Contaminated Site Has Nikiski Residents Worried About Groundwater Pollution

A contaminated site in Nikiski has residents worried for the safety of their groundwater. The Arness Septage site was a dumping ground in the 1980s for more than 4,000 gallons of oil contaminated waste, sludge and other pollutants. In the decades since, Department of Environmental Conservation staff say the site has not been properly monitored.

Peninsula Clarion reporter Brian Smith just published a six-part series on the site. He says in the late 1980s the area was cleaned up. But he told APRN’s Lori Townsend there are still big questions about how area ground water was affected.

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for Alaska Public Media. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for nearly 30 years. Radio brought her to Alaska, where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting before accepting a reporting/host position with APRN in 2003. APRN merged with Alaska Public Media a year later. Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters.