News Releases from Region 06
EPA Proposes to Add Washington Parish, LA, Creosote Site to National Priorities List of Superfund Sites, Two hazardous waste sites added, six proposed nationally
(DALLAS - March 24, 2015) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to add the Colonial Creosote site in Washington Parish, LA, to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites, a list of sites that pose risks to people's health and the environment. Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country and converts them into productive community resources by eliminating or reducing public health risks and environmental contamination.
The site, a 32-acre property in southeast Bogalusa, operated as a wood-treating facility from 1911 to 1953, with creosote used as the primary preservative. The site most recently housed Bogalusa Concrete, which operated until 2008. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality referred the site to EPA for evaluation in 2011.
"Today's action will help resolve the problems posed by this blighted property," said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. "Cleaning up this pollution is a big step toward making Washington Parish safer for families to live, play, and do business."
Creosote contamination has been found in soil, sediment, and ground water near the site. The contamination, mainly in the form of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), have migrated from the facility to underlying groundwater, adjacent wetlands and nearby surface waters. Certain PAHs are suspected causes of cancer in humans, and have been shown to cause reproductive problems and birth defects in animals.
Recent academic research, from the study Superfund Cleanups and Infant Health, demonstrated that investment in Superfund cleanups reduces the incidence of congenital abnormalities for those living within 5,000 meters (or 5,468 yards) of a site. Another study conducted by researchers at Duke and Pittsburgh Universities, concluded that making a site final on the NPL may increase housing prices by signaling that a site will be cleaned up. Furthermore, the study found that once a site has all cleanup remedies in place, nearby properties have a significant increase in property values as compared to pre-NPL proposal values.
With all NPL sites, EPA works to identify companies or people responsible for the contamination at a site, and requires them to conduct or pay for the cleanup. For the newly listed sites without viable potentially responsible parties, EPA will investigate the extent of the contamination before assessing how best to treat it.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the enactment of the Comprehensive Environmental, Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the law establishing the Superfund program. Superfund's passage was a giant step forward in cleaning up legacy industrial waste sites to help ensure human health and environmental protection. The Superfund law gives EPA the authority to clean up releases of hazardous substances and directs EPA to update the NPL at least annually. The NPL contains the nation's most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites. The list serves as the basis for prioritizing both enforcement actions and long-term EPA Superfund cleanup funding; only sites on the NPL are eligible for such funding.
Federal Register notices and supporting documents for the final and proposed sites:
Information about how a site is listed on the NPL:
Superfund sites in local communities:
More information about the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the law establishing the Superfund program, can be found at:
More about activities in EPA Region 6 is available at http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html