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Benton Creosote Works

 
Site Contact:
Mike McAteer
OSC

(mcateer.mike@epa.gov)

Site Location:
6695 Louisiana Highway 3
Benton, LA 71006
epaosc.org/bentoncreosote

On January 18, 2024, EPA received soil sampling data from the November 2023 sampling event at the Benton Creosote Works site located in Benton, Bossier Parish, Louisiana that shows elevated dioxin levels in soils within an apartment complex (Palmetto Place Apartments) adjacent to the former creosote facility. Dioxins were also found in soils at the adjacent creosote facility. Because residents, including young children, use this area of the apartment property for recreation, EPA authorized their emergency response contractors to erect fencing around an area of the northern section of the apartment complex to restrict access and prevent possible exposure to the contaminated soil. EPA has also authorized additional sampling to clearly identify the extent of contamination and decide the best way to remove the contaminated soil.  EPA is currently nearing completion of the excavation of contaminated soils on the Palmetto Place Apartments property with the goal of completing this emergency response action in  late May of 2024.

During the Palmetto Place Apartment removal operation, the EPA is conducting perimeter air monitoring for particulate matter to ensure engineering controls used during the excavation are preventing dust from leaving the area.  The removal operation utilizes equipment selected to create the least amount of disturbance in the excavation zone, water to maintain moisture in the material, and, when needed, will wrap excavated soil within the dump trucks with plastic sheeting to prevent the soil from becoming airborne during transit.

The EPA team has developed an action level for the particulate matter based upon the EPA’s residential regional screening levels and the maximum concentration of contaminants in the soil to be excavated.  DustTrak particulate monitors will be stationed at three different locations surrounding the Palmetto Place apartments and will collect and send real-time data to a local computer in the command trailer where it will then be analyzed by the team. This system enables the user to view 15-minute average dust readings from the DustTrak stations every 5 minutes and set alarms to notify personnel via text, email, and the command post computer when dust levels are nearing or exceed the action level. If the action level is exceeded the team will evaluate site conditions and operations to determine if the source of the exceedance is due to site operations or if offsite contributions such as burning brush piles, highway traffic, etc. may be influencing the readings.   A weather station has also been established onsite to monitor and record wind direction and speed to assist the team in interpreting the monitoring system.

The EPA team will compile all of the monitoring data on a daily basis and generate a Particulate Matter Report.  This report will include levels of particulates, wind speed/direction, and the dates and times the monitors were running onsite.  Reports will be posted daily on the EPA’s website ("StoryMap" link below).

 

Click here to view the StoryMap.