Life with Granby People — The Never-Ending Granby EPA Lead Cleanups

From 1850 to 1960 lead was mined in Granby; Now they mine EPA SuperFund Trust Dollars

Galena lead in limestone rocks is stable. The retangular lead oxide in the rocks mined from Granby didn’t affect the water supply. But when the rock is crushed and smelted the lead gets aerosoled and spreads with the wind all over. The Granby smelters crushed the rock and then burnt it to get at the lead. The lead got into the air and being heavy was spread over the ground around where it was smelted in North Granby. But the aerosol lead can spread far and wide given enough wind force. So throughout the Granby area there is a lot of lead parts per million lessening as the distance from the former Granby smelter. Yet there are lead deposits in Greenland ice cores from Roman times.

So the process of lead removal in Granby means that they replace the black dirt with high concentrations of lead with red clay in which the aerosol lead  blows back from less contaminated areas and then gets leaded again and then there is more cleanup for SuperFund dollars. Concerning Pitcher Oklahoma there was an article that it took 11 minutes of the wind blowing  to undo millions of dollars in cleanup in an editorial of the Joplin Globe over 20 years ago.

In a few cases like at Dick Smith Park this is the second or third time the ground was removed because of aerosol lead resettling back on the worked over ground. So less contaminated areas inevitably contaminate the “cleaned-up” zones leading to the same areas being  “cleaned up” two or more times. Pitcher Oklahoma had many such cleanups and eventually the EPA simply bought it out and closed it down to where it was on 2007’s “Life After People” History Channel series.

The most effacious lead removal step was in banning tetraethyl lead in leaded regular gas as was done in the late 1980s and thus not putting over 200,000 tons of lead into the environment in the first place. It removed over three-quarters of the blood level lead in small children. The second step would be to remove the old lead paint in really old houses by offering financial incentives.

Is this a wasting of federal reserve notes for this never-ending Granby cleanup? Sure is. But every ZOGbux spent here in Granby is ZOGbux not spent on places where the rioters burnt down theys nests. If you want your 6-8 inches black dirt removed and replaced with a foot and a half of red clay and orange plastic netting put onto the bottom then you might well assent to an EPA cleanup of your yard.