Street view of the St. Louis Port Authority Industrial Complex, now home to River City Casino

599 E. Arlee
Lemay, MO 63125
United States


The 80-acre site in Lemay saw heavy industrial activity since the early 1900s. Abandoned for many years, the St. Louis County Economic Development Council and the St. Louis County Port Authority cleaned it up to attract potential developers. Excavating and disposing of tons of contaminated materials and other wastes, and constructing a new thoroughfare, helped render the site eligible for redevelopment into a state-of-the-art gaming and mixed-use complex.


The site is the 80-acre former National Lead (NL Industries) manufacturing facility and the former National Image and Mapping Agency. The site is bordered by River Des Peres to the north; an active railway immediately to the west; the former National Imagery and Mapping Agency, also to the west; vacant land to the south and the Mississippi River to the east. The sites were used for heavy industrial activity since the early 1900s and had been abandoned for many years. In order to clean it up and attract potential developers, the St. Louis County Economic Development Council and the St. Louis County Port Authority entered the entire 80-acre site into the department's Voluntary Cleanup Program in 1998.

Environmental Issues and Cleanup Process

The site was originally three sites. Area 2 is the northern portion of the 80-acre former NL Industries and included the main manufacturing facility. The original ground surface was contaminated with PCBs during plant operation. Leakage from large above ground petroleum storage tanks also contaminated soil on the south end of Area 2. Historic site investigations identified lead, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The samples were compared to the Missouri Risk-Based Corrective Action (MRBCA) Tier 1 Non-Residential Soil Type 1 risk-based target levels and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 7 standards for PCBs.

The department's Brownfields/ Voluntary and Cleanup Program (BVCP) staff provided oversight of the cleanup. The remedial actions at the property involved the following activities:

  • Managing in-situ impacted soils, consisting of a combination of off-site removal and on-site reuse
  • Crushing and recycling concrete on-site
  • Groundwater monitoring
  • On-site reuse of imported materials from various sources, including quarries and other redevelopment projects
  • Asbestos-containing material investigations
  • Wetland closures
  • Material import and placement
  • Managing planned excavated soils for redevelopment purposes

A host of innovative cleanup processes were used during this project, including using the site foundations as site-specific fill (once tested and crushed). More than 16,000 tons of contaminated materials were excavated and properly disposed off-site. Over one million tons of materials were imported and used on-site to assist in meeting environmental objectives as a clean cap, remediation excavation backfill and for general redevelopment purposes. A total of 33 55-gallon drums of investigation-derived waste were also properly disposed off-site as non-hazardous, non-regulated waste. 

Environmental remediation activities also included building abatement for asbestos and lead-based paint, closure of several tanks and associated structures, remediating affected subsurface soils, remediating affected pond sediments and groundwater monitoring. The ground surface was subsequently covered with clean soil, resulting in contamination at 3-10 feet below ground surface. All sampling and remediation activities used the MRBCA risk-based target levels, in consideration of the end use of the property and site specific conditions. Upon completing the environmental activities, all known areas of environmental concern were addressed and meet remedial objectives. Areas 1, 2 and 3 were combined into one Certificate of Completion and one Environmental Covenant.

Funding Sources

  • $15,904,465 Brownfield Redevelopment Tax Credits
  • HUD-EDI grant
  • Empowerment Zone loan
  • FTA grant for transportation planning

Development at the site included building a $375 million state-of-the-art gaming and a mixed-use complex that employs, with benefits, over 1,100 people. The project also included building a new thoroughfare that provides a critical connection between Interstate 55 and the riverfront. The thoroughfare encouraged additional development and job creation and improves public safety. 

Project Partners

  • BVCP Project Managers 
  • St. Louis County Economic Development Council 
  • St. Louis County Port Authority
  • Environmental Operations Inc.
  • Lemay Chamber of Commerce
  • Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District
  • Pinnacle Entertainment
  • Spencer Fane LLP
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. General Services Administration 
  • U.S. Air Force
  • Congress
Environmental and Economic Benefits

The new gaming and mixed use complex employs, with benefits, over 1,100 people. The new thoroughfare provides a critical connection between Interstate 55 and the riverfront, improves public safety, combats urban sprawl and encourages additional development and job creation. As part of the Lemay Reinvestment Strategy/ Comprehensive Plan, rental income from the project will be used for enhancing local economic development capacity and funding capital improvement projects, such as child care and housing.

Institutional Controls

All sampling and remediation activities used the MRBCA risk-based target levels, in consideration of the end use of the property and site specific conditions. All known areas of contamination identified during the historic environmental investigations have been addressed and meet remedial objectives. Areas 1, 2 and 3 were combined into one Environmental Covenant.


BVCP Project Identification 

  • SMARS #10464

Assurances Received

  • Feb. 10, 1999 - Letter of Agreement Received
  • April 26, 2013 - Certificate of Completion Issued

Contact Information