State regulators repeatedly cited the company, formed by several Greensboro businessmen, for reckless practices that ranged from improperly disposing of hazardous waste sent there by a who’s who of corporate America — such as General Electric, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips and Walt Disney World — to haphazardly storing 20,000 or more drums of chemicals, many uncapped or leaking.
Annual sampling last fall at the former Seaboard plant site found one well with groundwater containing dioxane 27,000 times higher than state standards, another with benzene at 1,400 times the standards, a third with perchlorethene at 18,571 times the standards and a fourth with vinyl chloride at 241,000 times the limit. Cancer is not the only threat from such chemicals. Repeated overexposure to dioxane, for example, can damage the liver and kidneys. Other industrial chemicals also target the heart, central nervous system and other bodily functions.
Taxpayers have already forked over $3.3 million to clean this mess up, with very little progress to show for it. Read the whole article, if you can stomach it. Understanding how something like this could be allowed to happen is the only way to prevent such calamitous mistakes in the future.