EPA Sampling Results, Former Rockwool Industries Site, Cameron, Clinton County, Missouri
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 conducted an environmental investigation at the former Rockwool Industries Site in Cameron, Mo., during the week of March 2, 2009. The investigation was conducted as a result of public concern. EPA was accompanied by staff from the Cameron Public Works Department.
EPA was informed by a concerned citizen that approximately three years ago, the City of Cameron encountered an unknown substance during excavation activity to install a utility line at the former Rockwool facility.
As part of its recent investigation, EPA discussed the 2006 excavation with city officials, and confirmed their past discovery of the material. Cameron city officials also confirmed that they submitted a sample of the material for limited testing, but only to determine if the material would be corrosive or harmful to utility lines that would be buried in the area.
After determining the limited range of the 2006 sampling activity, EPA then coordinated with the City of Cameron to re-excavate and perform broader environmental sampling at the site.
2009 SAMPLING ACTIVITY
On March 3, 2009, EPA and the Cameron Public Works Department conducted a re-excavation at the Rockwool trenching site. During this activity, EPA encountered and collected a sample of a gray sludge-like substance. EPA also collected two additional samples, of subsurface and surface soil directly above the sludge material.
The City of Cameron backfilled the area of re-excavation and covered it with plastic. All samples were then submitted to the EPA Regional Laboratory for analysis.
SAMPLING RESULTS AND IMPACT TO HUMAN HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT
EPA detected approximately 30 compounds in the samples, most of which were not at levels of potential health concern. However, lead and arsenic were detected in the sludge material at levels of potential health concern.
The level of lead in the sludge material is 108,000 parts per million and the level of arsenic is 1,710 parts per million. These levels would be of potential health concern, but only for excavation workers or other persons who would be in direct contact with the buried material.
These levels of contamination for lead and arsenic do not present a potential health risk to residents who visit the site, or to site employees, because the substance was buried approximately 3.5 feet below the surface of the ground. It is important to note that EPA has conducted limited sampling, and it is unknown if similar levels of lead and arsenic might be found elsewhere in the area.
EPA will return to the Rockwool site to further investigate the extent of contamination (how much buried material is present) and to determine if the levels of contaminants from additional sampling would be of potential concern to human health and the environment.
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