June 7, 2000
Jerry Oglesby, 6PD-P
USEPA Region 6
1445 Ross Avenue, Suite #1200
Dallas, TX 75202-2733
Dear Mr. Oglesby:
Your name was given via phoning the toll free number of 1-800-887-6063 regarding my complaint pertaining to the State of Louisiana and it's lack of adequate environmental testing and disclosure of chemical use for the Oak Harbor Golf Club. Currently there is a pending public health assessment by ATSDR on the facility.
The golf course facility is part of the Eden Isles/Oak Harbor development that has a long history of environmental abuses. In the early part of 1970 EPA advised the Corps of Engineers that an environmental impact study was necessary and warned that draining the wetlands and constructing canals would most likely result in cess pools. However, the Corps continued with the project, ignoring the advice of EPA.
According to ATSDR, they state their "staff members have reviewed all relevant information regarding the site available from the state and local health agencies. Based on the available environmental information, they found no evidence of releases of hazardous substances into the environment that might create a potential threat to public health. We have done what we believed to be necessary to determine whether a public health hazard exists. Without information that documents a release of hazardous substances, ATSDR does not have a reasonable basis to conduct additional public health activities".
It's common practice in the State of Louisiana to have records distorted or missing. It's also common practice in the state to have agencies refuse to conduct adequate environmental testing, if done at all, and corruption runs rampant.
I live next to the golf course and I am currently on disability from SSA in what was termed as Environmental Illnesses. I have cardiovascular disease which I believe to be caused by continual severe pesticide exposures. New "studies links heart attacks to moderate air pollution". Refer to http://www.latimes.com/news/state/updates/lat_heart000605.htm.
Over the years employees of the golf course applied pesticides along my fence area knowing that I was struggling at the time with adverse affects from poisoning and knowing that my dogs were dying from the same affects. I've watched their employees, dressed in full uniform with respirator, ride down the greens spraying toxins while golfers were playing on the course or while other employees were working in the sand traps. This is irresponsible! This is also in violation of the law!!!
The three issues of concern per a letter from ATSDR dated March 6, 1998 are the following:
- "Exposure to contaminants through private wells in your area may affect human health;
- Contaminants of the Schneider Canal with the Golf Club's discharges may result in human exposures through swimming, fishing, and crabbing, and
- You want information about chemicals used by the Golf Club and how they may effect human health."
As to date, I've received none of the above and would appreciate your assistance in resolving these long overdue matters.
1301 Howze Beach Road
Slidell, LA 70458-8503
Phone/Fax: 985 649-6574
Website: Pesticides, Wetlands & the Game of Golf
Robert C. Williams, P.E., DEE, ATSDR,