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1997 News Releases



Release Date: 10/8/1997
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

Environmental Protection Agency Acting Regional Administrator Jerry Clifford has signed a Record of Decision which identifies how EPA will clean up arsenic, lead, and antimony contamination at three slag piles/landfills at the RSR Corporation Superfund site in west Dallas. Clifford stated, "This decision marks a major milestone in cleaning up the RSR site. It also demonstrates how the reforms to Superfund under this Administration are working to protect public health, with special concerns for children's health, in a safer and more efficient manner."

The RSR site, which encompasses 13.6 square miles, is very diverse and includes residential neighborhoods, multi-family public housing areas and some industrial and commercial businesses. From the early 1930's until 1984, a lead smelter at the site processed used batteries and lead scrap and contaminated the area with fallout from its air emissions. Other sources of contamination were lead slag and battery casing chips used by residents as fill material for driveways and yards, and smelter wastes disposed in various areas, including landfills.

EPA's Record of Decision addresses the cleanup of three areas of the RSR Site - the Westmoreland Road property, the Walton Walker property, and the Claibourne Boulevard property - referred to in the official Superfund documents as Operable Unit No. 3. The RSR site was divided into five sections called Operable Units in order to prioritize areas where people were likely to live and be exposed to contamination, so those areas could be studied and cleaned up quickly. By May of 1995, EPA and the Dallas Housing Authority had reduced the smelter contamination to levels protective of human health in private and public residential areas known as Operable Units 1 and 2.

EPA will clean up the three sites comprising Operable Unit 3 as follows: removing and disposing off-site contamination at the Westmoreland Road property; installing a protective cap on portions of the landfill at the Walton Walker property; and installing a protective cap on portions of the landfill and removing surface contamination in Jaycee Park at the Claibourne Boulevard property.

When the work is completed, the Walton Walker Property could be used for residential development, and the other two properties as industrial sites. Because some hazardous substances will remain on-site, EPA will conduct five year reviews at Operable Unit 3 to ensure that the remedy is still providing adequate protection.

EPA's cleanup plan will protect human health and the environment, is cost effective, and complies with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERLCLA) known as the Superfund law. The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission has concurred with EPA's decision.

EPA involved the public throughout all phases of Superfund activities at the RSR Corporation site and made its decision after thoroughly considering all comments received during the public comment period in July 1997. Interested citizens can learn more about the RSR site including the rationale for selecting the cleanup plan for Operable Unit No. 3 at the information repository located at the Dallas Public Library, West Dallas Branch, 2332 Singleton Blvd., Dallas, Texas 76212, (214) 670-6445, or at EPA's Region 6 Office.