Founded in 1925 on a floodplain by Meramec river In St Louis county with 2,240 residents Completely evacuated in 1983
23 miles of unpaved dusty roads Times beach hired Russell Bliss Bliss accountable for spraying oil on stable floors leading to deaths of horses Northeastern Pharmaceutical and Chemical Company (NEPACCO)
Dioxins and Agent Orange Times beach exposed to same oil and chemicals Times beach flooded & town became paranoid Evacuation in 1983
C 4 H 4 O 2 Dioxin 1,2 is very unstable due to its peroxide-like characteristics Dioxin 1,4 is the stable isomer. Dioxin is two benzene rings connected by two oxygen atoms Formed during processes of combustion e.g. Incineration of waste Forest fires Industrial processes – herbicide manufacture Paper pulp bleaching Clings to fatty tissues
Minimum Dioxin concentration = 1µg/kg) Maximum Dioxin concentration = 1800µg/kg) Geometric Mean value = 79µg/kg Areas of state where levels of contamination were in the range of 1-20 µg/kg, were to be covered by 1 foot of soil. Anything above 20µg/kg was to evacuated and incinerated.
Feedstock Handling building Rotary Kiln Ash is quenched and deposited to landfill Secondary Combustion burner Wet Gas Cleaning Air released to atmosphere
The People of Times Beach Was the situation mismanaged? The Story of Dioxin-Contamination at Times Beach from the perspective of those who experienced it
The Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) Missouri Department of Health (MDOH)
followed closely by EPA confirmation of possible dioxin presence Nov 10, 1982: A local newspaper reporter calls town counsel Left to make their own assumptions, the residents quickly started to recall past events, seemingly isolated incidents at the time were now seen as sinister furthering public unrest. Once made public knowledge, widespread panic ensued, worsened by the EPAs estimation of a 9 month wait for tests to be carried out Terrible Odors & Roads Turning Purple after spraying! Multiple Animal deaths: Birds, Dogs, Cattle…
Unwilling to wait, residents commissioned a private lab to carry out testing immediately Molecular formation of Dioxin Hearing of media coverage and private testing the EPA seemed to accelerate their efforts… samples were taken in early December, 1982 By now the occurrences at Times Beach were gaining media attention on an international level
Early December saw Times Beach ravaged by flood waters from the nearby Meramec river, causing a potential furthering of spread of any contaminant Residents return to cleanup after flood and receive confirmation of Dioxin presence in harzardous levels. "If you are in town it is advisable for you to leave and if your are out of town do not go back." - EPA Government order a quarantine of the area, residents instructed to leave under the negotiated terms… Eventually a “Total Buy-out” was agreed upon, resulting in relocation of the Times Beach community.
Panic: “are we at risk?” Confusion: “What are we to do?! Anger towards Authoritive Bodies: death threats sent to city officials, warnings to stay out of town… Loss of faith in governing committees: “Why was nothing done earlier?” - first dioxin reports as early as 1978, no action til 4 years later… Ongoing excommunication of relocated residents: Fear of Infection by new community.