ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – If you pass by 54th Street and Andrews Highway in Odessa you’ll see industrial properties, businesses, and residential areas surrounding the site but below the ground, a chlorinated solvent, threatens the purity of the groundwater plume.
“Groundwater is a valuable resource because it’s the water that people drink in and around Odessa. By protecting the aquifer we protect the drinking water of the residents in and around the community,” said Brenda Cook, the Chief of Risk and Site Assessment for the EPA.
The EPA has identified 6 water wells on site with concentrations above maximum contamination levels.
“Currently we do have concentrations in the groundwater but we have no actual exposures because we have filters or we have hooked people up to public water,” said Cook.
If the site is placed on their National Priority List (NPL) the EPA will be able to prioritize clean-up funding and find where the water is being contaminated.
“We’ll be able to investigate the source of contamination. We’ll be able to prevent uncontrolled migration. We would be able to protect additional wells or additional groundwater resources from being impacted,” said Cook.
In 2019, the EPA was able to investigate 27 sites on the NPL. If this gets approved they will notify the residents in surrounding areas and residents will have 60 days to comment on the proposal.