Environmental Remediation Program

fact sheet

Division of Environmental Quality

Director: Kyra Moore

Questions from the Sept. 28, 2017, Camdenton Public Meeting

1. Can the trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination be cleaned up? How long will it take?

Many factors affect how long it takes to clean up contamination at a site. For example, the contaminants, impacted media (soil, ground water, indoor air), geology of the area and the cleanup method chosen all play a part in how long cleanup can take. Once a cleanup method is chosen, a timeframe is estimated based on these and other factors. The department continuously oversees the implementation of the cleanup and evaluates its effectiveness over time through site visits and report reviews.

2. Did the Mulberry well service the community from February 1998 to January 1999 when TCE was above the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of five parts per billion (ppb)? If so, why? What measures were taken to notify the community?

The Safe Drinking Water Act, amended by Congress in 1986, placed increased drinking water monitoring requirements on public water suppliers. To comply with the new federal regulations, all public water suppliers serving less than 3,300 people, which included the city of Camdenton, were required to complete volatile organic compounds (VOC) sampling no later than Dec. 31, 1991. This was the first time water suppliers had to monitor for VOCs in public drinking water of which TCE is part of the analysis. If no contamination was found in the initial sample, no additional monitoring was required for at least three years as was the case with the Mulberry Well. While the Department of Natural Resources provides laboratory services for sample analysis, it is the responsibility of the water system to collect valid samples and to notify the department and public when a violation occurs.

On Dec. 11, 1991, the city of Camdenton collected the first VOC sample from the Mulberry Well and the sample showed no detection (<1 parts per billion (ppb) of TCE). On Jan. 29, 1997, a sample showed a result of 3.8 ppb TCE at the Mulberry Well and a sample collected on March 12, 1997, confirmed it with a result of 3.8 ppb. As a result of these samples, the Mulberry Well was put on quarterly monitoring by the department. After the city of Camdenton collects four quarters of data, it is used by the department to calculate a running annual average (RAA) for the basis of determining compliance with the MCL. 

Sample results showed the levels of TCE varied but the RAA for which compliance determinations are based and violations are issued were below the MCL for the period between February 1998 and January 1999. The city of Camdenton was aware of TCE results from all sampling and took measures to replace the Mulberry Well. They continued to work with the department to reduce the use of the Mulberry Well to keep TCE levels in the drinking water within safe drinking water limits until a replacement well could be constructed and placed into service. As a result, the Hickory Well was placed into service in February 1999 allowing the city to stop using the Mulberry Well. Because there was no MCL violation prior to the city taking the Mulberry Well offline, there was no formal public notice requirement under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Any public notice or public education requirements would have been at the discretion of the city. How that information was relayed to the public would be a part of the city’s records.

3. Is there a possibility that homes previously sampled for vapor intrusion and were found to have no detections or low levels of TCE, could have vapor intrusion in the future?

Contaminant vapors can vary over time and with temperature and barometric (atmospheric) pressure changes. Because of this, Modine’s consultant, CH2M, conducted vapor intrusion sampling quarterly over a year (four times in 12 months) for each home to account for seasonal changes over time. Soil vapor will continue to be sampled along the 221 Sunset Drive property line as well as the sewer line. Based on the current sampling results and the current site conditions, the department does not anticipate resuming vapor intrusion sampling in homes that have exited the program. However, if site conditions change that would indicate increased concern for vapor intrusion, additional sampling would be conducted by Modine.

4. If my property is sampled for contamination do I have to tell potential buyers? 

Certain disclosure requirements apply to the renting and selling of real estate. Property owners should consult an attorney or real estate professional if they have questions about whether those duties apply to a possible transaction. 

5. What kinds of studies have been or could be conducted regarding cancer and other diseases in the Camdenton area related to TCE? (Response provided by MDHSS)

Cancer is a reportable disease in Missouri; therefore, a state cancer registry (a centralized cancer reporting system) is maintained. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS) reviewed cancer data for Camden County in relation to state cancer rates for the specific cancers associated with TCE exposure: kidney, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), and liver. County-wide rates for these cancers are generally below state rates. Since these rates are lower, MDHSS did not do a more refined analysis initially. Based on the community feedback and concern, MDHSS is working to determine if additional data analysis, such as at the zip-code or potentially smaller level, is possible and will report this information back to the community.

MDHSS understands there are specific concerns about an excess of cancer or other chronic disease in the community. It is important for the community to know and understand that:

  • Cancer is not one disease. Different cancers, just like other chronic diseases, have different causes and risk factors.
  • Cancer is very common. More than one in three women and nearly one in two men will be affected by some type of cancer in their lifetime.
  • Age, family history and lifestyle factors are usually more important risk factors for cancer than environmental contamination.

