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Imperial Refining Company Site in Ardmore, Okla., Proposed to Superfund Priorities List

Release Date: 5/11/2000
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 Imperial Refining Company site in Ardmore, Carter County, Okla., to the federal Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). Refinery wastes from this abandoned crude oil refinery threaten wetlands and sensitive environments on or near the site.

     "Adding this site to the Superfund list makes federal funds available, allowing EPA and the Oklahoma 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.

     Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality Executive Director Mark S. Coleman said, "Our first goal is to make Ardmore a better and safer place to live. This cleanup is part of our ongoing efforts to restore abandoned refinery sites across the state of Oklahoma."

     Imperial refined petroleum on the site from 1917 to 1934, when it declared bankruptcy. By 1948, the company dismantled all tanks and storage equipment. During tank dismantling, tank bottom material was dumped onto the ground throughout the 55-acre site.

     Twelve waste piles containing discarded tank bottom material are scattered throughout the property, in the approximate locations where the storage tanks once stood.  These dry, asphalt-like tar mats range in size from approximately 2,224 square feet to 58,028 square feet.

     Hazardous substances have migrated and/or could migrate to wetlands and other sensitive environments on or near the property.  The wetlands are a unique biotic community and habitat for the alligator snapping turtle, an Oklahoma Species of Special Concern.

     Hazardous substances detected at the site include benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX compounds), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and metals including lead, arsenic, chromium, nickel, selenium, and zinc.

     General information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health is available at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs web page on the Internet at

     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 before the Agency makes the final decision about adding the site to the NPL. During this public comment 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 July 10, 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