EPA halts illegal chemical waste handling in Missouri
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Region 7 is stopping the illegal handling of hazardous wastes at a St.
Joseph, Missouri chemical warehouse and storage facility, citing serious,
long-term neglect of the environment.
The EPA’s administrative order issued against Lake Road Warehouse Co.,
1400 Lower Lake Road, requires the business to immediately cease all
solid and hazardous waste handling activity at its location, and complete
an inventory of all chemical materials stored there. The business must
develop a longer-term comprehensive plan to clean up any releases of
hazardous wastes on its property and investigate whether those wastes
have migrated beyond its facility boundary.
Lake Road Warehouse has served as a clearing house and commodity storage
facility for bulk chemicals, including wastewater treatment chemicals,
industrial cleaners and laboratory chemicals purchased in large amounts
and then re-sold in smaller quantities to its customers. The business
opened in the 1940s.
During a recent inspection, EPA Region 7 personnel found 69 different
waste chemicals in corroded, torn or leaking containers, many with unreadable
labels or no labeling at all. Inspectors also discovered multiple instances
of chemicals or wastes being improperly stored together, such as strong
acids near strong bases, or strong oxidizers next to combustibles. Mixtures
of these so-called “incompatible wastes” can result in fire, explosion
or the generation of toxic gases.
Besides putting an immediate halt to further illegal waste handling at
the location, the order also requires Lake Road Warehouse or its contractor
- Refrain from removing any materials from the facility without
- Post warning signs on its property and restrict access to areas
where releases of hazardous material have occurred.
- Segregate all incompatible wastes and materials, and safely contain
all hazardous materials.
- Clean up its buildings and any releases of hazardous materials
that have occurred on the site.
- Remove all hazardous wastes and ship them to an appropriate waste