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Health, Science, Environment

Washington, Mo., homes may be contaminated by Superfund site

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As many as 25 homes in Washington, Missouri, about 50 miles from St. Louis, could be affected by groundwater contamination from a Superfund site. 

The site once housed a refrigerator manufacturing plant run by the Sporlan Valve Co., the largest employer in Washington. The facility was demolished in 2011.

Sampling performed by the EPA revealed that the soil and groundwater were contaminated by industrial solvents used at the facility. According to officials, the primary concern is trichloroethylene, or TCE, which can emerge indoors as a toxic vapor.

Federal officials have ordered the site owner, SV Land LLC, to provide potentially affected homes with "vapor mitigation systems," which involve sealing drains and cracks in basements and installing ventilation fans to lead vapors outside. 

The EPA will host a public meeting to discuss the contamination at 6 p.m., Tuesday, at the Washington City Council Chambers. 

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