List January 18, 2018.
According to Mr. Hebert, the EPA will begin accessing the plant to start their analysis in the next few months.
Mr. Michael Harris and Councilman Julian Williams followed the presentation questioning the involvement of the health department in the process, and how the contamination at the site could be impacting the health of residents who live in the neighboring areas.
Ms. Coats assured the council and the gallery that public meetings would be scheduled to keep residents informed of the progress.
Following the presentation, the council introduced ordinances that would authorize the city to enter into a contract with Landmark American Insurance Company through McGriff Insurance Services, Inc.; to provide a package of commercial property insurance for the First Street School; annex a plot of land between US 190 and Bilbo Street into the city limits, levy 2.75 mills on the dollar of assessed valuation special tax for police and fire operations; and levying a 7.66 mills on the dollar of assessed valuation general alimony tax. The Public Hearing dates for each of these is April 22, 2019.
The Council held a public hearing on the use of an interagency agreement between the city and the department of public safety and corrections to provide offender laborers for use by the city in public environments. No public comments were made and the ordinance passed.