Missouri’s industrial history has left a legacy of contamination at various sites across the state. From manufacturing and mining to chemical production and nuclear waste, the state has seen the release of hazardous substances into the environment for several decades, leading to the designation of several areas as Superfund sites.

Chemicals found in the soil, groundwater, and surface water at these sites have affected not only plant and animal life, but the lives of the people living around them. This contamination can have long-lasting consequences, threatening the viability of natural resources and the overall ecological balance in affected areas.

Addressing these Superfund sites requires a collaborative approach involving federal, state, and local agencies, as well as community engagement. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plays a central role in overseeing the cleanup while other agencies, environmental organizations, and community groups work together to ensure that the needs and concerns of affected communities are considered.

In Missouri, the Superfund program has played a crucial role in maintaining a safe environment for people to live in while restoring the land that has already been contaminated. Remediation efforts in the state include soil excavation, groundwater treatment, long-term monitoring programs, and several other processes designed to create a safer, cleaner Missouri.

While progress has been made in addressing Superfund sites, ongoing challenges remain. Some sites may require continued monitoring and maintenance to ensure the effectiveness of the implemented remedies. Additionally, emerging contaminants and evolving scientific knowledge pose new challenges in identifying and addressing potential risks.

Impact on Missouri Communities

As advances in science and technology are made, our knowledge about the dangers associated with contaminants grows further. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are among some of the most commonly found contaminants at any Superfund site. These chemicals have been found to cause various health problems, including liver and kidney damage, respiratory issues, neurological effects, and even various types of cancers.

Unfortunately, once these chemicals are released into the environment, it may be decades before they are fully removed. Further, even communities that do not rely on groundwater as a main source will continue to be affected by any airborne pollutants that remain in the air we breathe.

While the companies that created the waste are often held accountable for the cleanup, it is our job to hold them accountable for the effects they have on our communities. At OnderLaw, we aim to do just that. If your community has been affected by the contaminants at these Superfund sites, our team of dedicated attorneys will help to find the best course of action in holding the corporations accountable for the mess they made in the first place.

Notable Sites in Missouri

One of Missouri’s most infamous Superfund sites is Times Beach, a small town located southwest of St. Louis. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the town’s dirt roads were sprayed with waste oil containing high levels of dioxin, known to have lasting effects on the immune system and liver function. The extreme level of contamination and correlated health issues eventually led to the evacuation and eventual demolition of the entire town.

Another significant Superfund site in Missouri is the Weldon Spring Ordnance Works in St. Charles County. During World War II and the Cold War, the site was used for the production and storage of explosives and uranium processing. The subsequent contamination of soil and groundwater with radioactive materials posed substantial risks to human health and the environment, leading to extensive cleanup efforts in the area. Through the Superfund Program, the area is now home to a wildlife refuge and all remaining chemical waste has been contained.

Also in the St. Louis area, the West Lake Landfill exemplifies the challenges of long-term management and the complexities associated with hazardous waste disposal.

During World War II and the Manhattan Project, the area became a dumping ground for radioactive waste created by the production of nuclear weapons. Today it remains an ongoing concern due to the potential for groundwater contamination and the nearby presence of an underground fire at the adjacent Bridgeton Landfill.

Like other states, many of the Superfund sites in Missouri are located in highly-populated areas. Unfortunately, this means that a long list of communities in the state are or have been at risk of experiencing the health effects related to the chemicals found at these sites. At OnderLaw, we aim to help those communities find justice for anybody who has been affected by the contamination at these sites.

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Weldon Spring Superfund Site

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Annapolis Lead Mine Superfund Site

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Armour Road Superfund Site

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Bee Cee Manufacturing Superfund Site

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Big River Mine Tailings

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Compass Plaza Well Superfund Site

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Conservation Chemical Co. Superfund Site

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The Ellisville Superfund Site

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Kem-Pest Labs Superfund Site

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The St. Louis Airport/Hazelwood Interim Storage/Futura Coatings Co. Superfund Site

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Lake City Army Ammunition Plant Superfund Site

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The Lee Chemical Superfund Site

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Times Beach Superfund Site

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The Madison County Mines Superfund Site

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