News Releases from Region 07
Progress at Nebraska and Missouri Superfund Sites Makes Latest EPA Listing for Superfund Accomplishments
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Lenexa, Kan., June 10, 2020) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported on progress at a Grand Island, Nebraska, Superfund site and four Missouri Superfund sites in its latest Superfund Accomplishments listing. The Superfund program addresses the nation’s most contaminated sites.
“As we celebrate 50 years of EPA’s commitment to protecting human health and the environment, we can take pride in the last 40 years that the Superfund program has contributed to that success,” said EPA Administrator, Andrew Wheeler. “The Trump administration is proud to showcase all we have achieved to clean up contaminated sites, protect our communities, and turn these spaces into economic and recreational assets for generations to come.”
“The work done by EPA Region 7 to protect human health and the environment over the past 50 years continues today with important achievements here in the nation’s heartland,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford. “The work we have done, and will do, at Superfund sites across Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa and Kansas helps restore the environment and both protects and revitalizes communities.”
Ongoing cleanup activities heat up at the Cleburn Street Well Site in Grand Island, Nebraska
In fiscal year 2019, EPA successfully removed over half a ton of perchloroethylene contamination and achieved cleanup goals using in-situ thermal remediation (ISTR). The ISTR included a system of 53 electrode wells, 39 multi-phase extraction wells, and 12 temperature sensor wells that operated for five months, applying over 3,000 megawatt hours of energy and achieving temperatures above 94 degrees Fahrenheit. This helped trace contamination to three dry cleaners and a solvent distribution facility.
Jump-starting progress at the West Lake Landfill Site in Bridgeton, Missouri
EPA added the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site to the Administrator’s Emphasis List, issued a proposed cleanup decision for public comment in February 2018, and signed a final cleanup decision on Sept. 27, 2018, for Operable Unit 1 that would use a combination of excavation and capping-in-place.
Agreement at the Big River Mining Tailings/St. Joe Minerals Corp. Site will clean up residential yards and address lead contamination from nearby mining in Desloge, Missouri
In fiscal year 2019, the Agency finalized enforcement agreements with two Potentially Responsible Parties, concluding approximately five years of negotiations and setting in motion the cleanup of lead-contaminated yards near the large mine waste piles at the site. Under the agreement with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the state is cleaning up the remaining 57 of 98 residential properties and paying the Agency $65,000 in past and future costs. NL Industries will pay $13 million to be placed in a special account for cleanup of residential properties at the site. The site, located in a former mining region known as the "Old Lead Belt” approximately 70 miles south of St. Louis, is the result of historic mining activities and involves contaminated surface soils, sediments, surface water, and groundwater.
Increasing domestic supplies of cobalt by recovering metals and critical minerals from existing mine waste in Fredericktown, Missouri
An EPA agreement with Missouri Mining Investments to consolidate and cap mine waste will result in a 1,750-acre property being redeveloped for future mining of cobalt and other metals. This allowed the mine to reopen, creating job opportunities and a potential U.S. domestic supply for cobalt, which is a critical component used in medical equipment, electric cars, and fighter jets.
Innovative study provides certainty at the Compass Plaza Well TCE Site in Rogersville, Missouri
EPA expedited negotiations with the Potentially Responsible Party, who signed the consent order in September 2019, only 90 days from the start of negotiations, as a result of the work of EPA’s Office of Research and Development (collaborating with the U.S. Geological Survey) on an innovative Compound-Specific Isotope Analysis study. This study provided compelling evidence and certainty of the location of the original TCE release by locating and analyzing degradation byproducts in a complex subsurface area with two aquifers and karst geology with sinkholes.
Other key achievements in the report include:
- Finishing the job by deleting all or part of 27 sites from the Superfund’s National Priorities List (NPL), the largest number of deletions in a single year since 2001.
- Targeting sites for the Administrator’s immediate and intense attention, using the Administrator’s Emphasis List to resolve issues delaying cleanups and spur action at sites that, in many cases, have been waiting idle amid uncertainty for years.
- Completing 233 removal actions to address imminent and substantial threats to human health and the environment.
- Securing over $570 million from Potentially Responsible Parties to clean up Superfund sites and reimburse the Agency more than $280 million.
- Celebrating 20 years of redeveloping over 1,000 Superfund sites that now support 9,180 businesses generating $58.3 billion in sales and employing over 208,400 people earning a combined income of over $14.4 billion.
- Expanding the charge for the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council to identify additional opportunities for EPA to engage with communities, expedite cleanups, and return sites to productive use.
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