WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency has added a chemical factory site near West Helena to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites.
The site, just south of West Helena along Arkansas 242, consists of six former production units, support facilities and an office last owned by Cedar Chemical Corp.
"Adding this site to the National Priorities List is an important step in ensuring public health and the environment will be protected," said Acting EPA Regional Administrator Sam Coleman.
Different chemical companies occupied the newly designated Superfund site since 1970. Cedar Chemical, which filed for bankruptcy in 2002, manufactured agricultural chemicals, including insecticides and herbicides.
EPA said contaminants such as chloroform and methylene chloride were left on the site. Other threats include abandoned chemicals, buried drums, groundwater and soil contamination, and an abandoned storm water treatment system, the agency said.
Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country. It may take several years before cleanup funding is available for the site, according to EPA.