A group of residents met last week with an EPA representative in Verona to express their concerns about contamination, something that the town has dealt with in the past.
Verona was once home to the Syntex, who manufactured Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Dioxin is a byproduct from the making of Agent Orange. Dioxin contamination was discovered in the early 1980's when soil at the Syntex site was found to contain the chemical, which is known to cause health problems including cancer.
The 180-acre tract of land where Syntex was located was declared a Super Fund Site by the EPA in 1983. That area west of Verona was fenced and the EPA spent the next decade cleaning dioxin from the soil and removing contaminated equipment. In 1993, the EPA stated that no more remedial action was needed.
Concerns that the soil and groundwater might still be contaminated prompted the town meeting.
A spokesman for the EPA stated that two chemicals have been found on the Syntex site in recent testing. Both dioxin and dioxane were found in ground water at that location. The EPA will continue to investigate the find.
For Verona residents, their water supply comes from nearby Aurora but for those living outside the city limits and use well water, worries that the water may be contaminated remain. According to the EPA, five wells tested were deemed to be uncontaminated.
In addition, Syntex purchased a 60-acre farm located adjacent to the Super Fund Site in September 2018. Company spokespersons have stated the land was purchased for access only and that there are no long-range plans for the property.
The EPA plans to hold another public meeting in the future.
The Aurora Advertiser will continue to follow the story as additional details emerge.