Cushing Neighbors Relieved By Hudson Refinery Clean Up

Monday, October 24th 2011, 5:25 pm
By: News On 6

Dan Bewley, News On 6

CUSHING, Oklahoma -- Crews are back at an Oklahoma Superfund site. They're getting ready for another round of cleanup this week at the old Hudson Refinery in Cushing. 

"Whole lot better than it was when we moved out of here 17 years ago," said Cushing resident Shirley Mullins.

Mullins has a front row seat. Her home of nearly two decades is right across the street, and she's watched workers come and go over the years.

"They never have completely quit coming out and checking this and the one on the north side of the highway," she said.

The EPA and Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality have been keeping a close eye on the property since it became a Superfund site in 1999. Hudson Refinery produced gasoline, propane, and oil here for six decades.

This is the second time crews have been out to clean up contaminants. Cleanup of wastewater ponds and contaminated soil began in May of 2010, and it finished about a year ago. It was all paid for by Land O' Lakes, the company that has since acquired Hudson Refining, at a cost of about $9 million.

This time they're working on a small area just south of Highway 33 where tar waste and asbestos was recently found. The big issue - right now - for neighbors are some abandoned buildings.

"I wish they'd either clean it up or get rid of them," said Sandy Frye, a Cushing resident.

Frye says the buildings are home to feral cats and make for an unpleasant view.

"Just seems like to me it's a very sad eyesore," she said.

The EPA says the buildings are not part of the Superfund cleanup, and it's the owners responsibility to have them removed. 

Removal of the contaminants will begin later this week. The waste will be taken to a commercial landfill that has been approved by the EPA.

Neighbors are just glad it's being taken care of and wonder what's next for the property.

"I don't know about anything what'll be done with it," said Shirley Mullins of Cushing. "Just as far as I'm concerned, they can leave it just like it is."

The EPA says after the cleanup is done here they'll continue to monitor the groundwater and soil to look for any more contaminants as well as work to cover the area with permanent vegetation.