An Eufaula family who discovered hazardous materials in soil put on their property by an oil company says the government is not doing enough to clean it up.
Two weeks ago, the News on 6 told you about the McQuay property and tests being done to see if it was still contaminated.
The News on Six's Heather Lewin has the exclusive results of those tests.
Jason and Julie McQuay say the site that was supposed to hold their dream home, has become a toxic dump. "There's no need to let this land, when there was nothing wrong with it to begin with become a covered up, contaminate waste site.â€ Several months ago the couple agreed to have fill-dirt brought in from a nearby oil well they say without knowing it contained hazardous chemicals.
EPA officials say testing showed pollutants were below what they considered dangerous, except for one area, but still above state hazard levels, so the company, West Bay Exploration, agreed to clean it up. Testing after that initial clean up still found the same toxins remain in the ground beneath. Arsenic, dioxins and total petroleum hydrocarbons or TPH.
EPA scientists say arsenic and dioxins are already present in area soil and though the levels found on the McQuay property are higher than normal, they have quote-"no evidence to indicate the increased levels came from the drilling mud". What did come from the mud they say is TPH- a potentially hazardous chemical found in oil wells.
To resolve that problem, the EPA told the company to either remove more soil, or cover those spots with 2-feet of clean fill dirt and 6 inches of dirt everywhere else. McQuay says it's not enough. â€œhis all slopes and it will erode, it will run off down to the creek and then we'll be exposed again."
The McQuayâ€™s say this doesn't affect just their family. Their property is adjacent to land with a creek on it that runs into Lake Eufaula. They're afraid toxins from their soil will make their way into the water supply.
EPA officials say groundwater contamination is a very remote possibility, but it's one that has county officials and a scientist hired by the McQuay's attorney concerned. He says more testing needs to be done and that the EPA is wrong about the toxins already being in the ground. Julie McQuay says the government has let her down. â€œThey're just saying with enough fill dirt, that it won't matter."
The McQuays say the company has already gone back on its word in the cleanup process by simply burning contaminated trees on the land instead of removing them.
West Bay Exploration did not return calls for comment.