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Former St. Maries Creosote Site Proposed for Superfund List

Release Date: 12/1/2000
Contact Information: Hanh Gold
gold.hanh@epa.gov
(206) 553-0171


December 1, 2000 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 00-068



Citing a potential threat to human health and the environment, the Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it is proposing a former wood creosoting and storage operation in St. Maries, Idaho, for inclusion on EPA’s National Priorities List (NPL) -- also known as the Superfund List -- because contamination from the site continues to find its way to the St. Joe River and groundwater supplies.

Long-term exposure to low levels of creosote can cause skin damage, such as blistering or peeling, while long-term exposure to higher levels of creosote can cause cancer.

The facility, currently operated by Carney Products Company, Ltd., was operated as a wood pole treating plant from the late 1930s until sometime in the 1960s, and most recently was used for pole peeling, sorting, and storage.

On December 18, 1998, the City of St. Maries, which has leased the property to various entities since the 1930s, reported a sheen in the St. Joe River and on the river bank. Creosote contamination was found in the ground water, soil, surface water, and sediments.

Due to the threat to human health and sensitive wetlands, habitat and fish populations, EPA ordered the city and Carney to remove the sources of contamination. Approximately 195 tons of contaminated debris and soil were excavated and moved to a hazardous waste landfill.

Despite the efforts to stop the flow of creosote, it continues to seep into the river from the old creosoting facility, from contaminated surface soils at the river bank, and from contaminated sediments on the river bottom.

Inclusion on the NPL would enable the EPA to use the Superfund to begin broader environmental assessment and clean-up work, if the responsible parties were unable or unwilling to immediately fund the work.

Proposal Now Open to Public Comment

St. Maries Creosote site proposal was published in the Federal Register on December 1, 2000. EPA now invites the public to comment on the proposal during a sixty-day comment period. After the comment period closes, EPA will consider all comments received before listing the site as final on the NPL. Comments must be postmarked by January 30, 2001. Send an original and three copies of your comments in one of the ways below.

By postal mail:
Docket Coordinator, Headquarters
U.S. EPA CERCLA Docket Office, 5201G
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460
or
By express mail or courier:
Docket Coordinator, Headquarters
U.S. EPA CERCLA Docket Office
1235 Jefferson Davis Highway
Crystal Gateway #1, 1st floor
Arlington, Virginia 22202
Comments may also be e-mailed, in ASCII format only, to superfund.docket@epa.gov.
E-mailed comments must be followed by an original and three copies by mail or express mail.


For more information on the proposal: http:/www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/npl.htm


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