So, how do you eat an elephant? For some of us, the former Tronox/Kerr-McGee Superfund site in Columbus looked like an elephant.... and we were being asked to eat it.
In January 2010, federal and state environmental officials toured the former Kerr-McGee wood treatment facility and the challenges surrounding it. At that time, stakeholders, including Tronox, City officials, MDEQ and EPA were struggling to find a way to address cleanup, safety, and drainage issues along 14th Avenue in Columbus, Mississippi. Oh, by the way, 14th Avenue runs the boundary between the street and the former wood treating facility. Challenges related to liability, right-of-way, and a multitude of "what ifs" seemed to be dragging the project down. In addition, Tronox was, at that time, in the middle of a bankruptcy dispute, of which the Department of Justice, twenty-two States, and EPA soon got involved. In a word, the project was "complex." At times, I felt like we were attempting to eat an elephant.