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EPA Superfund Removal to begin at the Red Panther Site in Clarksdale, Mississippi

Release Date: 03/23/2005
Contact Information:

March 23, 2005

Contact: Laura Niles Phone: (404) 562-8353

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will begin a Superfund hazardous substance removal at the Red Panther Site in Clarksdale, Coahoma County, Mississippi in April. The removal is a short-term cleanup intended to stabilize a site that poses an imminent and substantial threat to human health or the environment.

The removal will be conducted under the authority and direction of the EPA Region 4 Emergency Response and Removal Branch (ERRB). Potentially responsible parties have voluntarily entered into an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) with EPA and will be performing the cleanup.

The site is located on 6.5 acres at Normandy and Patton Streets in a commercial/residential area. Liquid and dry herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides were formulated at the Red Panther facility between 1949 and 1978.

A site investigation was performed by the Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team (START) under the direction of the EPA Region 4 ERRB. During this site investigation, a wide variety of organo-chlorine pesticides and arsenic were found that exceeded EPA acceptable levels. As a result of the investigation, it was determined that a removal action was necessary to prevent the continued release and substantial threat of release of hazardous substances.

 Work at the site is expected to begin in early April 2005 and may include:

    • securing the area of concern to prevent access by unauthorized persons;
    • determining the volume of contaminated soil through extensive soil sampling;
    • excavating all contaminated soils as specified in the action memorandum and AOC;
    • treating, storing, and/or disposing of all site-related hazardous waste at an approved disposal facility;
    • conducting post-excavation sampling in excavated areas to assure that clean-up levels have been achieved; and
    • providing for the collection and treatment or disposal of all contaminated waters, rinses, and sediment accumulated as a result of decontamination operations.
EPA will perform oversight of the AOC and will be on site continuously throughout the cleanup. In addition, EPA and contractors for the responsible parties will perform air sampling at the site to ensure the safety of the public and on-site workers.