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EPA reaches agreement with BNSF Railway on St. Regis cleanup

Release Date: 09/15/2005
Contact Information:

CONTACT: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254
Don de Blasio, (312) 886-4360

For Immediate Release
No. 05-OPA177

CHICAGO (Sept. 15, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has reached an agreement with BNSF Railway Co. on cleanup of the company's property at the St. Regis Paper Co. Superfund site in Cass Lake, Minn. The agreement, signed Aug. 25, requires BNSF to prepare a cleanup plan to remove dioxin-contaminated soil and to take additional steps at the site to protect public health and safety.

Once the cleanup plan is approved by EPA, BNSF will excavate soils from its property containing dioxin levels at or above 5 parts per billion. It will collect samples at the bottom of excavated areas and send them to a laboratory for analysis.

In addition, the company will cover all excavated areas with permeable fabric, secure the cover in place and fence all excavated areas until sample results determine that all of these areas are below 5 ppb. After the excavation, BNSF will transport all contaminated materials to an approved disposal facility.

Finally, BNSF will fence and put a grass cover over all areas owned by the company where dioxin levels are at or above 1 ppb to prevent contact with the property and off-site movement of soil. The company also has the option of fencing all of its property.