A toxic waste dump located in the Central City Industrial Park is
presenting problems for the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority and
its plans for developing the area.
While the authority is prepared to develop the site into an
industrial park, full development will have to wait until the toxic
dump is cleaned and decontaminated, Urban Renewal Director Tiana
Douglas recently told the Oklahoma City Planning Commission.
"We're all ready to go forth and develop the industrial park,"
Douglas said. "Unfortunately, we have found ourselves the proud
owners of a toxic waste dump.
"A barrel company cleaned barrels for a "zillion' years there, and
we unwittingly bought the problem."
The "problem" has cost the authority about $2.6 million to date,
according to Jack Bagby, spokesman for the Urban Renewal Authority.
That cost includes acquiring the 124-acre site along with the cost
of relocating utility lines. The site will eventually have about 12
to 14 buildings located on it, according to previous reports,
although Douglas said in a later interview that no definite plans
have been developed yet.
The barrel company previously located on the site was Alpha
Industrial Products, a drum washing operation which had complaints
registered against it as far back as 1973, according to the Oklahoma
Department of Health and the authority.
The 75-by-140-foot contaminated site is fenced-off from the
public, but concerns about the contaminated soil continue.
The Urban Renewal Authority has already conducted several studies
on the problem. One of the most recent was a study conducted by a
Dr. Ahmed Eid of Tulsa.
However, his findings, in a preliminary report dated October 1985,
were deemed not acceptable to health department officials in charge
of the site.
Another firm, Stanley Engineering of Oklahoma City, has since been
retained by the authority to study the toxic site, according to
Stanley's $25,000 contract with the authority will have to be
approved at the next meeting of the board overseeing authority
actions, with that meeting currently scheduled for April 16.
According to the health department, the site contains "rather
high" concentrations of trichorethylene and trichloroethane, both of
which are contaminates found in solvents used as "degreasing"
The materials are dangerous to humans if they are absorbed into
the skin or ingested in some way, according to Dr. Dwayne Farley,
chief of the Waste Management Division of the state health
The materials could also be dangerous if they contaminated the
groundwater supply, Farley said. Previous samples taken at the
Central City site showed no contamination, although the tests were
not accepted by the health department.
Farley said the methods used by the Tulsa consultant to arrive at
his findings were not acceptable to his department.
"We had problems with the protocol and the completeness of the
documentation," Farley said. "The environmental people felt that the
procedures weren't done properly. We said "hey guys, this isn't
going to cut it.' We just never had an analysis submitted that we
could accept. We found the procedures weren't properly done on it."
Overall, there is "no" danger to humans, Douglas stressed, but
added there is a problem in getting the land cleaned up in order to
allow the progression of construction on the industrial park. …