CONTACT:  Michele Clark
Communications Coordinator
573-751-3469

Vol. 44, No. 83

November 19, 2010

11 St. Francois County Schools Can Remain Open While EPA Fixes Soil

Plans announced today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to remove and replace soils at 11 schools in St. Francois County are not anticipated to significantly impact school operations, said Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro.

The EPA will begin the soil removal process soon at 11 schools and 16 child care centers and Head Start facilities in St. Francois County, Mo., because recent testing has confirmed elevated levels of toxic lead in the soil.  Facilities and schools attended by children less than seven years old will be addressed first.

EPA will work cooperatively with school administrators and child care facility operators to minimize disruptions at their facilities as the work is completed.

“Student safety is everyone’s top concern, and we are pleased the EPA is taking swift action,” Nicastro said. “As this work is underway, schools can continue to be open while taking interim steps to minimize exposure to the soil.”

These steps may curtail recess periods until the contaminated soils can be removed from areas where children may be exposed.  Frequent and thorough hand washing and cleaning of outdoor toys and play equipment also are advised.

The 11 schools designated for contaminated soil removal and clean backfill replacement include:

  • North County Parkside Elementary, 100 North Parkside, Desloge

  • North County Intermediate School, 801 Elm Street, Desloge

  • North County Primary School, 405 Hillcrest Drive, Bonne Terre

  • North County Middle School, 406 East Chestnut, Desloge

  • North County Senior High School, 7151 Raider Road, Bonne Terre

  • Unitec Career Center, 7163 Raider Road, Bonne Terre

  • West Elementary School, 403 W. Fite Street, Park Hills

  • Central Elementary School, 900 St. Francois Avenue, Park Hills

  • Central High School, 116 Rebel Drive, Park Hills

  • St. Joseph School, 20 Saint Joseph Street, Bonne Terre

  • Special Acres State School, 519 Eighth Street, Park Hills

EPA will host a public meeting to share information and answer questions from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 29, at the Mineral Area College, North College Center Rooms A and B, 5270 Flat River Road, Park Hills, Mo.  Representatives from the EPA, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry will attend the meeting.

Free blood lead screenings will be provided by representatives from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.  A simple blood lead test is the only way to identify blood poisoning.

Reasonable accommodation to participate in the meeting can be arranged by notifying the EPA Reasonable Accommodations Coordinator, Jonathan Cooper, 800-223-0425. Speech or hearing impaired individuals should e-mail or call using the local relay service.

More information:

Learn about health risks associated with lead exposure

Superfund

FAQs for Lead