The Zenith Electronics Corp., Springfield Division, site is located on 123 acres at 2500 E. Kearney St. in Springfield. In 1967, Zenith purchased the site and constructed the facility. Zenith manufactured portable television cabinets and assembled completed color televisions and monitors in the main production building at the site. An injection molding, plastics operation was used in the production of television cabinets and cabinet components. Cabinets created using this process were painted in one of two spray operations in the facility. The television components (i.e., circuit boards, cathode ray tubes) were manufactured elsewhere, brought to the Springfield plant and stored in the south warehouse attached to the main production building until assembled. The north warehouse was used for finished goods storage.
A variety of hazardous wastes were produced as part of the facility operations, such as waste hydraulic and other lubricating oils from machinery leaks and oil changes, waste paint thinners and sludge produced as part of cleaning spray painting equipment, and waste solvents such as TCE, PCE, and TCA, used for degreasing. The wastes were stored in containers in satellite storage areas at the point of generation until they became full. The containers were then transferred to secured, marked, and locked storage areas in the main production facility and the hazardous waste was consolidated into 55-gallon drums. From 1978 to 1988, full drums of waste in the secured satellite storage areas were moved outside to an open shed near the southeast corner of the main production facility, where the waste was identified for incineration in an on-site incinerator/boiler or off-site disposal. Zenith operated two resource recovery incinerators at this site. One was used for non-hazardous waste only, to recover heat from solid waste produced on site. The other incinerator was similar, however a low percentage of liquid hazardous waste, mainly paint solvents, were introduced as an atomized liquid. The hazardous waste incinerator was formally approved in 1982. Chlorinated solvents were never incinerated. Zenith operated the incinerator and outside hazardous waste storage area under the “interim status” portions of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). In 1994, Zenith sold the facility to BPS Catalog Services, a division of Bass Pro Shops. Today the site has been repurposed to become Bass Pro Shops main headquarters and shipping center.
Zenith, now owned by LG, removed the concrete pad of the outside hazardous waste storage area in 1994. Closure investigations indicated that the soil beneath and around the perimeter of the concrete pad contained low concentrations of volatile organic compounds. Potentially impacted soil was removed until no contamination was found and a cap was built around and over the former concrete pad. Zenith clean closed the incinerator, which the department accepted in 1999. Zenith is subject to the permitting requirements of the Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Law and federal Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments for post-closure care because hazardous waste remained in place after closure.
Zenith is also subject to corrective action because they completed closure after the effective date of the federal Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments. Initial investigations identified groundwater contamination from the operation of the storage area. Recent sampling results show a very slight increase in contamination at one of the wells. Zenith has reopened the RCRA Facility Investigation to define the horizontal and vertical extent of any contamination. If any corrective action activities are necessary, they will be based on the investigation results.