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Re: our own garden


You mentioned you're waiting to hear from the EPA, but contaminated gas
stations are usually handled by the states and you should try your state
environmental agency to see if they have anything for the site.  I work with
gas stations for the CT Dept. of Environmental Protection and have dealt
with some where I'd have no qualms about starting a garden and some where
its reassuring to know the ground is paved.  Most are in between.  The
problem is that if no one has spent the money (a lot of it, by community
group standards) to assess the site, you can't tell the difference.
Extension soil labs don't ordinarily analyze samples for the contamination
you need to worry about and, anyway, such sampling should be done by
professionals.  Find out what information is available and then, maybe, it
might be possible to decide whether you can grow food, or just ornamentals,
or whether it would be better to devote your energy to another site.  Good


-----Original Message-----
From: Honigman, Adam <Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com>
To: 'Joanne M. Wolan' <jmwolan@uakron.edu>; community_garden@mallorn.com
Date: Wednesday, February 09, 2000 12:48 PM
Subject: RE: [cg] our own garden

>Off the top of my head,  no vegetable gardening for the forseeable future,
>only raised bed and container gardening, only flowers, shrubs decorative
>plantings.  I don't think having kids garden there is a good idea at all
>because of the potential toxicity problems. It is possible to clean up some
>sites through extensive composting and soil amendments, but you need real
>professional advice. It might end up that you walk away from this one.
>Pollution of this sort can be a tar baby that you should avoid.
>But first:
>Take soil samples from all around the plot and send them to you local
>agricultural extension. This will help you know if your upper levels are
>badly polluted. Contact both your local and Federal EPA to see if the
>owners of the site are liable for cleaning it up. Do a state and federal
>freedom of information act search for information on this site for
>litigation, it might even be a superfund site! Also, find out if there has
>been any seepage into adjacent plots, or god forbid, the water supply.
>Because of liability issues, I'd suggest that you contact the nearest large
>University with a law school, explain to their environmental studies and
>professors who are teaching environmental law what your plans are, and ask
>them if they could advise you on a pro-bono basis.
>I'd be sure  contact the American Community Gardening association
>http://communitygarden.org , the Trust for Public Land
>http://www.igc.apc.org/tpl  and check out all their links
>My concerns are exposure to gardeners of toxic chemicals, chemical seepage
>problems, exposure to litigation caused by gardening in a toxic waste site.
>I'd suggest you think hard before you dig.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Joanne M. Wolan [SMTP:jmwolan@uakron.edu]
>> Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2000 11:38 AM
>> To: community_garden@mallorn.com
>> Subject: [cg] our own garden
>> Hello, I am involved with a community organization which has the
>> opportunity to develop a plot of green space into a garden.  The only
>> trouble is, the site used to house a gas station, and we have yet to
>> hear from the EPA on contamination levels.  So, our group has bounced
>> around a few ideas, made a few plans, but haven't come to any
>> decisions.  The favorite idea involves builing around a large item of
>> some sort (someone suggested a trubuchet (catapult)), but we are having
>> difficulty bringing ideas to the table.  Anyone have suggestions?
>> Thanks,
>> Joanne
>> joskunk@yahoo.com
>> _______________________________________________
>> community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com
>> https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden
>community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

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