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Fact Sheet

March 2012

Third Five-Year Review to Begin, Red Oak Landfill Superfund Site, Red Oak, Iowa


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducts regular checkups, called five-year reviews, on certain 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 (IDNR) have initiated their third five-year review of the Red Oak Landfill Superfund Site in Red Oak, Iowa. EPA and IDNR are conducting the five-year review to make sure the cleanup continues to protect people and the environment.


The site is located in Montgomery County, Iowa, about 1.5 miles northwest of the city of Red Oak on the west bank of the East Nishnabotna River and on the east side of  “G” Avenue (formerly Parkwest Road). Before the site was cleaned up, some landfill areas had not been adequately covered. The landfill had received construction debris, municipal refuse and industrial waste from facilities in the Red Oak area. The site posed a possible risk to the public health through direct contact, slope erosion, and potential migration of contaminants.

From 1962 to 1974, the site was operated as a landfill by the city of Red Oak. The industrial wastes received there included toluene, methyl isobutyl ketone, tetrachloroethylene, mineral spirits, diacetone alcohol, laminated paper containing approximately three percent mercurous chloride from battery production, and drummed filter cake containing lead.

Under EPA oversight, responsible parties at the site installed an engineered cap on the landfill, with drainage structures to handle precipitation runoff. The river bank slope was graded and vegetation was planted to minimize erosion. The area was fenced to protect the cover and deter people from visiting the site. Deed restrictions were put into place to control future use of the site. The responsible parties at the site monitor ground water and maintain the landfill cover.


EPA and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will study site information during this third five-year review and information obtained from the site inspection to determine if the remedial action continues to protect human health and the environment. EPA and the state encourage members of the community to ask questions and report any concerns about the site. A final report will be prepared at the end of the review and will be available at the site information repositories. The scheduled completion of this third five-year review is September 2012.


Detailed site information from the Administrative Record can be found at the following locations during normal business hours:

Red Oak Public Library
400 N. Second St.
Red Oak, Iowa

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

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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