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Superfund


   

Sites in Reuse in Iowa

Aidex Corporation

The 15-acre Aidex Corporation Superfund site is located in rural Mineola, Iowa, about 7 miles south-southeast of Council Bluffs. Aidex Corporation operated a pesticide manufacturing plant at the site from 1974 to 1980. Spills of pesticides during transfer of the materials from tank cars to formulation equipment and the improper handling, storage and disposal of process wastes resulted in the release of at least 16 pesticide compounds into the environment. Site operators also stored liquid process wastes in an underground storage tank that leaked. In 1976, an Aidex manufacturing building caught fire. The runoff from water used to extinguish the blaze contaminated the surrounding soil, aquifer and ground water with an herbicide and various pesticides. The company filed for bankruptcy in 1980. In 1981, EPA began a Fund-lead cleanup of approximately 2,400 drums of pesticides, contaminated water and underground storage tanks. EPA added the site to the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983. Aidex Corporation remained involved in this cleanup effort. After removing the drums and treating 21,193 cubic yards of soil and 187,000 gallons of water, EPA inspected the remaining buildings on site to ensure that they were safe for reuse. Following site inspections, EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 1993. In 1997, Aidex Corporation’s Slow Moving Vehicles (SMV) Company moved into the on-site buildings. SMV currently manufactures slow moving vehicle indicators at the site.
Updated 1/2013

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Electro-Coatings, Inc.

The Electro-Coatings, Inc. Superfund site is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In operation since 1947, the Electro-Coatings metal plating plant sits on a 150-acre impoundment along the northern shoreline of Cedar Lake. The plant currently performs chromium, cadmium, nickel and zinc plating. Improper storage of chemicals and leaking storage vessels resulted in the contamination of soil, ground water, nearby wells and Cedar Lake. In response to concerns about the potential for migration of contamination to nearby City of Cedar Rapids municipal wells, EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1989. EPA’s 1994 cleanup plan involved ground water monitoring and pumping of the Hawkeye Rubber Manufacturing Company well (PW-1), with a contingency to install a recovery well and pump contaminated ground water to the publicly owned treatment works. Cleanup activities also included the removal of chromium-contaminated soil and concrete for proper disposal off site. Ground water treatment and monitoring continues at the site.
Updated 1/2013

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Farmers' Mutual Cooperative

The 6-acre Farmers' Mutual Cooperative site is an agricultural supply and service business located in the northwestern corner of Hospers, Iowa. Between 1902 and 1992, the business handled bulk fertilizer and pesticides. In 1984, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources found pesticides and carbon tetrachloride in water from three shallow municipal wells located next to the site. Site investigations determined that releases of these contaminants had contaminated ground water under the site. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1990 and selected a cleanup plan in a 1992 Record of Decision (ROD). The cleanup plan included natural attenuation of ground water contaminants and ground water and surface water monitoring with a drinking water contingency to connect affected residents to a public water supply if deemed necessary. In late 1996, the city connected the community to the Hospers rural water system. EPA’s cleanup plan allowed the on-site business to continue operating throughout cleanup activities. In 2001, when sampling confirmed the effectiveness of the remedy, EPA deleted the site from the NPL. The Farmers' Mutual Cooperative, now operating under the name of Midwest Farmers' Cooperative, currently uses the site for grain storage.
Updated 10/2013

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Iowa Army Ammunition Plant

The 19,127-acre Iowa Army Ammunition Plant (IAAP) Superfund site is located in Middletown, a rural area of eastern Iowa. The IAAP is an active manufacturing facility. Since 1941, facility operators have loaded, assembled and packed a variety of conventional ammunition and fusing systems for the U.S. Department of Defense. The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) assembled nuclear weapons at Line 1 of the IAAP from 1948 to 1975. Wastes produced at IAAP include explosive-laden sludge, wastewater, solids, lead-contaminated sludge, waste pesticides, ashes from incineration and open burning of explosives, and waste solvents from industrial and laboratory operations. The U.S. Army has identified a number of potentially contaminated areas at the IAAP. These include two abandoned lagoons that site operators used to settle out explosives-contaminated wastewaters prior to discharge into Brush Creek until approximately 1957. Site cleanup activities have addressed about 80,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments from the lagoons. In the spring of 1993, the U.S. Army analyzed water samples from the wells of residences located just south of the IAAP. Two of the wells contained explosives at levels above health advisory limits. Cleanup actions completed at the IAAP site include the removal of sources of explosives and metals in soils and the installation of alternate water supplies for potentially impacted residents. These activities have reduced the potential threats to people and the environment. The planning and implementation of further cleanup actions are currently underway. On the IAAP, about 8,000 acres are leased for agricultural use and about 7,500 acres are forested. The remaining areas are used for administrative and industrial operations. Public access to the installation is restricted by perimeter fencing and IAAAP installation security staff.
Updated 1/2013

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John Deere (Ottumwa Works Landfills)

