In the 1940s, the Commodity Credit Corporation or CCC was created within the U.S. Department of Agriculture or USDA to stabilize, support and protect farm income and prices, while distributing and maintaining adequate supplies of agricultural products in the United States.  As part of this objective, the CCC started large-scale grain bin construction projects throughout the U.S. in the late 1940s for the storage of surplus grain.  During storage, the grain was fumigated to control destructive insects.  The most commonly used fumigant was an 80/20 mixture of carbon tetrachloride and carbon disulfide.  CCC ended this grain storage program by the early 1970s and sold all existing grain storage bins and equipment.  Groundwater contaminated with carbon tetrachloride has been discovered around some of these grain storage areas.  The EPA has determined that carbon tetrachloride is a probable human carcinogen.

Investigation Activities

As of Sept. 30, 2010, the USDA began its investigation by looking at five, out of 85 former grain bin sites, for carbon tetrachloride contamination.  The five sites currently slated for investigation are located in or near the towns of Savannah, Albany, Montgomery City, Forest City, and Nevada, Missouri.  A total of 65 of the original sites were determined to pose no significant threat to human health or the environment.  Follow-up research on these 65 sites is needed to confirm no releases occurred.  Two of the original sites had duplicate listings and were not valid sites.  Thirteen sites still need initial screening due to denial of access or inability to identify the former grain bin location.  The oversight for these site investigations is being handled by the department's Hazardous Waste Program’s Federal Facilities Section under an Intergovernmental Agreement with the CCC, acting through the Farm Service Agency of the USDA.  The agreement was signed on Jan. 3, 2006.

To date, Phase I and II investigations have been performed at the Savannah site, a Phase I investigation began Oct. 2010 at the Montgomery City site, and partial Phase I activities have begun at the Albany site.  In addition, a whole house filtration system has been installed at a residence near the Albany site to filter out the carbon tetrachloride in the private well supplying drinking water to the home.  The performance of this treatment system is being evaluated and an alternative water supply is being considered.

Investigation Objectives

The objectives of the Phase I investigation include:

  • Update the previous department inventory and status of private wells in the area of the former grain bin sites and sample the identified wells.
  • Investigate for possible evidence of a soil source of carbon tetrachloride contamination to groundwater beneath the former grain bin sites.
  • Get initial information on the site-specific geology at the former grain bin sites.
  • Establish initial groundwater monitoring points, to investigate the patterns of groundwater movement affecting possible contaminant migration near the former grain bin sites.

The objective of the Phase II Investigation is to fully define the amount and location of the carbon tetrachloride contamination beneath the former grain bin sites and the extent of any offsite contamination for cleanup purposes.  If you have any questions regarding the former USDA grain bin sites, please contact the Federal Facilities Section at 573-751-3907.

Status of Former USDA Grain Storage Sites in Missouri 

Sites identified for investigation by USDA with DNR oversight
Site Location County Investigation Phase
Albany Gentry Phase I
Forest City Holt Phase I
Montgomery City Montgomery Phase II
Nevada Vernon Not Started
Savannah Andrew Phase II


Sites needing initial screening
Site Name Reason for exclusion from initial site screening
Blue Springs No access
Eureka FUD site
Hillsboro No site
Hopkins No access
Kirksville #1 No access
Kirksville #2 No access
Lancaster No access
Linneus No access
Louisiana No access
Moberly No access
Richmond Could not find
Rockport Could not find
Watson No access


Sites with no significant threat to human health but need confirmation that no release occurred
Site Name County Site Name County
Bethany Harrison Maryville #2 Nodaway
Boonville Cooper Maysville DeKalb
Bowling Green Pike Memphis Scotland
Burlington Junction Nodaway Mendon #1 Chariton
Butler Bates Mendon #2 Chariton
Carrollton Carroll Mexico Audrain
Carthage Jasper Milan Sullivan
Chillicothe Livingston Montgomery City #2 Montgomery
Clearmont Nodaway Monticello Lewis
Columbia Boone Mound City Holt
Craig Holt New London Ralls
Edina Knox Palmyra Marion
Fairfax #1 - Meyer Atchison Paris Monroe
Fairfax #2 - Seymour Atchison Platte City Platte
Faucett Buchanan Plattsburg Clinton
Fayette Howard Princeton Mercer
Fulton Callaway Ravenwood Nodaway
Gallatin Daviess Sedalia Pettis
Grant City Gentry Shelbina Shelby
Harrisonville Cass Sheridan Worth
Henriette North Ray Skidmore Nodaway
Henriette South Ray Slater Saline
Higginsville Lafayette St. Charles St. Charles
Kahoka Clark St. Joseph/Prime Buchanan
Keytesville #1 Chariton St. Peters St. Charles
Kingston Caldwell Tarkio Atchison
Langdon Atchison Treloar Warren
Liberty Clay Trenton Grundy
Macon Macon Troy Lincoln
Maitland Holt Union Franklin
Malta Bend Saline Unionville Putnam
Marshall Saline Westboro Atchison
Maryville #1 Nodaway