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EPA Studying Area Neighborhood For Potential Vapors in Soil

What are VOCs?

VOCs are a group of chemicals used in solvents, paints and dry-cleaning fluid. Breathing low levels of VOCs for long periods may cause an increase in health risks.

Cooperating agencies

The following agencies are working together to address the potential of vapor intrusion:

Information repository

You may review site documents at:
St. Louis Park Public Library
3240 Library Lane
St. Louis Park, Minn.

Check out these Web sites:

www.epa.gov/region5/sites/stlouispark

www.epaosc.net/ StLouisParkVaporIntrusionAssessment

www.atsdr.cdc.gov

Highway 7 & Wooddale Avenue Soil Vapor Study Areas
St. Louis Park, Minnesota
December 2007

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will soon begin testing up to 250 homes and businesses in a St. Louis Park neighborhood for potentially hazardous vapors that might be seeping into the structures from underground. The agency will test buildings on both sides of Highway 7 near Wooddale Avenue.

Samples of ground water taken in St. Louis Park in 2005 and 2006 by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency were found to contain volatile organic compounds – known as VOCs. (See box at left for a brief description of VOCs.) That prompted more tests to find out if the soil contained vapors from the VOCs. These vapors can move up through the soil and into the basements of homes and other buildings. This process is called "vapor intrusion."

While there is no evidence to suggest an imminent health risk to residents, the agency needs to examine the potential for vapor intrusion in the area.

EPA expects to begin the vapor study in January. Here's what to expect when the study starts:

Once the testing is complete, workers will remove the sub-slab sampling points. They will fill the holes with quick-setting concrete and return the floor to the same condition it was in before the sampling.

The results of this study will help EPA determine what additional sampling and investigation may be necessary.

Potential protective measures and remedies

EPA will take all steps necessary to fix any problems found. One way to handle VOC vapors in homes is to seal cracks or other spots in basements and crawl spaces. That's one potential pathway for vapors to enter the home. Another fix is to install venting systems in homes. VOC gases trapped in soil could be removed through a variety of technologies. If a system like this is needed, EPA will use the most appropriate technology to resolve the problem.

For more information

For more information about the study, you may contact:

Sonia Vega (vega.sonia@epa.gov) 651-757-2796
EPA On-Scene Coordinator
520 Lafayette Road N.
St. Paul, MN 55155

Cheryl Allen (allen.cheryl@epa.gov) 800-621-8431, Ext. 36196
EPA Community Involvement Coordinator (P-19J)
77 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604-3590

Region 5 Office of Public Affairs (P-19J) 77 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60604-3590 United States Environmental Protection Agency Reproduced on Recycled Paper HIGHWAY 7 & WOODALE AVENUE SOIL VAPOR STUDY AREAS: EPA Studying Area Neighborhood for Potential Vapors in Soil

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Minnesota Department of Health

City of St. Louis Park

Brian Hoffman, Inspections Director 952-924-2584 bhoffman@stlouispark.org


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