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Toxic Carter Carburetor Site In North St. Louis To Be Cleaned Up -- At Last

(Sarah Skiöld-Hanlin/St. Louis Public Radio)

A toxic eyesore in North St. Louis is finally going to be cleaned up.

The old Carter Carburetor Superfund site on North Grand Boulevard will undergo a long-awaited $30 million remediation, the Environmental Protection Agency announced on Monday.

The cleanup is the result of separate settlement agreements between the EPA and Carter Building, Inc., and ACF Industries, LLC. The two companies will cover most of the costs of the remediation.

Closed in 1984, the former carburetor manufacturing plant sits directly across the street from the Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club.

An area resident for nearly 20 years, Karen Simmons points to a large banner hanging in front of the building.

"Just the sign. Three Cs: Carter Carburetor Cleanup,” Simmons said. “I'm very happy that it's happening. Long overdue, but I understand the concept. It does take time, it is a process." 

Credit (Sarah Skiöld-Hanlin/St. Louis Public Radio)
Karen Simmons, an area resident for nearly 20 years, says she's very happy that the cleanup is happening, but also says it's long overdue.

The 10-acre site is polluted with unhealthy levels of industrial chemicals including PCBs and asbestos.

Remediation at Carter Carburetor will involve the demolition of the approximately 100-year-old main building and the removal or treatment of contaminated soil.

EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks says air sampling will be done throughout the cleanup process to make sure that toxic substances do not reach surrounding neighborhoods.

"The contractors who are doing this work have handled sites in big neighborhoods before,” Brooks said. We have procedures to make sure folks in this neighborhood will be safe. They have a right to expect that, and they will be."

There is no fixed end-date for the cleanup but Brooks says it will likely take three or four years.

You can read the full text of the settlement agreement between EPA and Carter Building, Inc.

You can also read the full text of the settlement agreement between EPA and ACF Industries, LLC and submit comments through Aug. 19.

Follow Sarah Skiöld-Hanlin on Twitter@Skihan

Follow Véronique LaCapra on Twitter@KWMUScience