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News Releases from Region 04

EPA, Partners Mark Completion of Expanded Roadway and Drainage Ditch at the Kerr-McGee Superfund Site in Columbus, Miss.

Contact Information: 
Davina Marraccini (marraccini.davina@epa.gov)
404-562-8293, 404-562-8400

ATLANTA - Today, representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joined state and local partners to mark the successful completion of the 14th Avenue Ditch Improvement Project (DIP) at a ribbon cutting ceremony in Columbus, Miss. The project resulted from the close collaboration among federal, state and local stakeholders, including the Greenfield Environmental Multistate Trust (Multistate Trust), the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, the City of Columbus and the Memphis Town Community Advisory Group (CAG).

The ceremony was held at the Multistate Trust's office at former Kerr-McGee Site, located at 2300 14th Avenue North. The 14th Ave DIP has been a priority for the City of Columbus, the CAG and the community for many years due to flooding, road safety and contaminant migration issues from the Kerr-McGee site. This major roadway has now been remediated and significantly improved. The success of the 14th Ave DIP demonstrates how a partnership between environmental regulators, local government and community stakeholders can deliver results that benefit human health, the environment and communities.

Studies, plans and negotiations required to support the 14th Avenue DIP began in 2010, and included environmental investigations together with complex agreements to address the environmental, real estate, infrastructure and community issues and concerns. Implementation of the project required transferring Multistate Trust property to the City, designing a two-part project covering both excavation of contaminated material, integrated procurement activities and constructing the new ditch.

Working under a Superfund decision document issued by the EPA, the Multistate Trust first excavated the new ditch and placed a clean soil buffer so the City's contractors could construct the new concrete drainage ditch without coming into contact with contaminants from the Kerr-McGee site. Contaminated soils were also removed from the original ditch, which was backfilled and used to widen 14th Avenue North to accommodate addition of a center turning lane. The expanded roadway and new ditch will improve traffic safety and allow for safe passage of heavy equipment along 14th Avenue. The new concrete ditch also minimizes the potential for contaminants to migrate in the drainage swales to the neighborhoods down gradient.

The project was completed using a combination of discretionary funds from the City, an Army Corps of Engineers grant that the City received, and Multistate Trust cleanup funds.

For more information about the former Kerr-McGee Chemical Corporation Site and the 14th Avenue Ditch Improvement Project, as well as the Multistate Trust's cleanup efforts, please visit the local information repositories at the following two locations:

Columbus-Lowndes Library
314 North Seventh Street
Columbus, Miss. 39701

Community Resource Building
2300 14th Avenue
Columbus, Miss. 39701

Additionally, you may contact Kerisa Coleman, Community Involvement Coordinator at (404) 562-8831 or coleman.kerisa@epa.gov.

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