Environmental Site Assessment Findings in the Hyde Park Community, Augusta, GA
1. Heavy metals, primarily lead, and PCB's in soil
2. Heavy Metals in groundwater above state standards for residential and non-residential use.
3. Phase II soil and groundwater sampling and analysis in 2002 revealed the presence of zinc in two soil samples above Georgia Residential Standards. Cadmium also found to be above residential standards in ground on the Richmond recycling property.
4. It is likely that similar contaminants exist in subsurface soil and groundwater across the Phase I study- area-'based·on prior use of the former scrap yard properties and the proximity of the former Goldberg Site to the study area.
5. Lead, arsenic, PCB's, PAH's and chromium exceeded health guideline reference in all these media.
Source: Health Intervention Project (Final Report) 2001
The United States Environmental Protection Agency established the Office of Environmental Justice in 1992 because all Americans regardless of race, color, national origin, or economic circumstance should be able to live in a clean, healthy environment.
Hyde Park Relocation
GROUP RELEASES "WAITING IN A CESSPOOL" Calls for Prompt Action to Evacuate Remaining Residents
Sept. 3, 2014: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League has called upon officials in Augusta to take immediate steps to move the families still living in the contaminated Hyde Park neighborhood to safer housing. In a letter addressed to the mayor, Charles Utley, Augusta resident and Campaign Director for BREDL, said, “The residents Hyde Park seek only justice and fulfillment of promises made. We are appealing to you to use the power of your office to protect public health and safety. We started this project, let’s finish it.”
In 1969 the Richmond County Health Department advised residents of Hyde Park their well water was unsafe because of industrial pollution. Four decades later, relocation of the community was finally approved. However, only half of the 130 families have been moved to safety. The video essay, “Waiting in a Cesspool” tells the story of those who have been left behind. Hyde Park residents seek only justice and fulfillment of promises made.
Update on the Relocation of the Residents of Hyde Park, Augusta, GA
October, 2013: The residents of Hyde Park have begun to see their dreams fulfilled. Mr. Lou Zeller, Executive Director of Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, best describes this community when he says "This community has been past being shovel ready." For 15 years this community has been looking forward to the day when they would be moving to a new location free from pollution and contamination. Relocation is a process that has taught this community that persistence is a virtue. Therefore, I would encourage any community who is seeking relocation to realize that everything is not equal when it comes to relocation. There are many factors that a community needs to be aware of. Many members have passed on without seeing this dream come true, but the fight and their legacy will not go unrewarded. Relocation has ignited a new birth of pride in the community, because what they were fighting for has begun to come to fruition.
BREDL's Statement to the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council
Sept. 11, 2013: The United States Environmental Protection Agency established the Office of Environmental Justice in 1992 because all Americans regardless of race, color, national origin, or economic circumstance should be able to live in a clean, healthy environment. The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council was established as a federal advisory committee to EPA. Rev. Charles Utley presented recommendations on two broad topics—brownfields and nuclear power—which affect EPA initiatives.
BREDL Board Passes Resolution Supporting Moral Mondays
Moral Mondays Resolution
RESOLVED: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League supports Moral Mondays and will promote similar local actions to further environmental justice.
(Adopted by the BREDL Board of Directors, July 20, 2013)