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U.S. EPA TO CONDUCT TEST AT SANDERS AVIATION

Release Date: 8/7/1995
Contact Information: Lois Grunwald, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1588

   (San Francisco)-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced that it will test a treatment method for contaminated soils at Sanders Aviation Co., Tempe, Ariz. from September 6 - 12, 1995. Site preparation for the test will begin in mid-August.

     U.S. EPA will be testing to determine if a low-temperature thermal treatment technology can be used safely and effectively to clean pesticide-contaminated soil at the site. Soils will be heated to temperatures ranging from 500 to 900 degrees, driving contaminants from the soil and turning the contaminants into gases. The gases will then be treated to destroy the contaminants.

     In December 1994, the U.S. EPA collected soil samples at the site, located at 7001 S. Priest Drive, and based on the results, U.S. EPA found that up to 20,000 tons of pesticide-contaminated soil would require clean up.

     In mid-August, about 600 tons of soil will be excavated in preparation for treatment. The soils will be monitored to determine how much of the contamination is being removed by the treatment. Emissions from the treatment unit and dust levels along the perimeter of the site will be measured to determine if they are within acceptable federal, state and county limits.

     Earlier this year, tests conducted by U.S. EPA found that naturally-occurring microbes could be used to effectively break down soils that are low to moderately contaminated, a treatment called bioremediation. Results of the both the thermal and bioremediation tests will be reviewed to determine whether one of these treatments, or a combination of the two, would be best to use to treat the soil.

     The Sanders Aviation Co. conducted aerial spraying of pesticides from 1951 to 1984. Many pesticides were handled on site and tests have shown that toxaphene is the most prevalent. Toxaphene causes cancer in animals and is a probable human carcinogen.

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