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Information Commissioner Ben Casey Apparently Has Not Seen

Camden County Commissioner Ben Casey recently referred readers at Facebook Taxpayers Against Spaceport Camden to examine the existing Environmental Covenant covering the Union Carbide property the County plans to purchase for Spaceport Camden. Here's a link to download the 2011 Covenant that is still in effect but must be revised for any development to occur.

Key restraints of the 2011 Covenant include no ground water removal and that no residential or living quarters can be built on the entire 4,011-acre property, of which only about 1,300 acres are upland. The upland area within the dashed black line in the image below is owned by Union Carbide.

The 2011 Environmental Covenant recognizes that former significant disposal and testing areas for Munitions and Explosives of Concern (MEC) remain which require mitigation and segregation from areas that might be used for development. The Union Carbide Landfill (show in PURPLE labeled "UC") is a carve out from the 4,011 acres that will adjoin, but not be purchased, by Camden taxpayers. The 2015 Purchase Option Contract requires that Camden taxpayers pay for a $10 million Environmental Liability Insurance policy benefiting Union Carbide to cover damage caused by spaceport operations. Camden's upland area will be further reduced by another 300+ acres that will be called "Restricted Use Zones" (RUZ). These are described in the documents found later in this post (see Excerpt 1, below). The ORANGE trapezoid area labeled "BC" that is encircled by future spaceport land will remain owned by Bayer CropScience. Believed to be a former wastewater spray field. No Bayer property has been analyzed in the multi-million dollar Environmental Impact Statement. The "spaceport" also contains a large array of freshwater wetlands designated on the National Wetlands Inventory. More than 2,500-acres of the "spaceport" property is salt water marsh that is State of Georgia Trust land.

Combined Overlay of known Munitions and Chemical sites (Yellow labels) with freshwater wetlands

Union Carbide contracted Jacobs Engineering to prepare studies of what might be required to prepare the property for sale to Camden County and to meet Georgia EPD requirements to modify the existing 2011 Environmental Covenant.

The following documents were obtained under Georgia Open Records Act discovery.

The first document is the Study Plan:

EPD_UC Work Plan
Download PDF • 154KB

Excerpt 1:

This document is Jacobs' submission of their review of Solid Waste Management Units 8 and 9 and previously unknown drum disposal sites review:

UCC - EC_Boundaries_Drum_CAP_03-23-20.pptx
Download PDF • 4.21MB

Excerpt 2:

Note Commissioner Casey's pine tree roots growing throughout the industrial waste:

The final document from Jacobs describes possible changes to the Environmental Covenants addressing freshwater access, boundaries of Restricted Use Zones, and the basis for Munitions and Explosives of Concerns restrictions, among other issues:

UCC - Environmental Covenants_May 2020 to EPD.pptx
Download PDF • 1.82MB

Excerpt 3:

Excerpt 4:

The 7-month Georgia Environmental Covenant Review has not been started. If the FAA issues a spaceport operator license prior to legal changes in the Environmental Covenant, Camden County Commissioners will close on the Union Carbide property with no assurance that any useful commercial activity can be performed on the site. The FAA is allowing Camden to put the 'cart before the horse'. We'll own a useless property for $11 million and counting.


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