The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 24, 2013

EPA to update community group about Newton County Superfund site

NEOSHO, Mo. — Recent activities at the Pools Prairie Superfund Site will be discussed by Environmental Protection Agency representatives Wednesday at Crowder College.

The Community Advisory Group meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday Aug. 28 in the Newton Hall conference room at Crowder College. It will include Newton County residents who are members of the Community Advisory Group. The members of the group represent the local community to the EPA.

The EPA established the Superfund site in 1994, when gasoline contaminated a water well west of Interstate 49 on Quince Road.

The contamination relates to the former Rocketdyne plant and its successors. According to an EPA fact sheet, a portion of Fort Crowder was transferred to the Air Force in the 1950s for construction of a rocket engine manufacturing plant. The installation included the plant and test area. Rocket engine testing and related activities were stopped in 1968.

After rocket engine manufacturing stopped, the plant was used to manufacture, test and refurbish jet plane engines. It’s now a privately owned business used to test and refurbish jet and helicopter engines.

The fact sheet says the  EPA seeks to prevent further human exposure to contaminants. The EPA is removing or containing the sources of groundwater contamination, cleaning up the contaminated groundwater and providing affected residents with access to clean water.

The EPA will update members of the group and answer questions they have.

“We’re collecting samples from throughout the site,” EPA spokeswoman Dianna Whitaker said. “We’ll be giving an update on that. Under the remedial investigation, we have a better idea of the groundwater flow throughout the area. We’ll relate to them what data we’ve collected.”

Thousands of pounds

STUDIES CONDUCTED since 1994 indicated thousands of pounds of solvent-related compounds in areas of the Pools Prairie Superfund Site, according to an EPA fact sheet.

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