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EPA to Fund Redevelopment Pilot at Vertac Superfund Site in Jacksonville, Ark.

Release Date: 7/26/2002
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund Division Director Myron O. Knudson announced that the city of Jacksonville, Ark. would receive $50,000 to develop reuse plans for the Vertac, Inc., Superfund site.

“This funding is part of EPA’s Superfund redevelopment initiative to help communities turn toxic waste sites into community assets. The initiative gives communities and stakeholders an opportunity to proactively plan for the anticipated future use of the site, so that EPA’s cleanup remedy is consistent with that use,” said Knudson.

The Vertac site is located 15 miles northwest of Little Rock, Ark., and was owned by various companies between 1948 and 1986. During that time, soil and ground water were contaminated with several toxic substances such as dioxin, chlorinated phenols and herbicides. To date, EPA has disposed of about 30,000 drums of dioxin waste and contaminated soils, which makes some portions of the site available for reuse.

Jacksonville Mayor Tommy Swaim said, “The city of Jacksonville is pleased to be selected for EPA's Redevelopment Initiative Pilot program. Future commercial and industrial use will be the focus of the study. It is our desire to turn the site into a productive part of our community.”

Since 1999, EPA estimates its Superfund redevelopment program has generated 15,000 on-site jobs from site redevelopment resulting in both commercial and recreational reuses nation-wide. In addition, EPA estimates these jobs have resulted in over $500 million in annual income.

Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Marcus Devine said he is pleased with the EPA grant announcement.

"ADEQ and the EPA have had a long, productive partnership with the city of Jacksonville and have made strides to clean up the Vertac site for the health and safety of the city's residents," Devine said. "The EPA redevelopment grant heralds a new chapter in our shared mission not only to ensure clean up of contaminated sites but also to encourage the return of land to productive, profitable use."

Nationwide, 19 Superfund sites are receiving $1.2 million in grant money to plan for redevelopment at former chemical production plants, landfills, mining sites, smelting facilities and wood-treating plants. EPA is committed to the cleanup and reuse of contaminated property across the country to minimize health risks and make communities safer, as well as to provide an engine that drives economic rebirth and financial regrowth. Over the years, Superfund has returned more than 300 toxic waste sites into community assets.

These funds can be used for a variety of activities designed to identify anticipated future uses, including public outreach, coordination and training efforts among community members and different levels of government on reusing Superfund sites, and developing reuse assessments and reuse plans.

More information on EPA’s Superfund Redevelopment Pilot program, grant recipients, and a description of each pilot project is available on the Internet at

EPA recently announced another program that will help communities address contaminated sites. Funds will be awarded to nine Brownfields Showcase communities across the U.S. through the “Smart Growth: Saving Open Space, Revitalizing Brownfields” program. This initiative recognizes the critical importance of linking open space preservation and brownfield redevelopment through a smart growth approach to achieve better environmental protection. More information on this initiative is available on the Internet at