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Agreement Reached on Scrapyard Cleanup

Release Date: 4/8/1998
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in Dallas today that an agreement has been reached which will help speed the cleanup of a McKinney, Texas, site contaminated by lead.

"In exchange for a speedy and safe cleanup of the McKinney Smelting Inc. site, EPA has agreed not to sue an interested buyer, Ferex Corp., for existing contamination. This will speed the cleanup process and prevent the site from being abandoned, which would cause taxpayers to pay for the cleanup," Acting Regional Administrator Jerry Clifford said.

McKinney Smelting does not have the funds to clean the site. Ferex intends to purchase McKinney Smelting's assets and lease the property. The new owner will begin cleaning the site and surrounding contaminated areas immediately.

EPA inspectors have found high levels of lead both at the site and in surrounding areas. The Agency has determined the property poses an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health. Exposure to lead has been linked to various neurological problems, including learning disabilities in children.

Ferex has agreed to perform a comprehensive soil and ground water study, remove and properly dispose of highly contaminated soil, and cap areas where contamination is minimal. Ferex will then conduct soil and ground water sampling to ensure that the work has met all criteria. The cleanup is expected to take three weeks and to cost about $600,000.

Additionally, Ferex intends to install security improvements, implement erosion control and perform general maintenance. These actions will benefit the local community by eliminating the health risks, physical dangers and eyesores of the current operation.

The metal recycling facility is about one mile east of downtown McKinney, Texas, and within a half-mile of four elementary schools.

This agreement will be published in the Federal Register and public comments will be accepted for 20 days.