Home » NEWS » Clean-up work begins at former plant site

Clean-up work begins at former plant site

WESSON — An environmental cleanup has begun at a former industrial site in Wesson.

The 10-acre site once housed the Potter Company, which manufactured electronic noise filters used on airplanes and in computers.

John Miksa, project manager for First Environment, a nationwide environmental cleanup agency, said the site would be graded and greened in about six months. Part of the work includes replanting pine trees, according to a report in the Daily Leader.

The Potter Company began operating in Wesson in 1953. It was one of the town’s largest employers at the time, providing around 400 jobs.

In 1986, Varian Associates Inc. acquired Potter through its purchase of Pulse Engineering Inc. At the time of the transaction, some employees voiced their concerns about how the plant disposed of waste materials. The company investigated, and those concerns were validated.

While locals suspected some cancer cases were tied to the contamination, officials found no connection.

According to a report by the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, soil testing at the plant and surrounding properties in the spring of 1986 found evidence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), toxic organic compounds used in electronics manufacturing. PCB oils were used at Potter from 1959-1968.

As soon as the contamination was found, state officials ordered Potter to determine its extent and develop plans for cleanup, which the company did.

In 1987, the Mississippi Department of Health tested a pair of Wesson’s municipal water wells located about 1,000 feet from Potter and found significant trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination. The company had used TCEs from 1954-1975 to degrease and clean PCBs from its components.

Wesson shut down the old wells and drilled two new wells, connecting them to the water system in 1989.


… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About Megan Wright

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *