Industrial Solvent May Be Subject of Federal Study

An industrial solvent that contaminated ground water in an area of North Pole may be the subject of a federal study.  Sulfolane, has been nominated by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation for study under the National Toxicology Program.  D.E.C.Environmental Health Program Acting Manager Nim Ha says the move is aimed at getting answers to questions about the health effects of sulfolane.

Ha says the state could hear whether the National Toxicology Program accepts the sufolane study nomination as early as next month.  She says any sulfolane studies would be conducted on animals. Sulfolane was first detected in ground water outside the North Pole refinery boundary in October 2009.  The contamination is traced to historic spills at the facility.  Current owner Flint Hill has provided new city wells, and offered bottled water, water tanks, filters and other fixes to people whose private wells were contaminated.

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