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Demolition, Excavation, Shoring, Loading Trucks


Restore property for redevelopment


Chemical Intermediates




Contaminated Soil


Arsenic, caustic soda, chlorites, sodium chlorate, borax, 2,4-D, pentachlorophenal, fuel oil

Description of Work and Location

The site is currently inactive and consists of a 25,000 square foot building and a mostly paved lot located on approximately 1.8 acres in a highly commercialized/industrialized area of Kansas City. The site was used for herbicide mixing and blending operations. Herbicides were produced at the site for use by the railroad industry to eliminate or control vegetation along railroad tracks. Three companies blended or handled herbicides at this location. During the first phase of the operation, raw materials were generally transported to the site in railroad cars where they were mixed in above and below ground tanks to produce various herbicide blends. The second company leased the property and continued essentially the same operation. Raw materials used on the site included powdered arsenic (95% pure), caustic soda, chlorates, sodium chlorate, borax, 2,4-D, pentachlorophenol, and fuel oil.

EMA’s Role in Execution of Project

The goal of the corrective action was to eliminate threats posed by contaminated soils and to restore the property to a condition that will allow for redevelopment. Building demolition activities commenced and was largely completed in 2 months. Materials or wastes that were generated during this activity included 1,350 tons of building concrete rubble; floor tiles, mastic, and caulking containing asbestos; vat sediments; PCB wastes; scrap metal; and other miscellaneous materials. Excavation, treatment, and off-site disposal activities were completed in one year. 50,000 tons of contaminated soil were excavated and disposed of off-site. The majority of the soil required treatment to meet leachability standards. The soil was treated with ferric sulfate and lime and disposed of. Managing the excavation, loading, and T&D was carefully executed to ensure contamination wasn’t transferred off-site. Personnel and hand equipment decontamination were located and demarcated in the personnel exit station. Tractor trailer and heavy equipment decontamination were located and demarcated in the project installed exit road. The decontamination pad consisted of removal of organic material (up to eight inches) and one, 4,000 psi Hotsy pressure washer was located at the decontamination station for the duration of the project. The scope of work required sewer system task orders in which EMA retained the services of a qualified works contractor from North Kansas City. The main installation and tap connection were completed per project and compliance specifications. During the project, EMA experienced four, brief significant water events (rainfall). These events consisted mainly of less than one hour of rainfall amounting in 0.5 inch to four inches of accumulation. The “initial” rainfall event resulted in 500,000 gallons of excavation water. After discussions with the EPA, the PRP group and the site consultant, EMA was allowed to discharge the excavation water to the local storm sewer system. The next three rainfall events resulted in 1,000,000 gallons of excavation water. This water was required to be managed on-site. EMA accomplished this by using a system of on-site holding ponds. Also, the water was utilized as dust mitigation and gross decontamination water. Finally, the project team was directed by the EPA to maximize the removal of contaminants. The EPA directed the project team to maximize removal of contaminants, This open-ended requirement demanded flexibility to deal with unknown buried objects, unmarked utilities, and unanticipated contaminant concentrations. EMA successfully controlled costs while meeting EPA requirements by effectively managing to unforeseen site conditions.