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EPA Recognizes Former Slidell, La., Superfund Site for Excellence in Reuse

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Jennah Durant (
214 665-2200

DALLAS – (May 18, 2018) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the city of Slidell, La., for its efforts to reuse the Bayou Bonfouca Superfund site. The 54-acre site, formerly contaminated with waste material from a wood-treating plant, was cleaned up and restored through EPA’s Superfund program. Today, the area is home to a boat launch, a park and a new marina. EPA recognized this transformation by presenting the city with the agency’s Excellence in Site Reuse award in a ceremony today.

“By leveraging resources and working toward an ambitious vision, the city of Slidell has turned an environmental problem into a community asset,” said Regional Administrator Anne Idsal. “EPA congratulates the city on their efforts to create this economic and recreational resource for the people of Slidell.”

“We are honored to be receiving this distinguished award from the EPA,” said Slidell Mayor Freddy Drennan. “Heritage Park is a great asset for the city of Slidell and something that our community enjoys on a daily basis. I know that the new Slidell Municipal Marina will be welcomed by our citizens. Not only will it entice the national and international travelers to visit Slidell, it will also be a great way for our local boating community to enjoy all the wonderful cultural events in Heritage Park.”

Working with federal and state partners, EPA’s cleanup involved decontaminating 170,000 cubic yards of creosote waste and bayou sediments and treated 235 million gallons of contaminated groundwater and recovered nearly 9.8 million gallons of creosote. These efforts restored 1.5 miles of the bayou, which the site owners donated to the city of Slidell. The city developed the area into Heritage Park, which includes playgrounds, picnic areas, and performance areas. In 2012, the city used a $1.5 million boat infrastructure grant from the state to work with EPA and the state of Louisiana to develop a recently completed marina complex with piers, docks, and pedestrian pathways.

EPA recognized the city’s efforts in a ceremony this morning, which included a ribbon-cutting for the bayou’s new marina complex with Mayor Freddy Drennan. The Excellence in Reuse award celebrates the people and organizations supporting Superfund site reuse through outstanding efforts that go above and beyond cleanup requirements. EPA strongly supports reuse, as it enhances cleanup; promotes long-term stewardship; and provides economic, environmental, and social benefits to local communities.

During the ceremony, Mayor Drennan also thanked the people and organizations who helped bring the marina to life, including the city administration; Councilman Bill Borchert and the members of the Slidell City Council; the departments of Planning, Permits and Engineering; project engineer Gulf Coast Engineers and Consultants; contractor Gil's Crane Service; as well as state and federal partners the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program,  Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and EPA.

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Superfund Task Force. In May 2017 Administrator Scott Pruitt established a task force to restore EPA's Superfund program to its rightful place   at the center of the Agency's core mission to protect health and the environment. Click here to learn more.