Louisville Moves To Clean Up Its ‘Gully of the Drums’ After 45 Years

"The long-ignored dumpsite is the country cousin of the notorious “Valley of the Drums,” which helped lead to the federal Superfund law."

"LOUISVILLE, Ky. — City officials are taking their first public step toward cleaning up hazardous waste in a popular park after a local graduate student last year called out a 45-year comedy of errors by federal, state and local agencies that allowed the dumped drums and chemicals to escape remediation.

Louisville parks officials have a $68,000 plan to dig trenches and take soil samples in an area dubbed “Gully of the Drums.” The site sits about 700 feet from the notorious “Valley of the Drums,” where some 17,000 hazardous waste drums were discovered in the late 1970s on farmland 17 miles south of downtown Louisville, which were removed in one of the first major federal Superfund cleanups in the United States.

The EPA didn’t clean up the much smaller Gully of the Drums at the time. At least twice since then—after the Environmental Protection Agency had declared the Valley of the Drums cleanup a success—Kentucky environmental regulators and EPA officials found pollutants lingering in the soil above health and safety levels that would normally spur remediation."

James Bruggers reports for Inside Climate News June 7, 2024.

Source: Inside Climate News, 06/11/2024