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Progress

2007
During 2007, Velsicol successfully completed soil clean-up work at 15 residential properties along Cypress Creek. The work was similar to that performed on three other properties during 2005, as described in the Soil Removal link. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) watched over the clean-up work and, in December 2007, confirmed that the work was completed in accordance with the TDEC approved work plans and Permit requirements.

2006
On December 29, 2006, TDEC modified Velsicolís RCRA Permit to establish requirements for the clean-up of residential properties near Cypress Creek. This permit modification was based on the results of the extensive environmental studies described below, a human health risk assessment, and a formal public comment process during 2006. A Remedial Action Level of 2.5 parts per million of dieldrin was established, under which 15 properties were identified for soil remediation, in addition to the three that were remediated during 2005. These requirements were supported and endorsed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Tennessee Department of Health and the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department.

Fall 2005
In October and November 2005, Velsicol removed soil from three properties with dieldrin concentrations greater than 3.0 parts per million. This is the interim "action level" established by TDEC at or above which soil removal and replacement must be performed. A final "action level" will be established in spring 2006. One part per million can be thought of as roughly the equivalent of one inch in 16 miles.

Two of the three properties where soil was removed were adjacent to one another on Edward Avenue. Velsicol removed approximately 240 truckloads of soil from these two properties. Velsicol brought in clean soil, laid sod and replaced any shrubs, trees and fencing disrupted in the soil removal process. For more about the soil removal process, click here.

Approximately 40 truckloads of soil were removed from a third property located on Vollintine Cove. Clean soil, new sod, shrubs, trees and fences were installed at this property as well.
All soil removed from these properties was taken to the soil consolidation area at Velsicol's manufacturing plant site on Warford Avenue. The soil consolidation area is a secure location within the confines of Velsicol's plant site that was constructed to safely contain the soils and any rain water runoff. For more about the soil consolidation area, click here.

During October and November, Velsicol also received approximately 270 truckloads of soil from the Springdale Apartments site on Jackson Avenue. The new apartment buildings sit on a former junkyard site whose soils contained dieldrin. The developer became aware of the situation after construction of the apartments began in spring 2004. The apartment developer removed soils from around some of the buildings and transported it to Velsicol's consolidation area. The developer followed TDEC's required cleanup protocols and removed the top two feet of soil, replaced it with clean soil and installed sod and landscape plantings.

In September, Velsicol constructed the soil consolidation area on its plant grounds on Warford Avenue for management of contaminated soils that will be removed from properties along Cypress Creek.

Summer 2005
In August, Velsicol collected soil samples at seven properties along Cypress Creek adjacent to properties that were previously tested and found to have more than 3.0 parts per million of dieldrin in their soil.

In late July, the City of Memphis Drain Maintenance Department performed construction work to repair a section of Cypress Creek's concrete liner west of University Street. Seventeen truckloads of contaminated soil were brought to Velsicol's plant site and placed under a plastic cover at the soil consolidation area.

Spring 2005
In May, Velsicol collected and tested soil samples from Springdale Elementary School. Contaminants were not detected, or were detected at less than screening levels in individual samples, and TDEC determined that no further testing was necessary. A copy of the investigation report was provided to the Memphis City Schools.

At the same time, TDEC and the EPA also collected and tested soil samples from Springdale Elementary which tested positive for lead contamination. The contaminated soils were removed by the developer of the new Springdale Creek Apartments and replaced with clean, imported soil, and the exteriors of the school buildings were cleaned. The lead contamination was determined to have come from the old junkyard site where the apartments were built. Lead-contaminated rain water ran off from the apartment site and moved downhill to Springdale Elementary School, where it settled.

In April, Velsicol supported TDEC in a second phase of soil sampling in Sub Area IV, which is the unlined part of the creek west of Evergreen Street.

Winter 2005
On March 31, Velsicol submitted a work plan to TDEC for the collection and testing of soils at Springdale Elementary School, which is located downhill of a former junkyard site.

In March, Velsicol submitted a work plan to TDEC for cleanup of 11 properties in Sub-Area III.

In February, Velsicol's web site cypresscreekmemphis.com went live. Letters announcing the new website were mailed to nearly 800 homes in the Cypress Creek area.

In late January, Velsicol submitted a report on the development of risk-based remedial action levels for Cypress Creek Sub Area III to TDEC for review.

In late January, a report on Velsicol's 2004 soil sample collection and data quality evaluations was submitted to TDEC.

In early January, Velsicol submitted a work plan to TDEC for the cleanup of a residential property at 920 Bingham Street. Velsicol has been unable to obtain permission from the owner to clean up this property.

Fall 2004
In October, Velsicol met with the Cypress Creek Leadership Group to discuss soil sampling and next steps. In response to questions at that meeting, vegetables from a garden near Cypress Creek were tested for contaminants and were found safe to eat.

Velsicol met with 100 neighbors at the Christian Chapel Baptist Church on Meagher Street to provide information and answer questions. Residents requested that Velsicol create a website for information and updates about Cypress Creek.

In December, results from the 2004 soil testing program were mailed to property owners and residents of the Cypress Creek community.
2001-2004

For information on the soil investigation and sampling process that began in 2001, click here

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