According to the Orlando Sentinel, thousands of gallons of molasses are being pumped into the ground in Orlando in hopes of cleaning up a toxic spill that almost landed the city on a list of the nation’s most hazardous places. The molasses serves as kind of food to activate subterranean bacteria that will then feast on cancer-causing trichloroethene.
The city of Orlando ultimately agreed to pay for cleaning up the contamination, rejecting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s offer to pay for the work by adding the hazardous site to the agency’s infamous list of projects. The chemical has spread underground beneath more than 40 acres of the city. More than 30,000 gallons of the sweetener will be used to get rid of the TCE. The biggest worry about TCE is that it could eventually penetrate layers of clay and enter the deeper Floridan Aquifer, which provides Central Florida with most of its drinking water.
Orlando’s contract with ARCADIS guarantees a cleanup for the fixed price of $12.9 million. It remains unknown how long it will take for the project to be completed. Molasses flows through pipes and an array of injection wells that are buried and visible only through hatchways to underground vaults. Further construction that will include the insertion of 90 metal rods as deep as 50 feet that, when fed an electric current, will heat up to the temperature of boiling water. It remains unclear if the surrounding neighborhoods will experience anything while the underground rods consume enormous amounts of electricity.
An Orlando injury lawyer can provide guidance if you have been injured because of a chemical spill or another cancer causing toxin.