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    Most Contaminated Site in Helena-West Helena

    8:01 PM, Sep 19, 2012   |    comments
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    WEST HELENA, Ark. (KTHV) - The U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) has added a site in West Helena, formerly home to Cedar Chemical Corporation, to a National Priorities List which consist of hazardous waste sites that pose public health and environmental risk.

    "Yes it does concern me," says Kathy Cadwell, a resident new to Helena-West Helena.

    The site has been home to various chemical companies since 1970.

    Its last owner, Cedar Chemical Corporation, manufactured various agricultural chemicals.

    "Cedar Chemical is bankrupt. They filed chapter 11 a number of years ago," says Philip Allen with the EPA.

    Allen says the EPA is mainly concerned with herbicides and pesticides at the site.

    The EPA says Cedar Chemical left behind contaminants such as chloroform and methylene chloride, along with other threats including abandoned chemicals, buried drums, groundwater and soil contamination and an abandoned storm water treatment system.

    Allen says a 2005 assessment from the Centers for Disease Control and Arkansas Department of Health looked at herbicides and pesticides and the exposure to humans, ground water and crops. He says they found no unacceptable risk. 

    "If you're not on the property of the chemical plant, there's no human exposure, no health threats, no concerns to worry about," says Allen.

    The State of Arkansas leases the land to a company called Qualpaw Products.

    The EPA says it could be years before the clean up process it started.

    For more information and to keep track of the EPA's progress with the Helena-West Helena site visit these websites:

    http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/nar1863.htm

    http://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0600295

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