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EPA begins second phase of soil cleanup at the Velsicol Superfund site in St. Louis, Michigan

10/04/2019
Contact Information: 
Adrian Palomeque (palomeque.adrian@epa.gov)
312-353-2035

EPA begins second phase of soil cleanup at the Velsicol Superfund site in St. Louis, Michigan

For Immediate Release: No. 19-OPA081

ST. LOUIS, Mich. (Oct. 4, 2019) –   This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy began the second phase of in-place thermal treatment of contaminated soil at the Velsicol Chemical Corp. Superfund site at 500 N. Bankson St. in St. Louis. EPA anticipates this work will be completed in late 2021.

Special equipment is being used to heat the soil and the groundwater, capture contaminants, and treat them on-site. When this is completed, EPA will excavate the soil and dispose of it off-site. A groundwater treatment system will also be installed.

EPA removed 56,000 pounds of contaminants during the first phase of the cleanup, which was completed in October 2018.

Velsicol produced fire retardant polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and the pesticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) from 1936 until 1978 when the plant shut down. The chemicals polluted the groundwater, soil, and Pine River that bordered the plant. In the 1980s, the factory was demolished, but elevated levels of benzene and 1,2 dichloroethane remain in the groundwater beneath the site.

To learn more about this site: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/velsicol-chemical-michigan.