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Fact Sheet

August 2014

Proposed Final Remedy for Cleanup Released for Public Comment, Univar USA Inc. (former site), Cash & Silver Streets, Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 invites the public to review and comment on the proposed final remedy for cleanup at the Univar USA Inc. (former site), located at latitude 40° 49' 51" N and longitude -91° 6' 15" W (EPA RCRA ID # IAT200010916).

The public is encouraged to review EPA’s investigation reports and other historic information regarding the Univar Site, which have been compiled in an Administrative Record corresponding to this proposal. This information is available at the following locations during business hours:

Burlington Public Library
210 Court Street
Burlington, IA 52601
(319) 753-1647

EPA Region 7 Records Center
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, KS 66219
(913) 551-7166

The public comment period runs August 27, 2014 to September 26, 2014, to enable the public to comment on the proposed corrective measures. Written comments should be mailed or emailed to:

Patricia Murrow
U.S. EPA Region 7 (AWMD/WRAP)

11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, KS 66219
Email: murrow.patricia@epa.gov

Comments should be received no later than September 26, 2014.

Comments received will be summarized and responded to in an official Response to Comments document, and a copy will be sent to those individuals providing comments. EPA may modify the corrective measures based upon new information and comments from the public.

A public hearing is not scheduled at this time. If one is requested in writing with a statement of issues to be raised, EPA is willing to conduct a hearing and receive both oral and written comments.


The Univar facility, which is not operating currently, is in an area zoned for industrial use and covers approximately 2.21 acres. The buildings formerly located at the facility have been demolished, with the exception of one small concrete-block building that was used for solvent repackaging and, later, for document storage. The raised foundation of the former warehouse and chemical repackaging building remain on the west side of the facility. The remnants of the operating facility are located inside a fenced area.

The Univar facility was initially established by the Chicago Rock Island and Pacific Railroad as early as 1937.  McKesson Chemical Company began leasing the property in 1957 for use as a full-service industrial chemical distribution facility. McKesson discontinued facility operations in 1986 and, shortly thereafter, the facility was purchased by Van Waters & Rogers, Inc. Subsequently, the facility has been owned by and the name changed to Vopak USA, Inc. The facility is currently named Univar USA, Inc., which is the current owner and operator.

On June 19, 1997, EPA and Univar entered into an Administrative Order on Consent, which required Univar to complete an environmental investigation and evaluation.

As directed by the 1997 AOC, Univar has investigated soil, groundwater, surface water and sediment to determine the extent of contamination and potential for migration. Two distinct areas at the site appear to be sources that have formed two relatively distinct, small groundwater plumes that have migrated in the prevailing direction of groundwater flow toward the east-southeast. The plumes appear to be strongly attenuated. Univar also completed a study to determine whether monitored natural attenuation was a viable remedy for groundwater contamination. No volatile organic compounds were detected in surface water or sediment samples.


Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds were detected in some on-site soil samples. Volatile organic compounds have been detected in groundwater at the site and off-site. These contaminants have adverse health effects including the potential to cause cancer. EPA has determined that if not addressed, the presence of these contaminants at this site is expected to present a current and future potential threat to human health and the environment. 


EPA is proposing several Corrective Measures:


Establish Institutional Controls to limit or control land use to prevent unintentional contact with contaminated soil and groundwater until cleanup objectives are met; and implement monitored natural attenuation to verify that natural degradation processes are reducing contaminant mass.

Monitoring and Response

Operate and maintain a system of groundwater monitoring wells to verify that the corrective measure, monitored natural attenuation, is controlling contaminant migration and reducing contaminant concentrations on- and off-site; and collect samples and report results to EPA so that progress on meeting the cleanup objectives can be tracked.

If you have questions, would like a copy of the Administrative Record, or want to join the mailing list for future updates regarding this site, please contact:

Emily Albano
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA, Region 7
Office of Public Affairs
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, KS 66219
Toll-free at (800) 223-0425, ext. 7860
Email: albano.emily@epa.gov

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