Village of Luckey plans to use water source near chemically-contaminated site
LUCKEY, Ohio (WTVG) - The people of Luckey are up in arms after learning that leaders plan to draw water from a quarry located right next to a site contaminated with the toxic chemical beryllium.
“Our village is trying to acquire the quarry that sits on the outskirts of town under eminent domain for use as a public water source,” said Grace Fields, who is concerned about the water plan. “The quarry happens to be right next to the old beryllium production site.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is spending millions cleaning up the contamination left behind, but that only provides a little comfort to some.
“I think there’s every reason to believe this water is not safe,” said Alexa York, who is also concerned about the water plan. “The thing is, no one in town really wants this. Everyone is, you know, on a private well.”
Luckey Mayor Cory Panning declined our request for an interview. Instead he sent us an informational sheet which says the quarry water has been tested by a laboratory approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Panning goes on to say it’s the Village’s duty to create a public water source for its citizens.
“They are elected officials because they represent us,” said York. “They’re supposed to be able to give us the voice that we need and solve problems that we need, and this isn’t a problem that needs to be solved. They’re creating a problem out of nothing.”
Panning said that due to pending litigation to acquire the quarry, they have not been able to publicly discuss many of the details.
“You know, there’s just an overall lack of transparency about the issue,” said York. ”We just want to know what’s going on and get some answers.”
A representative from the EPA tells 13 Action News they have not been contacted by the Village about the project. If the agency would do the testing, the representative says the testing requirements would take into account its proximity to the beryllium factory.
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