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Imperial Refining Company Site in Ardmore, Okla., Added to Superfund Priorities List

Release Date: 7/27/2000
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

     The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today added the Imperial Refining Company site in Ardmore, Carter County, Okla., to the federal Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). Wastes from this abandoned crude oil refinery threaten wetlands and sensitive environments on or near the site.

     "Listing this site is an important first step in ensuring that public health and the environment will be protected. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality are committed to work together to clean up this site quickly and efficiently," EPA Regional Administrator Gregg Cooke said.

     Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality Executive Director Mark S. Coleman said, "Our first goal is to make Ardmore a better and safer place to live. This cleanup is part of our ongoing efforts to restore abandoned refinery sites across the state of Oklahoma."

     Imperial refined petroleum on the site from 1917 to 1934, when it declared bankruptcy. By 1948, the company had dismantled all tanks and storage equipment. During tank dismantling, tank bottom material was dumped onto the ground throughout the 55-acre site.

     Elevated levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), chromium and zinc have been detected in water and sediment samples from wetlands downstream from the site.  The wetlands are a unique biotic community and habitat for the alligator snapping turtle, an Oklahoma Species of Special Concern.

     The EPA Superfund program works closely with state agencies to clean and restore uncontrolled contaminated properties. Superfund cleans sites when the work required is beyond the resources of state and local agencies.

     Additional information about this site is available on the EPA web site at