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EPA in Missouri

Riverfront Superfund Site, New Haven, Franklin County, Missouri - Fact Sheet, June 2017

Public Meeting Announcement


In November 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed a Five-Year Review (FYR) at the Riverfront Superfund Site in New Haven, Missouri. During this review, EPA determined that one of the Operable Units (OU4) warranted further investigation to ensure that the approved cleanup plan continues to be protective of human health and the environment. As a result, EPA will be collecting indoor air samples from homes and business in New Haven to gain a better understanding of potential future issues associated with vapor intrusion, and to determine if further action is needed.

EPA will host a Public Meeting on June 20, 2017, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the New Haven Elementary School, 201 Elton Ave., New Haven, Missouri 63068.

Additional information will be provided to the community at the meeting. EPA representatives will also speak to property owners during the week of June 19 about collecting indoor air samples from within their homes and/or businesses.


In 1986, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) detected the volatile organic compound (VOC) tetrachloroethylene (PCE) in two public-supply groundwater wells in the northern part of New Haven. Following the discovery of the contamination, two new public supply wells were installed in the southern part of the city, and several investigations were conducted by MDNR and EPA. The site became known as the Riverfront Site, and in December 2000, the PCE contamination prompted the listing of the Riverfront Site on the National Priorities List (NPL).

The Riverfront Site encompasses six OUs in and around the city of New Haven. EPA designated these OUs based on the results of prior investigations and information received through interviews with local citizens regarding waste generation and disposal. These areas include facilities which are possible sources of the PCE contamination, or where contamination has come to be located. These include an abandoned manufacturing building in downtown New Haven (OU1); a metal fabrication plant in south New Haven (OU2); the Old City Dump (OU3); a residential area south of Maiden Lane (OU4); an abandoned hat factory (OU5); and an area containing contaminated domestic wells south of the metal fabrication plant (OU6).

EPA has selected and implemented remedies for OU1, OU3, OU4, and OU5. The recently selected remedial actions for OU2 and OU6 are in the early phase of implementation. At OU4, the injection of a chemical oxidant to enhance chemical oxidation of the chemicals of concern started in 2012 and is planned to be completed by 2017.


PCE is a manufactured chemical used for dry cleaning and metal degreasing. Breathing high levels of PCE for a brief period may cause dizziness or drowsiness, headache, and incoordination. Higher levels may cause unconsciousness and even death. Exposure to low levels of PCE for longer periods may cause changes in mood, memory, attention, reaction time, and vision.

Studies in animals exposed to PCE have shown liver and kidney effects and changes in brain chemistry, but it is unknown what these findings mean for humans. Studies in humans suggest that exposure to PCE might lead to a higher risk of getting bladder cancer, multiple myeloma, or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, but the evidence is not very strong. In animals, PCE has been shown to cause cancers of the liver, kidney, and blood system. EPA considers PCE likely to be carcinogenic to humans by all routes of exposure.

At the Riverfront Site, PCE is present in the groundwater. It is possible that PCE gases may be moving up through the soil and into properties through cracks or holes in basements and crawl spaces, and then into living areas. This type of environmental issue is called “vapor intrusion.”

The science associated with PCE and the issue of vapor intrusion has advanced since the site was placed on the NPL in 2000. As a result, EPA now uses more conservative screening levels to determine whether vapor intrusion might be a health concern. During the Five-Year Review completed in 2014, EPA determined that these newer screening levels should be used to assess the indoor air quality in structures near the site.


EPA will host a Public Meeting to share information about the site, and to answer any questions the community may have. The meeting is scheduled for June 20, 2017, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the New Haven Elementary School located at 201 Elton Ave., New Haven, Missouri 63068.

During the week of June 19, EPA will reach out to individuals who own property located between Orchard Street on the north, Circle Drive on the south, Miller Street on the east, and Maupin Avenue on the west, to speak with them about collecting indoor air samples.

Indoor air samples collected by EPA will be used to determine the effectiveness of the cleanup plan for the site. If levels of PCE are found in homes or buildings that exceed health advisory levels, EPA will collect an additional round of samples and then determine what actions need to be taken to ensure that indoor air is safe. All of this work will be provided at no charge to the owner.


EPA has established an Administrative Record file for the Riverfront Site. The Administrative Record file is available online.

If you have questions, please contact:

Clint Sperry
Remedial Project Manager

EPA Region 7
11201 Renner Boulevard
Lenexa, KS 66219
Toll-free: 1-800-223-0425

Brendan Corazzin
Community Engagement Specialist

EPA Region 7
11201 Renner Boulevard
Lenexa, KS 66219
Toll-free: 1-800-223-0425