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Former Sporlan plant added to hazardous site list

USA: A former Sporlan refrigeration valve plant in Washington, Missouri, has been added to the Superfund programme’s National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites.

The addition of the site to the NPL makes it eligible for long-term remedial cleanup financed under the federal Superfund programme. 

The Sporlan Valve Plant 1 site is a four-acre vacant lot located in a residential neighborhood at 611 E Seventh St, Washington. Established in 1939, it was vacated in 2005.

Sporlan is said to have used trichloroethylene (TCE) over several decades as a degreaser. Analysis has confirmed that TCE has contaminated the soil and groundwater, which has migrated beneath nearby residential homes. Vapour intrusion sampling by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and EPA identified concentrations of TCE that exceed health-based action levels at various residences.

Exposure to TCE is said to pose potential human health hazards to the central nervous system, kidney, liver, immune system, male reproductive system, and developing fetus. TCE is characterised by EPA as “carcinogenic in humans” by all routes of exposure. Other contaminants of concern at this site include vinyl chloride and dichloroethene, both of which are breakdown byproducts of the degradation of TCE in the environment.

There are currently nearly 1200 US sites on the NPL list.

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