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Fact Sheet

March 2010

Second Five-Year Review Begins, Shaw Avenue Dump Site, Floyd County, Iowa


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducts regular five-year reviews on Superfund sites where cleanups have been completed. These reviews are required by the Superfund law [42 U.S.C. § 9621(c)]. EPA Region 7 has initiated the second five-year review of the Shaw Avenue Dump Site in Floyd County, Iowa.

Site Background

The Shaw Avenue Dump Site is approximately 600 feet from the Cedar River, near the intersection of Shaw Avenue and Clark Street. It is approximately 2,000 feet long and approximately 525 feet wide. The Iowa Terminal Railroad tracks bound the site to the west. The site is fenced on the north and east sides and is bordered by the Cedar River to the south. The site occupies approximately 24 acres of the Cedar River 100-year floodplain. The site is owned by the city of Charles City, Iowa.

The city of Charles City purchased the northern portion of the site in 1899 and continued to acquire sections until 1964. The site has been used for municipal waste disposal and disposal of sludge from the city treatment plant. It was also used by Salsbury Laboratories, Inc., from 1949 to 1953 to dispose of chemical processing waste from its animal pharmaceuticals business, consisting of arsenic and organic compounds. Salsbury Laboratories discharged liquid wastes to the city wastewater treatment plant, and from 1949 to 1964, sludge from the treatment plant was disposed of at the site. Compounds contained in the waste materials from Salsbury Laboratories included arsenic, nitrophenol, orthonitroaniline, nitrobenzene, and 1,1,2-trichloroethane.

The site was identified as a potential hazardous waste site by the Iowa Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) in 1977. IDEQ studied the site and documented arsenic contamination in surface water associated with the site in reports from 1977 to 1981. The site was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in July 1987. In 1987, EPA notified Salsbury Laboratories and the city of Charles City of their potential liability. A Consent Order was completed in 1988. A remedial investigation and feasibility study was completed in 1991.

A Record of Decision (ROD) was completed in September 1991. The remedy included fixation/stabilization of chemical fill and contaminated soil, installation of a low-permeability cap, and groundwater monitoring. In March 1992, an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) implemented a contingency remedy of excavation with a hydraulic excavator with treatment and disposal at an offsite landfill.

In 1992, EPA entered into a Consent Decree with the city of Charles City and Solvay Animal Health, Inc., the successor to Salsbury Laboratories, Inc. The Consent Decree required the city of Charles City and Solvay Animal Health, Inc. (later Fort Dodge Animal Health, Wyeth, and Pfizer as of October 2009) to perform excavation and disposal of the chemical fill and contaminated soil, to conduct the groundwater monitoring, and to implement institutional controls, which includes the restrictive covenant and easement on the site property.

The remedial action was completed in 1994. In September 2000, the Groundwater Operable Unit 2 ROD required that groundwater monitoring and institutional controls be continued.

Five-Year Review

The first five-year review was conducted in 2005. This review concluded the remedy at the site continued to be protective of human health and the environment.

During this second five-year review, EPA will evaluate the deed restrictions on the property, inspect the site, and study site files and information to make sure the remedy continues to be protective. At the end of the review, a final report will be prepared and will be available in the site information repositories. The goal is to complete the review and report in May 2010.

EPA encourages the community to inform us about site conditions or any concerns.

Additional Information

Detailed site information is available at the following locations:

Charles City Public Library
106 Milwaukee
Charles City, Iowa

EPA Region 7 Records Center
901 North Fifth Street
Kansas City, Kansas

If you have questions or need additional information on the Shaw Avenue Dump Site or the five-year review process, please contact:

Fritz Hirter
Community Involvement Coordinator
EPA Region 7
901 North Fifth Street
Kansas City, Kansas  66101
Toll free:  1-800-223-0425
E-mail: hirter.fritz@epa.gov

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