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EPA in Iowa

Cyprus Specialty Metals Company/Roquette America, Inc. Facility, Keokuk, Lee County, Iowa - Fact Sheet, July 2019

Public Comment Period for Draft RCRA Post-Closure Permit


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 invites the public to review and comment on the draft Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Post-Closure Permit for the Cyprus Specialty Metals Company (Cyprus) and Roquette America, Inc. (Roquette) facility, located at 2301 Twin Rivers Drive in Keokuk, Iowa. The 45-day public comment period begins July 15, 2019, and ends August 28, 2019.


In the past, operations at the facility produced ferrosilicon alloys used in the cast iron and steel manufacturing industry. Past operations generated non-hazardous and hazardous waste streams, including spent solvent [(1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA)]; drum filter sludge (hazardous waste based on the lead content in the material); emission control dust (non-hazardous); and slag (non-hazardous). 1,4-Dioxane, a site contaminant, is typically found in TCA. The drum filter sludge was disposed into two hazardous waste landfill cells at the facility (East and West Cells). The East Cell operated from 1976 to 1991 and the West Cell from 1984 to 1991. An investigation of the remainder of the facility to determine the nature and extent of any contamination was completed and subsequently approved by EPA on August 4, 2017. Required corrective actions have been completed except for groundwater monitoring.


The material placed in the two landfill cells is hazardous waste because it exhibits the characteristic of toxicity for lead, identified by the waste code D008. Approximately 91,000 cubic yards of mixed material (both hazardous and non-hazardous wastes) are in the West Cell, and approximately 87,000 cubic yards of mixed material are in the East Cell. Soil at the facility has been impacted by polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (associated with heavy end petroleum products) and metals (primarily arsenic, chromium and lead). Groundwater is impacted by arsenic and 1,4-Dioxane.


The permit requires inspection and maintenance of both landfill cell caps and associated structures so that hazardous wastes are not released to the environment. Environmental covenants have been recorded on the property that require cap maintenance, restricting access to the landfill cells; protective measures when digging in soil; proper soil management; and that prohibit well installation, groundwater use, and property use for residential purposes. The contaminant concentrations in soil and groundwater remaining at the facility are within levels considered acceptable with current site use and consideration of property restrictions imposed by the environmental covenants. Corrective action objectives (CAOs) to meet protective standards in wells along the river have been established for the groundwater monitoring program currently being conducted. The groundwater monitoring program will continue until the CAOs standards established by EPA are met.


The public is encouraged to review and comment on the draft RCRA Post-Closure Permit for the Cyprus/Roquette facility. The permit and other supporting documents are contained in the Administrative Record, and are available at the following locations during normal business hours:

Keokuk Public Library 
210 North 5th Street
Keokuk, IA 52632
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
502 East 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
EPA Region 7 Records Center
11201 Renner Boulevard
Lenexa, KS 66219
Guidelines for Commenting:
  • Explain your views.
  • Tell us if you support or disagree with the permit conditions. Please be specific.
  • Provide alternatives if you disagree with the permit conditions.
  • Submit comments by August 28.

A formal public hearing has not been scheduled, but will be held if there is sufficient public interest. Requests for a hearing must be made in writing to Mary Grisolano at the address listed below for receipt by August 16, and must state the nature of issues to be raised at the hearing. EPA will evaluate any request and hold a public hearing if it finds that a hearing will contribute to the decision-making process by clarifying significant issues affecting the cleanup remedy.

EPA will issue a Final RCRA Post-Closure Permit to Cyprus and Roquette only after the public comment period ends and all comments are reviewed. EPA may modify the permit based on any new information and comments from the public.


You may submit written comments or request a public hearing in writing from:

Mary Grisolano
11201 Renner Boulevard
Lenexa, KS 66219
Or by email at

If you have questions or want to receive a copy of the Administrative Record or further information, please contact:

Tamara Freeman
Community Engagement Specialist
EPA Region 7 (ORA)
11201 Renner Boulevard
Lenexa, KS 66219
Toll-free: 1-800-223-0425