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Fact Sheet

March 2012

Third Five-Year Review Started, Lehigh Portland Cement Company Superfund Site, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 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. Section 9621 (c)]. EPA Region 7 and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources have started the third five-year review of the Lehigh Portland Cement Co. Superfund Site in Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa.


The site at 700 25th St. is bordered by 25th Street on the south, state Highway 65 on the east and northeast, and the Chicago Rock Island and Pacific railroads and Calmus Creek on the west. Calmus Creek flows to the Winnebago River, which is north and east of the site. Rural and agricultural areas lie to the east and west of the site. The Lime Creek Nature Center is to the northeast.

The Lehigh Portland Cement Co. has made cement since 1911. Cement making generates large quantities of kiln dust as the waste produced from heating raw materials. The alkaline cement kiln dust was disposed in several piles on-site.

A 1984 Iowa Department of Natural Resources investigation determined that an alkaline discharge from the pond had contaminated Calmus Creek. Lehigh retained a consultant in 1985 to conduct a hydrogeological study of the site. An EPA report in 1987 concluded that on-site contamination existed and that contaminants were migrating to ground water and Calmus Creek.

A remedial investigation/feasibility study was done by Lehigh in 1989. The adjacent Lime Creek Nature Center was investigated by Lehigh in the fall of 1990.

A Record of Decision signed in 1991 selected remedies for both the Lehigh Portland Cement Co. area and the Lime Creek Nature Center area.

The selected remedies for both areas included:

The remedial action began in 1994.


EPA and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources inspected the site on September 19, 2011. During this third five-year review, the ground water monitoring reports will be reviewed. The previous five-year review and land use will also be reviewed.

It was recommended in the previous review that Lehigh should continue to maintain the property and conduct ground water monitoring.

The results of the previous five-year review show that the remedy for the site continues to remain protective of human health and the environment. 


The site Administrative Record is available at the following locations during normal business hours:

EPA Records Center
901 N. Fifth St.
Kansas City, Kansas

Mason City Public Library
225 Second St. SE
Mason City, Iowa

Questions or requests for information can be submitted to:

Ben Washburn
Community Involvement Coordinator
EPA Region 7
901 N. Fifth St.
Kansas City, KS 66101
Toll-free: (800) 223-0425
Email: washburn.ben@epa.gov

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