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Results of Soil Sampling near Soccer Complex in Cameron, Mo., Inconclusive; EPA Seeks Permission to Sample Other Properties

Release Date: 06/28/2010
Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394,

Environmental News


(Kansas City, Kan., June 28, 2010) - Because lab results from a preliminary round of soil sampling at the Cameron, Mo., Soccer Complex and adjacent properties are inconclusive, EPA Region 7 will conduct a second round of soil sampling from the site, and will seek permission to conduct new, first-time sampling on three other private properties nearby.

EPA collected soil samples from a 225,000-square-foot area near the Soccer Complex, 1012 W. Second Street, on March 4, 2010.

The Agency became interested in the location, which it refers to as the Ore Stockpile Area, based on citizens’ tips that it had been used many years ago as a site for the off-loading of railroad cars that contained ore and raw materials that were subsequently hauled by truck to the former Rockwool Industries facility in Cameron. After a separate rail line was built to allow for delivery of the material directly to the Rockwool facility, the old railroad tracks were removed, a city street was built and the public soccer facility and skate park were completed as the area was redeveloped.

Soil samples taken in March from locations around the former railroad spur, including park property, city right-of-way property, and two residential tracts of land, were tested for the presence of 22 different metals. Out of the 63 samples collected, elevated levels of arsenic were detected in approximately 10 samples, including four taken from the southeast corner of the park, three from the city’s right-of-way property southeast of that corner, and three from residential properties immediately south of the park.

All 22 of the metals included on EPA’s list of analytes for the March round of sampling are known to occur naturally in Cameron area soils. However, the grouping of the samples containing levels of arsenic above naturally-occurring background levels, situated toward the east end and on the eastern edge of the sampled area, suggests a need for additional investigation, both on and beyond the sampled area. Data currently available to EPA is insufficient to characterize potential long-term health risks.

As part of its continuing investigation, EPA plans to conduct a second round of sampling at the Ore Stockpile Area. EPA is also attempting to obtain legal permission from the owners of two residential properties and one commercial property situated outside the previously sampled area to allow the Agency to collect soil samples from those locations for the first time. Dates for the additional sampling have not been determined.

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