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EPA Superfund removal to begin at the W. R. Grace site in Wilder, Kentucky

Release Date: 09/02/2003
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, EPA Media Relations, 404-562-8421
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it will begin a Superfund hazardous substance removal at the W. R. Grace Site in Wilder, Kentucky during the month of September. A removal is a short-term cleanup intended to stabilize or clean up a site that poses an imminent and substantial threat to human health or the environment. The removal is taking place under the authority and direction of the Agency's Emergency Response and Removal Branch (ERRB).

The W. R. Grace Site, located at 112 North Street in Wilder, Campbell County, KY, is a former vermiculite processing facility. The site is approximately 5.4 acres in size and is bordered to the west by the CSX Railroad and Newport Steel. The site was first owned and operated by the Zonolite Company in 1953, and was later purchased by W. R. Grace & Co. ("Grace") in 1960. Grace manufactured vermiculite products at this location from 1960 until the plant closed in December 1995. A petroleum products pump repair and maintenance company currently operates at this location.

During the period that Grace operated the facility, vermiculite ore from the Libby, Montana mine was used as raw material. This material contains high concentrations of asbestos fibers. It is estimated that asbestos-contaminated vermiculite was shipped to more than 200 other locations across the U.S. for processing. Approximately 35,000-40,000 tons of asbestos-containing waste were buried on the site.