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$15m settlement to clean up contamination at Sauget Area 1

Staff Writer |
The Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Pharmacia (formerly Monsanto), Solutia, ExxonMobil Oil and Cerro Flow Products have agreed to clean up six former waste disposal sites that comprise the Sauget Area 1 Superfund Site in Sauget, St. Clair County, Ill.

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The settlement requires the companies to spend an estimated $14.8 million to conduct removal of areas of groundwater contamination source material at four former disposal areas, cap sites to prevent further movement of contaminants, continued operation and maintenance of a containment cell created to hold hazardous wastes, and installation of a monitoring well network.

EPA will oversee the work to be conducted by these four responsible parties, which will implement the cleanup remedy required by the agency’s 2013 Record of Decision for Sauget Area 1.

In addition, the companies will reimburse EPA $475,000 incurred in its past cleanup actions at the site.

The companies will also reimburse EPA for costs incurred in overseeing the work required by the settlement, except for the first $2 million.

Situated in the American Bottoms region across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri, Sauget Area 1 has been heavily industrialized since the early 1900s.

Sauget Area 1 consists of three closed landfills, two former surface impoundments, two borrow pits filled with debris, and Dead Creek, all of which received industrial wastes from as early as 1931 and until 1988. EPA and Illinois have been investigating the Sauget Area 1 Sites since the early-1980s.

In the fall of 1995, EPA completed a CERCLA Removal Action at Site G. On January 21, 1999, EPA issued an Administrative Order on Consent to Solutia and Pharmacia requiring them to conduct an Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis for the Sauget Area 1 contaminated source areas and Dead Creek, and to conduct a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study for Sauget Area 1 groundwater.

Also in 1999, EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO) requiring Monsanto Company and Solutia Inc., to replace culverts on Dead Creek to eliminate potential risks associated with flooding and associated adverse ecological impacts.

In 2001, EPA modified the UAO to address contamination in Dead Creek, including requirements for sediment removal above risk levels, disposal of the dredged sediments in an adjacent dedicated RCRA Subtitle C-compliant containment cell, and measures to protect Dead Creek from recontamination from adjacent landfills.

In all, pursuant to the UAO the responsible parties dredged and disposed of in the cell approximately 64,000 cubic yards of sediments.

Pursuant to these earlier orders and agreements, responsible parties have completed or paid for removal actions within Sauget Area 1, conducted investigations of remaining contamination and reimbursed nearly all of the United States’ past costs related thereto.

Taking into account the settlement being lodged today and the work previously performed at the site, over $50 million is being devoted to cleaning up the contamination at this site.

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