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NPL Site Narrative for St. Louis Airport/Hazelwood Interim Storage/Futura Coatings Co.

St. Louis County, Missouri

Federal Register Notice:  October 04, 1989

Conditions at proposal (May 5, 1989): The St. Louis Airport/Hazelwood Interim Storage/Futura Coatings Co. Site is in St. Louis County, Missouri. It consists of three areas used for storing radioactive and other wastes from uranium processing operations conducted in St. Louis by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and its successor, the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE). None of the three areas is now owned by the Federal Government.

The St. Louis Airport area covers 21.7 acres immediately north of Lambert St. Louis International Airport, approximately 15 miles northwest of downtown St. Louis. It is bounded by a railroad track, Coldwater Creek, and McDonnell Boulevard. Radioactive metal scrap and drums of waste were stored in the airport area in uncovered and unstabilized piles from 1947 to the mid-1960s, when they were transferred 0.5 mile northeast to AEC's Hazelwood Interim Storage (HIS) area. Buildings in the airport area were razed, buried, and covered with clean fill after 1967. In 1969, the land was conveyed to the Lambert St. Louis Airport Authority.

HIS and the Futura Coatings Co. plant cover 11 acres adjacent to Latty Avenue, Coldwater Creek, and Hanley Avenue. In 1966, Continental Mining and Milling Co. acquired the property and recovered uranium from wastes purchased from AEC's St. Louis operations. In 1967, the company sold the property, and by 1973 most processing residues had been removed. Under the direction of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the present owner excavated contaminated soil and is storing it in two large piles in the eastern portion of the 11 acres. Since the 1970s, Futura Coatings, a manufacturer of plastic coatings, has leased the western portion.

High levels of uranium, thorium, and radium are present in surface and subsurface soils and ground water near the airport area, according to tests conducted by NRC (1976), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1977), and a USDOE contractor (1986). Radon-222 was present in the air near the area in the USDOE tests. An office building with 24,000 employees is within 0.5 mile of the area.

In 1982, USDOE conducted preliminary studies of radioactive contamination of the ditches along the sides of the roads leading to the site. In 1986, boreholes were drilled to continue the contamination study and collect geological information. In 1984, USDOE cleared the HIS/Futura Coatings area, constructed a vehicle decontamination facility, installed a perimeter fence, excavated and backfilled the edges and shoulders of Latty Avenue, and consolidated contaminated soils into a pile. In 1986, during a city road improvement project, contaminated soil from roads leading to all the areas was excavated. USDOE plans further studies in all areas, which will lead to additional remedial actions.

Status (October 4, 1989): USDOE is continuing to conduct studies to characterize the site. USDOE, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and EPA will begin negotiations shortly on an Interagency Agreement under CERCLA Section 120 for remedial activities.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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