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EPA and Arkansas Declare Gregg Site "Ready for Reuse"

Release Date: 7/29/2003
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) issued a “ready for reuse” determination to the former University of Arkansas Gregg Site located in Johnson, Arkansas. This is the first certificate issued to a public facility in Arkansas, and the first nationally for an institution of higher learning.

The state of Arkansas and EPA agree that the University has successfully completed its cleanup of the property. The “ready for reuse” determination verifies that the environmental conditions on this property are protective of human health and the environment based on its current use and anticipated future use as a residential area.

EPA Regional Administrator Mayor Richard Greene said, “Today’s announcement highlights our newest program that promotes the reuse of formerly used industrial properties. We are building on our experience using the enormously successful Brownfields program. Our 'ready for reuse' determinations clear the way by providing necessary assurances to help encourage developers to reuse of these valuable natural resources.”

A “ready for reuse’ determination provides, in a straightforward manner, specific information about contamination, work performed at the site and the status of each real estate parcel that has been cleaned up to meet state and federal requirements.

Mr. Marcus Devine, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Director, said, “These efforts show that we can accomplish great things when key players in the university community and government agencies, both state and federal, work together.”

The former Gregg Site is located on land previously owned by the University of Arkansas in Johnson, Washington County, Arkansas, north of the City of Fayetteville. The Gregg Site consists of approximately one-half acre in the southwest corner of a 100-acre tract. Although no longer in use by the University, the site had historically been used as a research station for seismology. Accounts by retired University staff indicated that containers of laboratory chemicals had been buried in shallow pits or trenches on the property in the late 1960s or early 1970s, which was not a prohibited method of disposal at that time. The quantities and contents of the containers were unknown and were not documented at the time of disposal.

In the spring of 2000, the University voluntarily initiated and implemented an investigation to delineate the location of trenches and identify potential environmental impacts. The University of Arkansas performed restoration work to certify that the conditions of the property do not pose a risk to public health or the environment based on the current or anticipated future uses for the property.

Information concerning the current environmental conditions of the Gregg Site and risk management activities conducted to ensure protectiveness is summarized in the Closure Report prepared by the University. Copies of this document may be obtained from ADEQ, Hazardous Waste Division, 8001 National Drive, P.O. Box 8913, Little Rock, Arkansas 72219-8913.

For more information on the “ready for reuse” program, call Steve Gilrein, Associate Director for RCRA, EPA Region VI, (214) 665-8179. To learn more about EPA’s Land Revitalization Initiative contact, Steve Luftig, Senior Advisor for Land Reuse, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response at (703) 603-9931.

More information about the Gregg Site ready for reuse determination is available at