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EPA Proposes East Baton Rouge Parish Site to Federal Cleanup Priorities List

Release Date: 3/8/2004
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 Devil's Swamp Lake site, located about 10 miles north of Baton Rouge, La., to the federal Superfund National Priorities List (NPL), EPA and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced today.

      "Adding this site to the Superfund list makes federal dollars available, allowing EPA and the DEQ to speed their cleanup and meet the agencies' commitment to protecting public health and our environment," EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said.

      DEQ Secretary Mike D. McDaniel said, "The DEQ stands ready to assist the EPA in addressing problem sites. Continued cooperation between our agencies is essential to clean up all contaminated properties, particularly those located in environmentally sensitive areas of our state."

      The property, located near Scotlandville, includes an outfall ditch formerly used by Rollins Environmental Services, a commercial hazardous waste disposal facility that began receiving waste in 1971. Rollins discharged treated wastewater and storm water into the ditch.  Sediment sampling shows concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other hazardous substances in the ditch and downstream, including Devil's Swamp Lake.

      PCBs were used as coolants and lubricants in transformers, capacitors, and other electrical equipment because they don't burn easily and are good insulators. The manufacture of PCBs was stopped in the U.S. in 1977 because of evidence they build up in the environment and can cause harmful health effects. More information about PCBs is available 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 after NPL listing.

      Additional information about the site is available at