2014 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2014 17:05:20 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: [CPEO-BIF] Mitigating TCE vapors in Elmwood Park, St. Louis County, Missouri
Work starts to clear Elmwood Park of toxic gas

By Blythe Bernhard
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
February 24, 2014

First it was the lack of blooms on her rose bushes in the late 1980s. Then Mary Branch noticed her hair drying out and hives popping up on her arms. Now she blames the changes on contaminated groundwater underneath the Elmwood Park neighborhood in north St. Louis County where she has lived since 1978.

“I didn’t know what was going on,” said Branch, 67. “We never knew anybody was dumping toxic chemicals.”

Spills of the industrial chemical trichloroethylene, or TCE, from the Missouri Metals site at 9970 Page Ave. were first reported in the 1980s. By 1998, the chemical linked to cancer and other health risks was detected in groundwater at the site and in adjoining Elmwood Park. The groundwater is not used for tap water but the chemical can seep into homes through gases in the soil.

Before 2012, it was believed that the levels of TCE in odorless vapors found in some Elmwood Park basements did not pose a health risk to residents. But based on new research, the Environmental Protection Agency tightened the guidelines for safe exposures. Follow- up testing last year found unhealthy levels of TCE in five homes and one apartment in the predominantly black community between Olivette and Overland.


For the entire article, see
http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/work-starts-to-clear-elmwood-park- of-toxic-gas/article_fa0d5f2d-68c8-5e82-aa70-90df3b475135.html


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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