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EPA Discovers More Dioxin in West County

Michael Calhoun (@michaelcalhoun, mrcalhoun@cbs.com)
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An government representative at a public hearing at the Daniel Boone branch of the St. Louis County Library on June 22 ,2012 (KMOX/Michael Calhoun)

An government representative at a public hearing at the Daniel Boone branch of the St. Louis County Library on June 22 ,2012 (KMOX/Michael Calhoun)

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WILDWOOD (KMOX) - Yet another look at the Strecker Forest site in Wildwood shows dioxin contamination — part of it, in an area planned for a subdivision.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s review of the area states that burning of household trash likely deposited the dioxin in a small section of the planned Strecker Forest subdivision. It suggests that the developer excavate and dispose of the affected dirt. The E.P.A. would then perform follow-up tests.

Just north, in the Strecker Forest Preservation Area, testing discovered dioxin contamination of the more traditional kind. The half-acre of land affected is immediately adjacent to the infamous Russell Bliss site. The wooded area is likely to be fenced off while the E.P.A. studies clean-up options.

In this case, groundwater may also be affected.

“All it takes is a kid to go out and dig a hole in the wrong spot, and they could get into something that could cause life-altering damage,” Karl Altman said, concerned about having just moved nearby.

“Just because they’re not building houses there doesn’t mean that people who move in there shouldn’t be aware. That their kids shouldn’t go down and play in those corners” of the site.

E.P.A. spokesman Chris Whitley acknowledges that a fence might not keep out a curious youngster.

“People can’t be watching their children at every time, but children can be instilled with a sense of whether or not its appropriate to be on someone else’s land,” he said.

A third section, to the south of both of the other two, is known as the “Callahan Property,” and the E.P.A. says the only contamination there is of paint waste. Because of concerns about airborne odors, the agency will wait until colder weather to do any remediation there.

Previous Coverage:

EPA: Wildwood Houses Free of Dioxin Contamination

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