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Cleanup Completed at Oil Salvage Site in Rayville

Release Date: 12/16/1997
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region has completed the cleanup of the former Richland Oil Salvage site in Rayville, Louisiana.

"This cleanup is a good example of how EPA's national Superfund program works to protect the public health and environment of communities throughout the country. EPA action consisted of the removal of about 50 tons, including more than 300 drums of toxic material and 7 large storage tanks, and cost about $280,000," Acting Regional Administrator Jerry Clifford said.

Laboratory tests of samples taken from the tanks and drums found a variety of heavy metals and chemicals including lead, mercury, toluene and xylene. Exposure to heavy metals can damage the nervous system and cause permanent disabilities including memory and hearing loss and learning disabilities. Runoff of toxic pollutants from earlier spills and leakage from corroding drums threatened area groundwater.

Cleanup activities started October 8 and were completed the week of November 24. Contaminated materials and soil were removed and transported to a certified hazardous waste disposal facility. About 60,000 gallons of liquid waste were drained from the storage tanks and transported for approved recycling and disposal.

The property owner will remove the empty storage tanks in early 1998. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality will seal the deep-injection well.

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