The Nestle Purina PetCare Co. site is located at 824 Gratoit Checkerboard Square in St. Louis. In 1894, the Robinson-Danforth Commission Co. began producing horse and mule feed at the site. In 1898, the company began manufacturing whole wheat cereal, endorsed by Dr. Ralston, and later changed its name to Ralston Purina Co. in 1902. Ralston expanded and purchased additional properties from various nearby businesses. In 2001, Ralston merged with Nestle and became Nestle Purina PetCare Co. Nestle Purina continues to manufacture and sell pet care products.
The Nestle Purina facility is a closed hazardous waste storage facility. The facility consisted of a feed mill, grain elevators, offices, research facilities and research and testing laboratories. A variety of wastes were produced at the research and testing laboratories. These laboratory wastes included items such as unused reagents, testing samples, contaminated glassware and spent solvents, which were classified as characteristic and listed hazardous waste. Ralston stored the hazardous wastes in a hazardous waste container storage area until enough waste was collected to ship off-site for disposal. Ralston operated the facility under the “interim status” portions of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
Ralston closed the hazardous waste container storage area in February 1996. The facility was not subject to the permitting requirements of the Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Law or federal Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments to RCRA for long-term monitoring and maintenance activities (post-closure care) because Ralston “clean closed” the interim status hazardous waste management units. The facility was subject to the corrective action requirements because Ralston completed the closure activities after the effective date of the federal Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments.
Investigation results showed toxaphene, a pesticide discovered in the former storage bins/grain elevator area, was the only contaminant detected above screening levels for residential use and industrial use. The department determined no further corrective action was necessary, except to place specific activity and use limitations on the property. The department and Nestle Purina, formerly Ralston, executed an Environmental Covenant for the former storage bins/grain elevator area. The covenant was filed with the St. Louis County Recorder of Deeds on Sept. 26, 2013. The covenant restricts the facility property to non-residential use and requires maintenance of the asphalt cap in the former storage bins/grain elevator area. The covenant also prohibits using shallow groundwater for drinking water and disturbing the soil in the former storage bins/grain elevator area without written approval from the department. The department determined the site did not pose any unacceptable risks to human health or the environment. On Jan. 15, 2014, following the opportunity for public review and comment, the department approved the proposed final remedy of no further corrective action with institutional controls. The department released the facility from regulation as an interim status hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility subject to the corrective action requirements of the Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Law and regulations, effective immediately. However, the activity and use limitations contained in the Environmental Covenant continue to apply.
Nestle Purina continues to operate at the facility property. Containerized hazardous waste is currently stored for less than 90-days before being shipped off-site for disposal. Since the waste is stored for less than 90 days, the storage room is not required to be permitted. Instead, the containers are managed under the generator storage requirements of the federal and state hazardous waste laws, 10 CSR 25-5.