Hudson site chosen for EPA project

Friday, July 14th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

CUSHING, Okla. (AP) -- A closed refinery in Cushing is one of 40 sites nationwide chosen to be a pilot project in a program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The city will get $100,000 to take part in the EPA's Redevelopment Initiative program.
The program helps states, communities and Indian tribes plan for reusing Superfund sites before the cleanup methods at the sites are chosen.

"EPA's goal is to ensure that community-approved reuse plans are considered when the cleanup itself is planned," said Gregg Cooke, EPA regional administrator. "Knowing the community's wishes helps us tailor the cleanup to those needs." The site chosen in Cushing is the Hudson Oil refinery, which closed in 1982. Cushing officials have been working with the state Department of Environment Quality and the EPA since last year when it was discovered tanks and pipes at the abandoned site were leaking toxics. Asbestos was discovered blowing from the towers. A near-emergency necessitated a voluntary evacuation around the refinery while workers removed highly corrosive hydrofluoric acid, a substance that can cause deep burns and death.

Cushing will use its money to form an advisory committee, train officials and committee members on the Superfund process and environmental issues, and to develop a reuse plan that will benefit the city. "We're excited," City Manager Rob Collings said. "We actually feel honored that of all the Superfund sites -- most of them in much bigger cities than ours -- the EPA saw the merits of our proposal."

The EPA's Superfund program cleans sites when the work required exceeds the resources of state and local agencies.