Community meeting

Hub City organizes a community meeting on the future of the Hercules site

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) – The city of Hattiesburg and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency want to hear from area residents before taking action.

Most people who know Hattiesburg know the Hercules site. It’s the lot north of West 7th Street with the chimney towers.

“Hercules began operating in the town of Hattiesburg a little over a century ago, and they use rosin to make a variety of products, and over the generations over the last century they have employed a lot of people…thousands of people,” Barker says. “However, some things done to the environment were of concern to MDEQ and EPA and to our community as a whole.”

Now the EPA potentially wants to put it on what’s called the Superfund’s National Priorities List.

This list primarily includes sites where contamination releases produce significant risks to human health and the environment, according to the City of Hattiesburg.

“The superfund status is sort of the highest priority list of potential sites that need remediation…” Barker said. “The EPA says there needs to be a little more cleaning.”

However, Barker says there are other ways to clean up the site. That’s why he and other city leaders are holding a community meeting next Thursday, May 19, at the CE Roy community center.

Barker says he wants to hear from the people who live and breathe the area and give them a chance to ask the EPA a few questions.

Ultimately, he says, it all comes down to the people who live there and how the land is used again.

“The city hasn’t taken a position,” Barker said. “The only position we take is that we want our residents to get answers, and from there I think it’s, like we do everything, we try to talk to the community and see how we’re doing from the front.”

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 19.

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