- Elliott Stonecipher
Wednesday, September 6, 2017 … 4:40 P.M.
New documents confirm that Mayor Ollie Tyler is aggressively – and stupefyingly – trying to buy at huge taxpayer costs chemically contaminated land for her Cross Bayou scheme.
The land at issue is the General Scrap Material Company (“GSM”), also doing business as General Scrap & Recycling Company. The site is just east of the Common Street Extension, between Cross Bayou on its north and Downtown Shreveport on its south.
In its October 2014 “Site Investigation Report & Remedial Action Plan,” GSM’s consulting firm, Industrial Environmental Consultants, LLC, Nashville, Tennessee (“IEC”), described the business and site as a “… scrap metal recycling facility including processes, (and) operations.”
(SEE link below for all documents related to this report may be viewed here.)
In a letter dated May 22, 2017, and signed by state official Carolyn Mathis, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) notified GSM Operating Manager Brandon Yarnell that its compliance review of the company’s plan – its “Notice of Deficiency” – had been completed.
On August 1st, a bit past its 60-day time limit, GSM responded to LDEQ, asking for a 60-day extension.
Unlikely to be a coincidence, LDEQ did not respond to the GSM request of August 1st until August 18th, at which time it granted more than a 60-day extension … out to September 28th.
That LDEQ grant of extra time pushed the requirement for GSM’s response to a date some two weeks AFTER Tyler’s rushed September 12th deadline for Shreveport City Council approval of her own toxic brew.
The site contaminants at issue are very serious, including lead, PCBs, and arsenic. Such chemicals have been linked to very serious human poisoning for several decades.
The GSM site has been the subject of other city and parish government attention for years. No remediation of the subject contamination – to any degree or at any time – is known to have occurred.
In 2015, the Shreveport Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) secured a federal EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) grant to study the subject Cross Bayou “Corridor.”
Providence Engineering & Environmental Group, LLC, was in charge of that study, the result of which was the “Cross Bayou Brownsfields Area-Wide Plan.” Here are two statements of note from that report:
“Virtually all land use options and opportunities for development of the Cross Bayou site, however, are seriously impeded by the so-called “scrap yard” – the Catalyst Site – whose relocation and subsequent environmental remediation MUST PRECEDE ANY PLAN FOR DEVELOPMENT.” (Emphasis is mine.)
And, this statement:
“It is evident from this summary, however, that various contaminants ARE EXPECTED TO BE FOUND ON MOST OF THE PROJECT SITE.
THE SCRAP YARD SITE, HOWEVER, IS MOST LIKELY TO BE VERY HEAVILY CONTAMINATED. With its eventual remediation … development of the site and redevelopment of adjacent parcels will be free to proceed unencumbered by environmental issues.” (Emphasis is mine.)
Tyler was a recipient of the Providence study after her election. She knows the cited environmental remediation must be done BEFORE her field of dreams / nightmares.
One knowledgeable source explained to me what all of this means:
“Nobody in their right mind would take title to this property if it was free.”
What Mayor Tyler and many of our City Council members intend is that Shreveport taxpayers “take title” to the property …
… without even being allowed to vote on it.
To be continued …
© 2017 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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