The 118-acre John Deere (Ottumwa Works Landfills) Superfund site is located in Ottumwa, Iowa. The John Deere Company has manufactured farm tools on the site since 1911. From 1911 until 1973, the company disposed of approximately 3,000 tons of solvents, paint sludge, acids, heavy metals and cyanide on the site. The site is located 200 feet from prime agricultural land and about 700 people get drinking water from private wells located within 3 miles of the site. The main water supply for the Ottumwa population is the Des Moines River. The water supply intake is just 4,000 feet upstream from the John Deere landfills. The City’s secondary water supply, used intermittently throughout the year, is Black Lake, located 500 feet down gradient of the on-site landfills. Site investigations detected contamination in site soil, sediments, and surface water. EPA added the site to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) in 1990. Under EPA oversight, the John Deere Company conducted an investigation to determine the type and extent of contamination. Based on the results of the 1991 investigation, EPA selected a remedy. This remedy requires the John Deere Company to maintain the existing fence around the site and to continue monitoring the ground water to ensure that it remains safe. EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 2000. John Deere continues the manufacture of farm equipment on the property. Deed restrictions now limit site use to nonresidential activities.
Updated 1/2013

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Labounty

The 8-acre Labounty Superfund site is located on the Cedar River floodplain at the southern edge of Charles City, Iowa. Salsbury Laboratories, a manufacturer of veterinary pharmaceuticals, disposed of contaminated sludge and organic wastes at the site from 1953 to 1977. These contaminants threatened surrounding ground water as well as the Cedar River. The river provides drinking water to more than 300,000 people, about one-third of Iowa's population. In 1981, Salsbury Laboratories placed a clay cap over the site. However, the cap failed to fully prevent the leaching of contaminants into area ground water. In 1983, EPA added the site to its National Priorities List (NPL). In 1986, Salsbury Laboratories installed a ground water diversion wall that proved effective and EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 1983. Now returned to productive use, the site serves as a construction equipment storage area for Allied Construction. The successful cleanup has removed the threat of drinking water contamination for hundreds of thousands of Iowa residents.
Updated 1/2013

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Mason City Coal Gasification

The Mason City Coal Gasification Plant Superfund site is located in Mason City, Iowa. Beginning in the early 1900s, a manufactured gas plant on site generated "town gas" for lighting and heating purposes. Site operators decommissioned and demolished the plant in the early 1950s. Remaining residues from the gas manufacturing process, commonly referred to as coal tar, contaminated on-site soil and ground water. In June 1984, Mason City began excavation on the site for the installation of a new sewer line. The city discovered coal tar in subsurface soil and subsurface structures. In 1994, EPA added the site to the National Priorities List (NPL). EPA required potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to excavate contaminated soils and waste materials during a removal action completed in 1997. The selected remedy for the site consists of monitored natural attenuation of ground water with institutional controls to protect human health and the environment. This remedy was implemented in 2003 and continues to the present. The property remains in continued use by the current owner, Alliant Energy Corporation. The owner uses a small garage on the western edge of the site to park vehicles or store equipment and continues to operate a power substation on the southwest portion of the site.
Updated 1/2013

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Peoples Natural Gas Co.

The Peoples Natural Gas Co. Superfund site occupies about five acres in Dubuque, Iowa. From 1890 through the 1950’s a manufactured gas plant operated on the site. The plant produced a natural gas substitute from coal. Remaining residues from the gas manufacturing process, commonly referred to as coal tar, contaminated on-site soil and ground water. In 1983, while conducting a right-of-way survey for the proposed extension of U.S. Highway 61, the Iowa Department of Transportation discovered site contamination resulting from plant operations. The state detected volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and many other contaminants in site ground water and soil. In 1989, a removal action addressed soil contamination in the area where the highway construction was to take place. Cleanup activities included the excavation of about 6,850 cubic yards of contaminated soil and wastes. EPA added the site to the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1990. In 1991, EPA selected a remedy that included pumping and treating contaminated ground water and excavation and incineration of remaining contaminated soils. The ground water extraction and treatment system operated in the shallowest aquifer on site from 1996 until 2003. Ground water monitoring is ongoing. In the 1960’s the Peoples Natural Gas Company sold a portion of the site to the City of Dubuque, which operated the Dubuque Public Works Garage on the site until 2006. The city continues to use the property for equipment storage and leases a portion of the property to a tenant who uses it for storage of lumber. The Iowa Department of Transportation owns the remainder of the site.
Updated 1/2013

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Shaw Avenue Dump
Site photo

The Shaw Avenue Dump Superfund site is located in southeastern Charles City, Iowa. The site is an 8-acre city dump that sits about 500 feet east of the Cedar River. Charles City operated the site as a municipal waste dump without a permit. From 1949 to 1953, site operators disposed of large amounts of arsenic-contaminated solid waste on the northern half of the site. In addition, Salsbury Laboratories discharged liquid wastes to the Charles City wastewater treatment plant. Site operators then disposed of sludge from the plant on the southern portion of the site. Between the northern and southern areas, lime sludge from the drinking water treatment plant was also disposed of in trenches. The City and the public used this area for open burning of wastes. Site investigations identified arsenic contamination in area ground water, soil and surface waters of the Cedar River. As a result, EPA listed the site on the National Priorities List in 1987. In early 1992, the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) began cleanup activities. The PRPs transported all contaminated materials off site for proper disposal at a permitted landfill. The successful removal of contaminated soils from the site reduced the risk of exposure to area ground water. As a result, EPA determined that no further action was required to address ground water contamination on site. Charles City owns the site, where it stockpiles mulch along the entrance road near the wastewater treatment plant for use by local residents. The city also constructed an asphalt pad near the wastewater treatment plant to provide a dry place for residents to pick up the stockpiled mulch.
Updated 1/2013

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