Additionally, exposure to a chemical does not necessarily mean that health effects will occur. The effect of exposure to any chemical depends on several factors including: chemical toxicity, how a person is exposed, how much they are exposed to, and how often and for how long they are exposed, along with personal factors such as individual health and sensitivity.

TCE has been widely studied and there are potential increased risk for certain cancers from long-term exposure. The primary organ systems for TCE-related cancer are kidney, NHL and liver.

  • Specifically, TCE is currently classified as a known human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence for kidney cancer.
  • There is also limited evidence for TCE-induced NHL and liver cancer.
  • There have been studies of associations between TCE and other cancers; however, the evidence of these associations is not considered adequate to make a determination.

With respect to chronic diseases other than cancer, most are not specifically reportable, therefore, registry data is not available to make valid comparisons.

6. What can be done for people who have been diagnosed with cancer which they believe is linked to the TCE? (Response provided by MDHSS).

MDHSS’ role in environmental contamination is to evaluate health concerns of exposure to hazardous substances in the environment and to make recommendations regarding actions needed to protect public health. Individual health questions are best answered by your medical provider. MDHSS staff cannot determine who may become sick or provide individual health advice, but can help find a medical consultant for your medical provider to talk to about these chemicals and their health effects if needed.

For anyone that may have trouble affording medical care, there are Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). These centers must serve everyone without regard to ability to pay because they receive federal grants to support care for the uninsured. FQHCs are community-based organizations that provide comprehensive primary and preventive care, including medical, dental and behavioral health services. Location information on FQHCs is available online.

7. How is the website updated?  Why was information removed during an update?

In an effort to provide access to the very latest information about the sites, the department regularly updates its website.To keep information user-friendly and minimize overcrowding the website, updates may include moving or removing documents or information. If you need a document that is no longer posted, please contact the department by filling out an online form at or call 573-526-7308. To receive a notification each time the website is updated, please sign up here at the GovDelivery sign up page.

8. What consideration has been given or will be given to heavy metals in the investigations going on in Camdenton?

221 Sunset Drive facility:

Modine conducted the initial soil investigations, which included metals, at the 221 Sunset Drive property. Investigation and removal of the four mud pits (settling basins) on the west side of the building included removing lead containing soil. Some lead-containing soil near the building foundation and along buried sprinkler lines was left in place because Modine’s consultant, Dames & Moore, did not want to compromise the building foundation and the sprinkler main was active at the time of the removal activities. Additional investigation and removal of lead containing soil was conducted at a former drum storage area on the west side of the building. Modine also sampled for lead and chromium during removal of the former wastewater discharge line located at the northwest corner of the building. Modine removed the water line and impacted soil.

Hulett Lagoon

A number of investigations conducted by the department and Hamilton-Sundstrand included analyses of metals in environmental media at the Hulett Lagoon site. During the closure of the lagoon (1988-1989) overseen by the department, the sludge in the lagoon was sampled and analyzed for metals and other parameters. The department approved the surface application of the sludge at a site owned by the city. The initial Remedial Investigation (RI) conducted by Hamilton-Sundstrand (report completed in 2004) included analyses of soil and groundwater samples associated with the former Hulett Lagoon. Hamilton-Sundstrand collected subsurface soil samples from 15 soil borings. A monitoring network consisted of 17 wells installed at or adjacent to the former lagoon and facility, in addition to one monitoring well installed near the Blair Well. Hamilton-Sunstrand sampled all wells multiple times. The soil and groundwater samples were analyzed for VOCs, including TCE, and metals (mercury, arsenic, lead, barium, cadmium, chromium). The metals concentrations measured in soil were believed to reflect the natural occurrence of metals in the Central Missouri area. The metal concentrations measured in groundwater samples from portions of perched zone and deep aquifer were attributed to the metals’ natural occurrence in groundwater. Therefore, metals were not considered to be constituents of concern at the site at that time.

Camdenton Sludge Disposal Area:

Private well sampling conducted by the department in the vicinity of the Camdenton Sludge Disposal Area site in October 2017 included analysis of heavy metals in addition to volatile organic compounds. Drinking water samples were analyzed for the following metals: arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, copper, selenium, lead and zinc. Select drinking water samples were also analyzed for hexavalent chromium content.

The department sampled 12 area wells and two background wells. Although some trace metals were encountered, no site related contaminants were above the National Primary or Secondary Drinking Water Standards. Two wells had elevated lead concentrations, but this contaminant is not strongly associated with the sludge disposal area and is likely originating from natural sources, degrading pipes, or historical mining activities in the area.

Given that no site related metals were detected in drinking water samples at levels exceeding the National Primary or Secondary Drinking Water Standards, no further investigation of metals in local groundwater is planned at this time.

