2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 9 Sep 2003 14:32:20 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Crews cleaning long-forgotten dump
North Carolina
Crews cleaning long-forgotten dump
Parris Island: The $2 million project should be completed by the end of
this year.
By Rob Dewig
September 6, 2003

Tim Harrington watched the skies Friday as much as he did the bulldozers
pushing dirt around in the distance.

It's Harrington's job, as the deputy natural resources and environmental
affairs officer at Parris Island, to make sure the bulldozers do their
job and convert the depot's old landfill into something that isn't
dangerous to life in the marshes that surround it.

Part of that process includes turning the old marsh muck over, again and
again and again, to dry it out and help compact it, turning the old
landfill's ash and half-burned junk into the equivalent of, well, dirt.

It's a process that can't happen if it's pouring down rain. And the
official National Weather Service forecast for today is rain, a 100
percent chance of it.

"I was looking at (Hurricane) Fabian earlier, thinking, 'Oh no, just
when we start construction,'" Harrington sighed Friday. Fabian, it turns
out, isn't expected to do much more to the Lowcountry than pound the
beach with some big waves.

On the other hand, Tropical Storm Henri, roaring through Florida, is
expected to send rain this way today.

Regardless, the $2 million Parris Island project should be finished by
December. By April or May, when the native upland grasses turn green,
the casual visitor shouldn't be able to tell a bulldozer was ever there.

The project began about a month ago, when the Department of the Navy
agreed to pay New Jersey-based Environmental Chemical Corp. to clean
everything up.

Harrington said the site just inside the main Parris Island gate served
from 1920 to 1965 as the Parris Island Recruit Training Depot's main
landfill, put in place even before the entrance causeway was

An incinerator operated there for years, burning everything the Marines
threw away, from household trash to heavy-duty solvents. All the ash and
half-burned trash were simply discarded in the nearby marsh.

That's not good, but it was the standard practice throughout the county
50 years ago, Harrington said, until science showed how much Lowcountry
life depends on healthy marshes.

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