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New Haven, Missouri (population about 1,700), is located along the southern bank of the Missouri River in Franklin County, about 50 mi (miles) west of St. Louis, Missouri (location map 33kb). The city is similar in character to other small towns and cities along the Missouri River with historic late-1800’s era homes along the steep river valley slopes overlooking a downtown business district adjacent to the river. The principal road in the city is State Highway 100, which runs along part of an east-west trending ridge about 1 mi south of the Missouri River. The ridge forms a topographic divide between the Missouri River valley to the north and the Boeuf Creek valley to the south.  The two major towns near New Haven are Washington (approximately 15 mi to the east) and Hermann (approximately 20 mi to the west).

The downtown business district is located within a narrow (less than 600 ft [feet] wide) strip of floodplain and consists of several small shops and restaurants, a few homes, and several small old manufacturing facilities. This area of New Haven is surrounded by a flood protection levee that is maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).  Land use north of the State Highway 100, including the downtown area, is mostly residential, and land use outside the city is mostly pasture with some row crops (google_newhaven2.jpg). An industrial park (developed in the mid-1970s) containing several large manufacturing facilities is located south of this ridge and State Highway 100.

There are five deep, high-production wells in New Haven--four city wells (W1, W2, W3, W4) and one well owned by a local bottling company (hereinafter referred to as the Pepsi well). During 1986 the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) began testing public-supply wells in the state for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and detected the chlorinated solvent tetrachloroethene (PCE) in New Haven city wells W1 and W2. These wells are more than 800 ft (feet) deep. Concentrations of PCE in water samples from well W2 (plot of PCE in well W2 66kb) increased steadily with time from the initial detection of 28 mg/L (micrograms per liter) to a maximum of 140 mg/L before the well was removed from service in 1993. The concentrations of PCE in water samples from well W1 generally were less than the maximum allowable contamination level of 5 mg/L; however, well W1 is in the Missouri River floodplain and had a prior history of bacterial contamination attributed to a poor surface casing seal that resulted in its removal from service in 1989. During 1988 and early 1994, two additional city wells (wells W3 and W4) were installed in the southern part of the city to compensate for the loss of wells W1 and W2. Wells W3 and W4, while completed within the same aquifer, are cased several hundred feet deeper than wells W1 and W2. Various agencies have sampled city wells W3 or W4, and the Pepsi well, no PCE or other VOCs were detected in those samples.

Results from several previous investigations assisted in the scoping of the overall remedial investigation of the Riverfront Superfund site. During 1993-94, an Expanded Site Investigation (ESI) was conducted to collect sufficient data to score the site for possible placement on the National Priorities List (NPL) or Superfund. Because several unresolved questions remained after the completion of the ESI, during 2000 the USEPA conducted an Expanded Site Investigation/Remedial Investigation (ESI/RI) to collect information on ground-water flow and ground-water contamination in the vicinity of city well W2.

Results from the ESI/RI were used to scope the Remedial Investigation of the site which began in 2000 as an investigation into four potential contaminant source areas (Operable units) that by 2003 had expanded into six operable units. At the start of the USEPA Remedial Investigation, little was known about the source of PCE to city wells 1 and 2 or the potential for future contamination of city wells 3 and 4. By 2007, the USEPA has completed investigations at three of the six operable units, installed a long-term cleanup system for soil and shallow ground-water at one site, identified and begun cleanup of a major source of the PCE that closed city wells 1 and 2, and identified a second major PCE source area in the south part of the city, known as operable unit 2, that is being addressed by the Kellwood Company who is a PRP (potential responsible party).

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