EPA Approves Plan To Clean Up Wilmington Site Linked To Childhood Cancer Cluster

A study connected the 53-acre Olin Chemical site on Eames Street to a contaminated public water supply. WBZ-TV's Lisa Hughes reports.

Video Transcript

- Today the Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA, approved a plan to clean up a superfund site in Wilmington. The old Olin Chemical site has been linked to a childhood cancer cluster. WBZ's

Lisa Hughes is back now. And Lisa, that link was just confirmed by a state investigation last week.

LISA HUGHES: David, families waited a long time for this information. The state investigation found a connection between the 53-acre site on Eames Street and contaminated drinking water.

The EPA says the first step in this process now is to negotiate with oil and chemical and other potentially responsible parties to do the cleanup and to pay for it. Those talks are expected to take between 6 and 9 months.

Early next year, work should begin on the design for a new groundwater system. And once that system is finished, crews can remove the contaminated soil at the site.

Between 1990 and 2000, nearly two dozen children living in the area were diagnosed with cancer. One survivor told us the cleanup plans represent at least one positive development in a bad situation.

BRIAN DELLACIO: In cases where we can't prevent it or undo it or turn back the clock, the best we can do is do better going forward. And when you have a study like this, that gives us the tools we need to do better going forward.

LISA HUGHES: Now, the cleanup costs are expected to reach $48 million, and the EPA says if it can get rid of all of the toxins in this cleanup process, Paula, it is at least possible that land could someday be used again.

- Lisa Hughes, live here in studio.