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Fact Sheet

September 2012

Listening Post Sessions Scheduled for Elmwood Park Residents, Chicago Heights Boulevard VOC Plume Site, St. Louis County, Missouri


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 invites residents of the Elmwood Park community in north St. Louis County, Mo., to visit with EPA staff and representatives of other state and federal agencies on Wednesday, September 12, and Thursday, September 13, about a continuing investigation and response related to groundwater contamination in their neighborhood.

EPA and its partner agencies will sponsor an open house-style Listening Post event at the First Baptist Church of Elmwood, 1452 Dielman Road. Residents may drop by at their convenience to ask questions, share concerns and receive information.


Contrary to rumors and some reports in the news media, EPA has found no reason to indicate there are any health risks posed by drinking, cooking, bathing or otherwise using drinking water that is supplied to the Elmwood Park neighborhood.

By law, the public water system that delivers water to residences in the area is regularly tested for safety. Unless otherwise notified, Elmwood Park residents should assume their public water supply to be free of health risks and safe to consume.


EPA and its partners will staff a Listening Post in the area during the afternoon and early evening hours of Sept. 12 and 13. No appointment is necessary. The Listening Post will operate at:

First Baptist Church of Elmwood
1452 Dielman Road
St. Louis, Mo. 63132

Wednesday, September 12
12:00 Noon to 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 13
12:00 Noon to 4 p.m.
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.


The Chicago Heights Boulevard VOC Plume Site is a contaminated groundwater plume located in an unincorporated residential area of north St. Louis County. On July 31, 2012, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) referred the site to EPA for further investigation and cleanup. Groundwater contamination in the area is believed to have resulted from a chemical spill or release from a metal fabrication business located adjacent to the Elmwood Park neighborhood in the late 1980s. In 1994, MDNR and EG&G Missouri Metal Shaping Company, now known as PerkinElmer, Inc., entered into a consent agreement to investigate and remediate the contamination.


The primary contaminant of concern at this site is trichloroethylene (TCE), a colorless liquid solvent commonly used to clean metal parts, and as an ingredient in other products. TCE can cause a wide range of health effects, depending on levels and lengths of exposure, and the sensitivities of affected populations, such as unborn children, young children and the elderly. In late 2011, EPA developed a new health-based benchmark for TCE.


Under the consent agreement, and based on results of environmental sampling done in May and August 2012, PerkinElmer will install vapor mitigation systems in Elmwood Park residences where TCE was detected at elevated levels in indoor air.

During the week of August 20, 2012, contractors for PerkinElmer conducted sampling of indoor air and sub-slab air sampling at seven homes and three apartments in the area, as part of an ongoing vapor intrusion assessment. Results from that sampling are being shared with residents of those homes this week.

Additional sampling is planned for later this fall, during cooler weather.


EPA Region 7 is overseeing the vapor intrusion assessment that is already underway, as well as the installation of vapor intrusion mitigation systems in affected residences. EPA anticipates that additional environmental assessment will be conducted in the neighborhood, and it is possible that additional mitigation systems may be installed in other homes, depending on results of future sampling.

Additionally, EPA is currently evaluating existing information about the groundwater contamination associated with the Chicago Heights Site, and will pursue additional investigation and cleanup actions as needed.

EPA Region 7 is also closely coordinating with MDNR regarding cleanup actions that may be needed at the adjacent Missouri Metals Shaping facility, which is believed to be the main source of contamination in the neighborhood.


EPA Region 7 intends to keep the Elmwood Park community informed and engaged throughout the investigation and cleanup process. This week’s Listening Post event will be followed by additional public events and meetings, all as part of EPA’s Community Involvement Plan. The next public event, to further discuss future plans for investigation and cleanup, is expected to be scheduled within the next few weeks.


For more information, please contact: 

Belinda Young
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Public Affairs
901 N. 5th Street
Kansas City, KS 66101
Phone: 913-551-7463
Toll-free: 800-223-0425
Email: young.belinda@epa.gov

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