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Fact Sheet

January 2009

Vapor Intrusion Study to Begin, Clinton Coal Gas Superfund Site, Clinton, Iowa


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 has been overseeing site investigation and cleanup activities related to the coal tar contamination at the Clinton Coal Gas Superfund site (Site) in Clinton, Iowa. The Site is located on the west side of Riverview Park between Fourth Avenue North and Second Avenue South.

The work is being performed by Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL), now a part of Alliant Energy, under an agreement called an Administrative Order. In addition to investigation work at the Site, IPL recently completed the removal and treatment of 113,000 tons of soil contaminated with coal tar, lead, and polychlorinated byphenyls (PCBs).

New information concerning the toxicity of one of the contaminants associated with coal tar, naphthalene, and potential indoor air quality impacts from possible vapor intrusion has led EPA to further evaluate the possibility of indoor air pollution. The purpose of this fact sheet is to announce this vapor intrusion sampling event and to provide information to the public on the sampling event.



In late-January, an environmental contractor for IPL will collect air samples from beneath the floors of several buildings in the area surrounding the site. EPA will provide oversight for this event. These samples will help EPA determine whether a potential exists for vapor from the site to intrude into these buildings or future buildings. This information is needed to make decisions about whether actions need to be taken. Based on the results of the study, additional sampling may be required to determine if vapor poses a problem in indoor air in the area immediately surrounding the Site.


The site contaminants with the potential for vapor intrusion into buildings from the subsurface are benzene and naphthalene. Both of these contaminants are found in coal tar. Benzene is also associated with leaks from other petroleum sources. Most people are familiar with naphthalene as the primary ingredient in moth balls.

Long-term exposure to these contaminants in indoor air may pose health risks to people. Based on the


levels of these contaminants found in the ground water around the site, EPA does not anticipate indoor air levels that are of an immediate concern or would pose a short-term health risk.


It is EPA's commitment to keep the Clinton community informed about Site activities throughout the cleanup process. EPA is available to discuss and answer questions regarding the ongoing and planned response actions. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact:

Beckie Himes
Community Involvement Coordinator
EPA, Region 7, Office of Public Affairs
901 North 5th Street
Kansas City, Kansas 66101
(913) 551-7253 or
Toll Free: 1-800-223-0425
E-mail: himes.beckie@epa.gov


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