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Cushing, Oklahoma, Site Proposed for National Superfund Listing

Release Date: 4/30/1999
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

     The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) have proposed that the former site of the Hudson Refinery in Cushing, Okla., be added to the federal Superfund program's National Priority List (NPL).

     "Refinery operations have existed on this site since the 1930s, leaving a legacy of pollution. Listing this property on the NPL will expedite the cleanup and will allow this generation to leave a healthier legacy for our children and grandchildren," EPA Regional Administrator Gregg Cooke said.

     Old photographs of the area show a refinery operating as early as the mid-1930s. When operations ceased in 1982, above ground tanks containing hydrofluoric acid, tetraethyl lead and other hazardous chemicals were abandoned on the site.

     Over the years, these tanks have deteroriated, raising concerns about leaks contaminating surrounding areas. Also, samples taken from wetlands next to a former biotreatment pond on the property contained elevated levels of chromium and mercury. These heavy metals are considered a health risk to both humans and wildlife which depends upon wetlands for survival

     In December 1998, EPA transferred about 6,000 gallons of hydrofluoric acid into safe containers. As a precaution more than 400 Cushing residents were evaucated during this procedure. These containers will be removed from the property for proper disposal.

     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 to Superfund Docket, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Emergency and Remedial Response, Mail Code 5204G, 401 M Street SW, Washington, DC 20460.

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