Science
11:49 pm
Tue August 9, 2011

EPA says north St. Louis residents near Carter Carburetor plant are safe from pollutants

The Environmental Protection Agency says testing near the old Carter Carburetor plant in north St. Louis shows offsite contamination is too low to cause health problems.

The EPA tested air, soil, and sediments in a one-block radius around the plant for PCBs, dioxins, and other industrial pollutants.

Flint Fowler directs the Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club, which sits across the street from the plant. He says he’s satisfied with the EPA’s sampling.

"It lets me know that the kids that come to the club are safe and that the residents have some degree of security knowing that their homes and their property has not been contaminated," Fowler said.

The EPA announced its testing results at a public meeting last night at the Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club.

Long-time area resident Camilla Hayes was at the meeting. She says with the heavy rains and flooding we had earlier this summer, she’s worried about the PCBs the EPA found 40 feet below ground, in the sewers.

"The sewers flooded," Hayes said. "So I’m worried about the stuff that came out."

The EPA says that although it detected industrial pollutants in some soil, sediment, and underground air samples, none were at levels that would cause a health concern.

The EPA will discuss its plans to tear down the Carter Carburetor plant and decontaminate the site at another public meeting next fall.

You can hear EPA Regional Administrator's Karl Brooks' perspective on the testing and clean up here, on St. Louis on the Air.