Public Wells:

Camdenton’s public drinking water wells do not show concentrations of heavy metals above any National Primary or Secondary Drinking Water regulatory levels. Heavy metals are routinely analyzed by the department as part of an inorganic contaminant scan during each three year sampling of all active Camdenton public water system wells. The Camdenton wells have only shown low levels of inorganic contaminants. These levels appear to be consistent with naturally occurring levels of the contaminants and considerably below the MCLs. The levels will continue to be monitored by the department and if they appear to increase over the background levels, additional inorganic investigations would be started. Results of all detected contaminants for the past year or monitoring period can also be found in the annual consumer confidence report that can also be found on the department’s website.

9. What is being done to hold accountable the entities responsible for the dumping of TCE, TCE contamination in our community, and any harm they may have caused to former workers and members of the community?

The department is focused on eliminating risks to human health and the environment. The department does not comment on the existence of criminal investigations.

Questions posted Oct. 16, 2017

1. Is my drinking water contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE)?

TCE has not been detected in the municipal wells currently used for drinking water in the Camdenton area. The city of Camdenton operates the public water system, which receives water from a series of municipal wells in the area. The state of Missouri has high standards for public water systems and requires testing for as many as 91 different regulated chemicals, including TCE. The detection limit for TCE is 0.5 µg/L (micrograms per liter or parts per billion (ppb)). If future samples do show the presence of TCE in excess of regulatory standards in any of these municipal wells, that information will be made public.

Groundwater from the Mulberry Well is not used for drinking water and has not been since 1999. The city currently operates the Mulberry Well, as needed, to remove TCE from the groundwater. The Mulberry Well is tested for TCE monthly. 

If you are not on city water and live near any of the locations being investigated, please contact the department for the latest information on the department’s sampling efforts for private wells.

2. Is the sewer line a potential source of contamination? Could vapors enter my house from the sewer system?

Yes, it is possible. If a sewer line is not sealed tight, or if the sewer backflow prevention valve is not adequately sealed, vapor could potentially enter a home. If you smell sewer gas or other chemical odors coming from drains or plumbing, contact the city of Camdenton’s Public Works at 573-346-7293. If you are in close proximity to areas that have previously been tested, the Hulett Lagoon or the former Modine manufacturing facility, then you may also wish to contact the department’s project manager, Christine Kump-Mitchell at 314-416-2464.

3. Will the vapors be coming up through the soil and is it safe to go outside? Is it safe to do gardening and yard work?

Vapor intrusion is only a concern with enclosed spaces or buildings where vapors can accumulate and become concentrated. In an outdoor setting, TCE vapors will quickly disperse into the air. There is no known residential surface soil contamination, so gardening or working in the soil in the yard does not cause exposure to TCE.

4. How long has TCE been in the ground at this site?

Prior to Modine operating at the Sunset Drive facility, its predecessors generated TCE waste during degreasing operations beginning in the 1970s and ending in December 1990. When Modine took over operations at the facility, they discontinued TCE use and began using 1,1,1- Trichloroethane (TCA) as a degreasing agent.

It is not known exactly when TCE release(s) occurred. There was a major fire at the facility in 1972 when it was operated by Dawson Metal Products Company, and based on the descriptions provided by former employees it is probable that TCE releases occurred at that time. There may also have been additional releases since that time. Available information suggests that TCE may have been in the ground at the facility for as long as 45 years (since 1972).

5. Why did Modine conduct the residential vapor intrusion investigations in the homes? You sampled my neighbor’s house, why didn’t you sample mine?

Modine conducted indoor air sampling in the former Modine manufacturing building pursuant to an agreement with the department.

While investigating the source of the vapors in the building in 2015, high concentrations of TCE vapors were found directly beneath the building foundation, suggesting possible vapor migration to nearby residences. These events led the department to require Modine to implement a systematic soil gas and indoor air sampling and analysis program for residential homes. Modine started with the homes located closest to the former manufacturing building and along connected sewer lines.

Modine’s sampling program worked outward from the initial sampling locations based on the residential indoor air sampling results for the initial set of homes. Expansion of the residential indoor sampling program stopped once homes at the periphery of the program showed either no TCE impacts or, if detected, TCE below levels of health concern.  

6. Will any more homes be added to the vapor intrusion sampling program?

Based on the current information the Department of Natural Resources has as of September 2017, the department has no plans to add any more homes to the sampling program around the 221 Sunset Drive facility at this time. The department does note that a new home was added for sampling due to the recent receipt of the previously distributed access agreement.

Going forward, if the department receives new information that affects our understanding of the site, staff will reevaluate the situation at that time and pursue additional sampling as warranted. Currently, the department has also requested additional soil and groundwater investigation be conducted to evaluate vapor intrusion near the Hulett Lagoon. 

