Thursday, July 11, 2013

EPA Superfund Cleanup at Louisville Site Progressing

Cleanup underway in Spring of 2013
EPA official Michael Arnette provided detailed information on Wednesday (July 11) concerning the ongoing cleanup operation at the American Creosote Works site on Railroad and Baremore Streets in Louisville. Arnette, the Remedial Project Manager indicated that the project was 34% complete and barring any complications, cleanup should be completed by mid- 2015.

The American Creosote Works, Inc. (ACW) site includes the area where a wood treating facility operated from 1912 until 1997. The 120-acre site is located off Highway 15 at the intersection of South Railroad Avenue and Baremore Street in Louisville, Mississippi. Until the early 1980s, the facility discharged waste into three ponds on site. Railroad Lake covers approximately 7 acres on the northern part of the site. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 2001 because of contaminated ground water, sediment and soil resulting from facility operations. Site surroundings include industrial, commercial and residential land uses. Railroad Lake borders the site to the north. South Railroad Avenue borders the site to the east. Hughes Creek and a residential neighborhood, which includes low-income residents, border the site to the west.

Once completed, EPA will monitor the site for a year before turning the property over to the State and ultimately the area will return to city ownership.

The project began in January 2012 as a fixed cost contract was awarded to CORE Engineering and Construction of Winter Park, Florida for $19,769,700. Slight modifications bring the project cost to slightly over $20 million.

In addition to detailed information on the cleanup process itself, Arnette addressed several issues of concern to local residents. While the project contract was awarded to an out of town contractor, Arnett noted that the project provided an economic boost to the area in terms of retail and lodging revenue as well as some subcontracts to local contractors and the hiring of some local employees.

The closing of Railroad and Baremore Streets has also been a concern of locals, Arnett indicated that while this was an inconvenience to area traffic, it was necessary for health, safety and security reasons.

Arnett took the opportunity to thank the State of Mississippi for their cooperation in the cleanup process. The State’s agreement to invest 10% of the costs in the project was the initial catalyst to get the cleanup underway.

Initial plans for the site after cleanup include development of the entire area as an industrial park within the City of Louisville.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host an open house on Thursday, July 11, 2013, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Louisville Housing Authority Community Center at 605 West Main. EPA Superfund representatives or contractors, who are directing cleanup activities at the site will be available to answer questions