Dioxin: Regulatory Developments

September 23, 2016 | Commercial Litigation | Complex Torts & Product Liability

EPA Proposes to Cap Kanawha River Site

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has released an engineering evaluation and cost analysis (“EE/CA”) for the Kanawha River site, in Nitro, West Virginia (the “Site”) that proposes to cap the Site.

Background

In March 2004, the EPA and Monsanto Company entered into an administrative order on consent to conduct an EE/CA to study dioxin-contaminated sediment throughout 14 miles of the Site. The EE/CA was intended to evaluate removal action alternatives and to provide sufficient information for the EPA to determine the necessity, feasibility, and efficacy of “non-time critical removal actions.”

The EE/CA identified and evaluated potential removal action alternatives with respect to their ability to protect the public health and welfare and to protect the environment. The EE/CA also included the evaluation of removal action alternatives with respect to effectiveness, implementability, and cost.

The Preferred Alternative

Now, the EPA has released the EE/CA and has presented the preferred alternative for addressing dioxin-contaminated sediment in the Kanawha River between RM 31.1 (Winfield Locks and Dam) and RM 45.5 (confluence of the Coal River).

According to the EPA, the preferred alternative proposed for the Site is identified in the EE/CA as Alternative 4 – limited armored capping of sediment, monitored natural recovery, and institutional controls.

Learn more: EE/CA Kanawha River Site. 

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Wildwood Asks EPA for Geophysical Survey

Officials from the town of Wildwood, Missouri, have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to conduct a geophysical survey of a site the EPA is proposing to remove from the National Priorities List (“NPL”).

Background

The EPA has proposed to remove an eight acre area known as the Callahan property of the Ellisville Superfund Site located in Wildwood, Missouri, from the NPL.

An EPA official has said that the Callahan site is “suitable for deletion from the Superfund listing, which is what the agency proposed in March of this year.” The EPA does “not have any specific time frame in mind for making a final decision.”

Decades ago, the EPA removed thousands of tons of what it characterized as dioxin-contaminated soil and hundreds of waste drums from the area. It has long assured residents that the site was safe and that toxins there were “below a level of concern.”

Some community advocates have been seeking to have the site remain on the NPL, expressing concerns that removing the site from the list could result in it being developed, with contaminated soil being exposed.

The Town’s Request

According to published reports, Wildwood officials have asked the EPA to conduct a geophysical survey of the site to resolve questions of its possible contamination. The cost for such a survey has been estimated at $35,000 to $40,000.

Wildwood Mayor Jim Bowlin told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that, “We need to get the facts. We still don’t know enough to say with certainty, or as close to certainty as we can get, that this site is OK.”

Learn more:

For further information, please contact James V. Aiosa, Paul V. Majkowski, Lawrence S. Han, or your regular Rivkin Radler attorney.

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