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