In previous posts I have reported on hazardous mine lands, superfund sites, and toxic releases in Missouri. The Hazardous Waste Program of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources publishes the Missouri Registry Annual Report. This report contains information on hazardous waste disposal sites that meet certain criteria. There is some overlap, but this document reports on sites that are not covered in previous posts.
The Registry of Confirmed Abandoned or Uncontrolled Hazardous Wast Disposal Sites in Missouri includes sites that contain waste that is hazardous as defined by state or federal law, that were disposed of before regulation began or illegally since then, and are present at concentrations above “health-based screening levels.” Thousands of hazardous substances do not meet these stringent criteria and are not included in the registry. Examples of unlisted sites include:
A. Sites contaminated with radioactive materials.
B. Sites contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
C. Sites contaminated with oil, gasoline or other “petroleum” materials (despite composition that would indicate listed hazardous wastes, such as benzene, xylene or toluene).
D. Grain bins with pesticide contamination.
E. Certain former manufactured gas plant sites with coal tar residue.
F. Sites that have a chemical present in the groundwater but the department cannot determine how the chemical got there, such as solvents in groundwater where the source cannot be identified.
G. Sites used for the disposal of fly ash waste, bottom ash waste, and slag waste.
H. Sites used for the disposal of flue gas emission control waste generated primarily from the combustion of coal or other fossil fuels.
I. Sites used for the disposal of cement kiln dust waste.
J. Sites used for the disposal of solid waste from the extraction, benefication and processing of ores and minerals (mining waste).
(Source: Missouri Registry Annual Report, p. 2)
The Registry lists 89 sites. The map at right shows their distribution around the state. They tend to cluster near St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield-Joplin.
Only three of the sites are listed as Class 1 sites (representing imminent danger of causing irreversible damage to the public health or environment). They include the HCI-Chemtech Site and the Thompson Chemical/Superior Solvents Site, both in the City of St. Louis, and the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, in Independence. Of these, the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant Site is also on the NPL (Superfund list).
Twelve sites are listed as Class 2 sites (representing a significant threat to the environment). In the St. Louis Region they include the ACME Battery Site. In the Kansas City Region they include the Armour Road Site, the BFI-Missouri City Landfill Site, the Conservation Chemical Company Site, the HCI Chemtech-Birmingham Road Site, and the HCI Chemtech-Stillwell Street Site. In the Springfield-Joplin Region they include the HCI Chemtech-Springfield Site, the R&O Processors/Lux Theater Site in Granby, and the Solid State Circuits Site in Republic. In other locations sites include the Sentinel Wood Treating Site in Ava, the FMGP Site, in Moberly, and the Zykan Property (Bob’s Home Service Landfill-Zykan Landfill) Site near Wright City. Of the Class 2 sites, the Armour Road Site, the Conservation Chemical Company Site, and the Solid State Circuits Site are also on the NPL (Superfund list)
The remaining 74 sites on the Registry are listed as Classes 3-5. How many unlisted sites contain hazardous substances not included in the Registry is unknown.
On the one hand, it is reassuring to see that only three sites on the Registry represent an imminent threat to public health or the environment, and only 12 represent a less immediate threat. On the other hand, the report makes it clear that many substances known to be dangerous in even small quantities are not covered, and the threat they may represent to public health and the environment is unknown.
Missouri Registry Annual Report, Registry of Confirmed Abandoned or Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites in Missouri, Fiscal Year 2012, Department of Natural Resources, http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/hwp/sfund/sfundregistry.htm.