News Release 230

Department of Natural Resources reviewing sampling results for hexavalent chromium from northeast Missouri plant

Volume 38-230 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Judd Slivka

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, APRIL 20, 2010 – The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is reviewing a report from BASF in Marion County after the company’s latest weekly sampling at the plant showed an elevated level of hexavalent chromium above Missouri’s Water Quality Standards Acute Criteria. 

The hexavalent chromium level in the samples was 879 parts per billion; however, the discharge did not result in a measurable impact to the environment or represent a threat to public drinking water sources down river of the facility.  All previous weekly sampling results were within water quality standards.

The most recent set of samples, taken Thursday, followed the re-start of one of the plant’s three active incinerators, which had been out of service the previous week for maintenance. The company took the incinerator off line Friday after receiving the test results and performed follow-up sampling. These samples showed hexavalent chromium levels of 28 parts per billion, which is below Missouri’s Water Quality Standards. The company continues to investigate the higher levels and monitor the effluent to the river.

Hexavalent chromium is a heavy metal that is commonly used in industrial processes, such as the making of stainless steel, textile dyes and anti-corrosive coatings.