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Community Celebrates Cleanup of Vermilion Parish Superfund Site

Release Date: 3/11/1999
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

        Federal, state and local officials led a ceremony this afternoon celebrating the cleanup of the Gulf Coast Vacuum Services Superfund site near Abbeville, Louisiana.

         "We appreciate the efforts industry has made in pulling together to clean this site. The partnership of EPA, LDEQ, industry, local governments and residents made this project a success. We are proud of what has been accomplished here and of the restoration of this site to productive use," said Myron Knudson, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 Superfund Director.

        The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) Secretary J. Dale Givens, Abbeville Mayor R. Brady Broussard and Vermilion Parish Police Jury President Donald Sagrera also spoke during the ceremony Thursday afternoon.

        "Like most other states, Louisiana relies on EPA to assist with the costs of remediating larger sites such as these for which adequate state funding is not available," noted Mr. Givens. "The Louisiana Legislature voted in 1997 to dedicate all of the state's hazardous waste tax to LDEQ, and those funds enable LDEQ to address smaller but potentially dangerous sites across the state."

        Mayor Broussard thanked EPA and LDEQ for their work on the site. "It is wonderful to know that these agencies care for our community and it is reassuring to know that we can always count on them."

        Mr. Sagrera praised the communication during the project. "From the very beginning of developing plans through the final work, the communication with local officials and residents has been outstanding. Those in charge consistently sought residents' input and kept them informed about plans and activities. It has given us great confidence that the cleanup has been done correctly and thoroughly. We expect a tremendous improvement in the environment because of this project."

        Waste, including sludge from oil and gas exploration and production, was left on the property when Gulf Coast Vacuum Services abandoned the trucking terminal. Because liquid waste pits were left open, rain could cause them to overflow and spread chemicals over surrounding land and into nearby ground water.

        During the cleanup wastes in these pits was treated on site. Substances remaining after treatment and contaminated soil were consolidated on site and covered with a 3-foot clay cap. The area was then graded and seeded to prevent erosion.

        The site will be monitored for at least 30 years to ensure that the barrier is intact and the contaminants remain buried and undisturbed.