A recent discovery of a hazardous chemical near the site of the new Target store in Davis has some citizens calling for construction on the store to be delayed.
The chemical, trichloropropane, is considered to be a “probable carcinogen” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It has already been detected at the nearby Frontier Fertilizer Superfund Site, which the EPA has been monitoring and cleaning up since the mid-1990s.
The citizens‘ group that oversees that cleanup project says the TCP could be moving toward the Mace Ranch neighborhood to the north. They have asked the EPA to stop construction on the Target development so more testing can be done in the area.
The discovery of this chemical outside of the original cleanup site is certainly alarming, and the neighbors who live next door have every right to be concerned about their safety. Nonetheless, there is no evidence that Target’s construction is going to threaten that.
In fact, Target has worked with the EPA to take extra precautions.
Target is installing a vapor barrier and venting system beneath the foundation of the store to prevent any toxic vapors from entering the building and harming employees or customers. Target has also put in more monitoring wells around the site than previously existed.
The claim that Target’s construction is going to threaten public health is simply unfounded.
While recent history provides many reasons not to trust the EPA, this is a situation that pits the word of toxicology and cleanup experts against the word of a group of citizens. Unless the citizens‘ group knows something the EPA doesn’t, it is only reasonable to trust the EPA’s judgment that the public’s health is not in jeopardy because of this development.