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EPA Proposes Ouachita County Site to Superfund List

Release Date: 2/4/2000
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.


     The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to add the Ouachita Nevada Wood Treater site to the federal Superfund National Priorities List (NPL).  The five-acre facility is about a quarter of a mile north of Reader, Ouachita County, Arkansas.

     "Adding this site to the Superfund list allows EPA and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to speed their cleanup and meet the agencies' commitment to protecting public health and our environment," EPA Regional Administrator Gregg Cooke said.

     Pentachlorophenol (PCP), a chromium and copper solution, and a diesel fuel and motor oil mixture were used at the site to preserve wood. The site was active for 39 years, until the owner declared bankruptcy in 1985.

     The property contains three ponds that caught spills from treatment cylinders, six above-ground tanks, 35 drums and contaminated soil. PCP, chromium, copper, arsenic and several other semi-volatile compounds have been detected in the ponds, drums and soils.

     Rainwater from these areas drains toward an intermittent stream and wetlands west of the site. The wetlands drain into the Little Missouri River 1.25 miles north of the site. Hazardous substances have been found in sediment samples from the wetlands. Fish caught in these contaminated wetlands are eaten by local residents.  

     Although PCP and other chemicals have been found in an on-site ground water monitoring well, no contamination has been found in nearby private residential wells.

     The EPA Superfund program works closely with state agencies to clean and restore uncontrolled contaminated properties. Superfund cleans sites when the work required is beyond the resources of state and local agencies.

     EPA will seek public comments for 60 days on adding this site to the NPL. Those comments will be addressed when the Agency makes the final decision about adding the site to the NPL. During this period, the Agency will continue to develop cleanup plans so that actual work may begin as quickly after NPL listing as possible.

     Send comments by April 4, 2000, to Docket Coordinator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CERCLA Docket Office (Mail Code 5201 G), Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460, 703/603-9232.

     Comments may also be submitted by express mail (send original and three copies of comments, no facsimiles or tapes) to Docket Coordinator, Headquarters, U.S. EPA, CERCLA Docket Office, 1235 Jefferson Davis Highway, Crystal Gateway #1, First Floor, Arlington, VA 22202, or by e-mail in ASCII format only to

     Additional information about this site is available on the EPA web site at