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Funding lacking for former Chemfax site cleanup

GULFPORT — The cost to remove harmful chemicals from an old industrial site, Chemfax Inc. in Gulfport, is estimated at $2.5 million. That is what about 30 residents learned last night at a meeting with the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Sun Herald reports the EPA conducted an emergency cleanup in 1999 that cost $1 million to $1.5 million, but lack of funding has delayed permanent cleanup. The EPA is now looking to the state, which owns the site, to pay for final cleanup.

The EPA and Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality propose excavating 18,000 cubic yards of soil contaminated with petroleum byproducts that can cause cancer.

The Chemfax plant produced resins and waxes from petroleum products. The plant operated from 1955 until 1995, when the owner died.

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