7. Why is the sampling and investigation expanding now, when TCE contamination has been present for quite some time?

Sampling and investigation activities, while recently expanded, have been going on since the early 1990s. During this time, the department oversaw the investigation and cleanup of the former hazardous waste storage areas associated with the former manufacturing building and process wastewater/sludge handling. The current expansion of sampling and investigation is based largely on the issues of vapor intrusion concerns. The science behind vapor intrusion has become better understood in the past five years, and more stringent levels have been developed and implemented for chlorinated solvents like TCE. These new cleanup levels have led to expanded investigations at numerous TCE sites in Missouri and across the country.

8. What is going on at the Mulberry Well?

A detailed, Supplemental Remedial Investigation Addendum of the Mulberry Well has been completed and the report of the investigation is posted on the website. The options that are available to remediate groundwater will be listed in the Supplemental Feasibility Study. Based on the information provided in that report, a final remedy will be determined through the Superfund process, which will include additional public meetings and input. Until the time the most viable option is chosen to remediate the Mulberry Well, it will continue to be treated and discharged to control groundwater flow directions and keep the contaminant plume from spreading.

9. What investigations are ongoing?

As of October 2017, there are ongoing or planned investigations at the 221 Sunset Drive property, Hulett Lagoon, the Mulberry Well, the Dawson Metal Products Camdenton Facility #2 Site, and the Camdenton Sludge Disposal Area Site.

221 Sunset Drive Facility

Previous investigations between 1992 and 2007 by Modine and its consultants at the 221 Sunset Drive Facility focused on soil contamination from former operations at the site. Because of more recent advances in the understanding of vapor migration from the subsurface and the associated health effects, the focus shifted to investigating vapors inside and under the manufacturing building. During investigation of the vapors inside and the soil gas under the 221 Sunset Drive building in 2015, Modine encountered a soil vapor source not previously identified. Due to the high concentrations of TCE in soil vapor under the building and in areas just outside of the building foundation, Modine’s investigation focus turned to nearby residential homes and those investigations are currently ongoing. This includes air sampling for TCE inside and beneath the potentially affected homes.

In the near future, Modine is planning additional investigations to assess the nature and extent of additional contaminant source areas beneath the 221 Sunset Drive building. 

Hulett Lagoon

Hamilton Sundstrand will conduct a vapor intrusion investigation of the Hulett Lagoon and surrounding area. No indoor air sampling is planned at this time; however the department will review the results for potential for intrusion to nearby structures and follow up if needed. In 2003 Hamilton Sundstrand investigated soil and groundwater TCE contamination at the Hulett Lagoon. Vapor migration was not part of that investigation; however, the department has requested it at this time because of recent advances in the understanding of vapor migration. See Mulberry Well for more information on past investigations.

Mulberry Well

The city of Camdenton recently completed groundwater investigations associated with the Mulberry Well. The completed report is available at this link Mulberry Well. Look for the “Supplemental Remedial Investigation (RI) Report Addendum (8/2017).”

The city will use this investigation to assess remedial alternatives and provide a Supplemental Feasibility Study Addendum to the department. That report is scheduled to be completed in late Fall 2017. For more history on previous investigations, visit the Mulberry Well webpage. 

Dawson Metal Products Camdenton Facility #2 Site

Department staff completed preliminary investigations at this site in September 2017 to determine the potential for contamination. During October 2017, the department sampled soil, indoor air and sub-slab vapor at the facility. Private drinking water wells, one public water well and two springs within one mile from the facility were also sampled by the department. Results are pending. For more information on this site visit the Dawson Metal Products Camdenton Facility #2 webpage.

Camdenton Sludge Disposal Area Site

Previous investigations in 1999 did not reveal the presence of TCE in the sludge or the soil or in nearby wells. Additional citizens have voiced concerns regarding the potential for contamination of private wells near the airport Sludge Disposal Area site that were not sampled during the 1999 investigation. During October 2017, the department conducted sampling of private wells within one-half mile of this site. Results are pending.

The department also recently investigated concerns that Hulett Lagoon sludge was applied on other nearby land. After interviewing several individuals and examining city of Camdenton records, information indicates that the sludge applied at the two private properties came from the city’s wastewater treatment facility on Ha Ha Tonka Road. Visit the Camdenton Sludge Disposal Area for more information.

Other TCE Disposal Sites

The department continues to receive information from citizens about potential locations where TCE may have been released into the environment. In order to conduct a thorough investigation, detailed, credible information regarding the release, including specifics on location, amount and type of material, timeframe, etc. must be received. The department will update the website when additional information is available.

For more information about each site:

For follow up questions, please fill out this form.

Nothing in this document may be used to implement any enforcement action or levy any penalty unless promulgated by rule under chapter 536 or authorized by statute.

For more information