An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

EPA in Iowa

FACT SHEET: Public Comment Period for Proposed Remedy, Bemis Company, Inc. Facility, Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa, January 2016


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 invites the public to comment on the proposed remedy for the Bemis Company, Inc. facility, located at 1500 East Aurora Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa (Facility). The public comment period will run from Jan. 18, 2016, to Feb. 16, 2016. Written comments on the proposed remedy should be mailed or emailed to be received no later than Feb. 16, 2016, and should be sent to:

Mary Grisolano, P.E.
U.S. EPA Region 7 (AWMD/RCAP)
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, KS 66219
Phone: 913-551-7657

Comments received will be summarized in a Response to Comments, which will be mailed to those individuals providing the comments. The Response to Comments will be drafted at the conclusion of the public comment period and incorporated into the Administrative Record. EPA may modify the remedy selected, based upon new information and comments from the public.

A public hearing is not scheduled at this time. EPA will conduct a public hearing if a request is made in writing with a statement of issues to be raised at the hearing.


EPA issued an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) on July 31, 1991, pursuant to Section 3008(h) of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which requires a RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI) to determine the nature (types of contaminants) and extent of contamination at the Facility. Areas were identified where hazardous and/or solid wastes were managed, known as solid waste management units (SWMUs). SWMUs represent areas where hazardous waste or hazardous constituents may have been released to the environment.


Tanks no longer intended for use, drums, and contaminated soil were removed from impacted SWMUs at the site in closure/cleanup activities conducted from about 1981 to 2007. The RFI sampling, conducted after individual unit closure and/or in 1993/1994 and 1999, demonstrated that source areas of contamination in soil had been removed from the site. During the RFI and subsequent sampling, a groundwater plume of primarily arsenic was detected in the northeast and southwest portions of the site.


Groundwater sampling identified a plume of arsenic contamination in groundwater. The known sources of arsenic and other chemical contamination in soil have been removed from the Facility. As such, exposure to contamination in soil is not considered a concern; however, exposure to arsenic contamination in groundwater is still a concern.

The proposed remedy prevents unacceptable exposure to contaminated groundwater and consists of the following:

  • Develop and record a legal instrument to prohibit residential use of the Facility and prohibit the installation of water supply wells and use of groundwater at the Facility.
  • Develop and conduct a groundwater monitoring program to evaluate groundwater concentrations of arsenic at the Facility perimeter.
  • Decommission monitoring wells not associated with the monitoring program and not required in the future, as determined by EPA.


EPA encourages the public to review the Administrative Record and comment on the proposed remedy. Comments or requests should be submitted to the EPA contact above by Feb. 16, 2016.

Guidelines for Commenting:

  • Explain your views.
  • Tell us if you support or disagree with the proposed remedy. Please be specific.
  • Provide alternatives, if you have any.

The Administrative Record is available in electronic format at the following locations during normal business hours:

North Side Public Library
3516 Fifth Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50313
Phone: 515-283-4152

EPA Region 7 Records Center
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, KS 66219
(Contact Mary Grisolano for access)

A public hearing or public availability session have not been scheduled, but will be held if there is sufficient public interest. Requests for a hearing or availability session must be made in writing to the EPA contact above, and must state the nature of the issues to be raised at the hearing/session. EPA will evaluate any requests and hold a hearing/session if it finds that it will contribute to the decision-making process by clarifying significant issues affecting the proposed remedy.

EPA will make a final remedy decision only after the public comment period ends and all comments are reviewed. EPA may change the proposed remedy based on any new information and comments from the public.

Individuals may write to the EPA contact above to join the mailing list. Joining the mailing list will allow an individual to receive any updated information directly throughout the remedy selection process.

If you have any questions or want to receive further information, please contact:

Brendan Corazzin
Community Engagement Specialist
U.S. EPA Region 7 (RGAD/ECO)
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, KS 66219
Phone: 913-551-7429
Toll-free: 1-800-223-0425