*. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency	n-p-0034
#	% Office of Inspector General	December, 2010

At a Glance
Catalyst for Improving the Environment
Why We Did This Review
The Office of Inspector
General is testing long-term
monitoring results at
Superfund sites the U.S.
Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) has deleted
from the National Priorities
List. The Wheeling Disposal
Superfund Site, located near
Amazonia, Missouri, in EPA
Region 7, is one of eight sites
Wheeling Disposal is a
landfill that received
hazardous wastes, including
leather tanning sludges,
pesticides, asbestos,
laboratory wastes, paint
sludges, battery wastes, and
cyanide wastes. The site was
added to the National
Priorities List in 1989 and
deleted in 2000 when EPA
determined that cleanup goals
had been achieved.
For further information,
contact our Office of
Congressional, Public Affairs
and Management at
(202) 566-2391.
To view the full report,
click on the following link:
EPA Should Improve Its Oversight of Long-Term
Monitoring at Wheeling Disposal Superfund Site
in Missouri
What We Found
Our independent sampling results from the Wheeling Disposal Superfund Site were
generally consistent with the sampling data that Region 7 has obtained historically.
However, when the responsible parties reported their annual monitoring results,
Region 7 inadvertently allowed them to use incorrect and outdated surface water
standards, and outdated ground water standards. Also, Region 7 did not always
require the responsible parties" laboratories to properly analyze some contaminants.
By allowing incorrect standards and analysis methods, the region has limited
assurance that unsafe levels of contaminants are not migrating offsite and creating
risk to human health and the environment. These issues do not adversely impact the
region's current protectiveness determination. However, if incorrect and outdated
standards continue to be used, or results are not properly analyzed, the region may
be unable to detect when excess levels of contaminants migrate offsite.
In a 2009 report, Region 7 should have explained the impact of excess levels of
iron and aluminum at sampling locations close to the site boundaries. EPA records
describe the site as a "habitat for wildlife and birds." However, the region had not
addressed contaminants in the site's surface water that can pose risks to ecological
receptors. In response to Office of Inspector General inquiries and Agency
guidance, in October 2010, the region completed an ecological risk assessment. The
risk assessment showed that the remedy is protecting the environment.
What We Recommend
We recommend that the Region 7 Administrator ensure accurate surface water and
ground water standards are used to assess conditions at the site; laboratories use the
correct analytic standards; the ecological risk assessment is completed; and excess
levels of iron, aluminum, and any other compounds are controlled at the site.
Region 7 agreed with OIG recommendations and has initiated or completed some