Government and state officials toured Mount Carmel on Tuesday trying to decide how to split clean-up costs.
Representatives of the Texas Water Commission, the FBI and the Environmental Protection Agency visited the 77-acre site 10 miles east of Waco.
The entire property — the site of a Feb. 28 shoot-out between the Branch Davidians and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and an April 19 fire that killed more than 80 cult members — is quarantined. But state officials have said the quarantine will soon be restricted to the area immediately around the compound.
That decision could eventually clear the way for burials on the site.
TWC District Manager Larry Fergusson said no decision was made Tuesday about who will pay for what during the cleanup.
“The legal staffs of the involved agencies will get together and decide all that,” he said.
State officials quarantined Mount Carmel out of fears of the spread of disease from standing water and sewage. Fergusson said solid waste is also a problem at the site, as well as spilled fuel, razor wire and lead-contaminated soil — polluted from the hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition kept at the compound.
“It’s something do-able,” Fergusson said. “We just have to line up who’s responsible for what.”
EPA and FBI officials at the site declined to comment. Fergusson said the EPA was there as part of the assessment team.
“They will not be involved in paying for the cleanup,” he said.
As government officials inspected Mount Carmel, Debborah Brown drove up. She is the mother of two cult members — Shari Doyle, who died in the fire, and Karen Doyle, who was staying at the cult’s house in La Verne, Calif.
Brown is not a Branch Davidian.
She is irked, however, that access to Mount Carmel has been so severely limited.
“All I want to know is why certain people are allowed to go in there and certain people are not allowed to go in there,” Brown said. “The ATF were allowed to go on the property and have their cry. But what about those of us who lost people in there? I feel bad about the ones who died on both sides.”