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CLEANUP BEGINS AT HOLLIS HAZARDOUS SITE
Release Date: 6/26/1997
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started cleanup of hazardous materials today at the Hollis, Oklahoma, municipal airport.
Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality requested that EPA clean the site under the national Superfund program. Established by the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, Superfund is our country's program for cleaning hazardous waste sites where owners are unwilling or unable to clean them.
So that the most appropriate cleanup plan can be developed, EPA employees will first take samples at the property. A laboratory analysis of these samples will show the level of toxic materials and the extent of the contamination.
The site, leased by the crop dusting firm Gray Ag-Air, was contaminated by an explosion in October 1995. As an Oil Transport Company truck was filling a storage tank, fuel spilled and caught fire, causing the tank to explode. Chemicals involved in the explosion and fire include organophosphates, cyanide and hydrocarbons. These have been proven to be harmful to humans.
Oil Transport Company hired an environmental consultant to clean the site, but work stopped about a year after the accident when the trucking firm filed bankruptcy.
EPA will sample materials left by the consultant, including about 70 drums containing debris and ash from the fire, a mound of contaminated soil and a tank containing contaminated water. Also, soil samples will be taken to check for contamination that may have occurred as particles settled from the fire's smoke which contained pesticides, herbicides and fuel.