© 2021 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Health, Science, Environment

Wildwood unhappy with EPA effort to delist Superfund site

The location of the Ellisville Superfund site. The Callahan Subsite is a section of the Ellisville site as a whole.
Screen capture | EPA.gov
/
The location of the Ellisville Superfund site. The Callahan Subsite is a section of the Ellisville site as a whole.

The Environmental Protection Agency has again attempted to assure the city of Wildwood that a former toxic dumping site is now safe. However, local officials are still not convinced. 

Decades ago, waste hauler Russell Bliss dumped industrial waste on Callahan Subsite, a section of the larger Ellisville Superfund site. In 2012, the EPA excavated a large amount of dioxins and other hazardous waste from the site and the agency has since been preparing to remove it from the federal Superfund program, which pays to clean up hazardous waste sites. 

In May, Wildwood officials wrote to the EPA to ask for more thorough testing of the site, for warning signs around the area and other cautionary measures. In a June 6 letter to Wildwood residents, David Williams, chief of the Planning and Preparedness Section of the Superfund Division, explained that the city's recommendations are unnecessary.

Williams cited an evaluation that found that the Callahan property "no longer pose(s) unacceptable human health risks for any type of current or future exposure scenario." 

Nonetheless, Wildwood mayor Jim Bowlin doesn't think that the EPA has done enough to clean up the site. 

"If we think they're glossing over a problem that has the potential to affect human lives, we call that out," he said. 

Bowlin and other officials have requested a meeting with agency officials to discuss the issue.

"We're going to see if the EPA, at the minimum, wants to talk about it," he said. "I hope they are and we'll see what comes out of that. It's possible that the EPA may not de-list the site."

 

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.