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BF Goodrich Plant Demolition Underway, Resident Questions Safety - KOAM TV 7

BF Goodrich Plant Demolition Underway, Resident Questions Safety

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The BF Goodrich plant in Miami, Oklahoma is finally coming down after closing back in 1986.

Demolition work is underway, but with a history of hazardous chemicals at the site, it's bringing worry for a neighbor.

David, who chooses not to give his last name, lives 5 blocks from the old Goodrich plant and had family members who worked there. He's concerned about how it's coming down.

David says, "If they're supposed to be wetting everything down and double bagging things and taking care of this contaminated material, are they, where are the contaminants that the water is washing off this building material? And where is it going?"

The property owner Blakeney Company has an industrial hygienist on site.

He and the city's emergency management director say there's no run off but rather the appropriate amount of water to keep dust down and that its inspected weekly.

Both say asbestos removal is done under regulations of the state DEQ or the Department of Environmental Quality and also Department of Labor.

And all had a part in the plans submitted to the city of Miami.

City spokeswoman and executive director of the Miami Area Chamber of Commerce Michele Bolton says, "All those regulations were put into the permits. Those permits are being issued stage by stage so they have to complete each stage that has already been authorized before they move on to the next."

The west end of the Goodrich plant will remain. It's currently a warehousing operation. We talked with an employee who says he's not concerned about chemicals saying those were cleaned away before the east part of the plant demolition began.

Bolton says, "They're inspecting that demolition as it happens to ensure that its meeting all the qualities for environmental standards."

David wants to know for sure but isn't getting answers.

David says, "I tried to contact EPA. A lot of red tape there."

While others who worked at the plant say, it's hard to see it finally go.

William Johnston, a former employee says, "After 39 and half years of working here, it's just part of us."

But Blakeney officials and the chamber say after demolition the property could have a brighter future.

According to the city attorney, metal debris is being hauled to Arkansas. Asbestos is being taken to a DOL/DEQ approved landfill by Environmental Action, Inc. (EAI) of Tulsa and Lowder Transportation co., Inc. Of Shawnee, Oklahoma.

There is benzene waste in the ground which is the responsibility of the Michelin company and won't be disturbed by demolition.
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