The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking soil and sediment samples to determine whether Minden, W.Va., should be added to the National Priorities List (NPL) for Superfund cleanup. Soil sampling last summer showed levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to be 10 times the actionable level. However, the most recent round, collected in December, showed elevated levels at only two out of 64 samples collected, according to EPA officials at a March 16-17 public meeting in Minden. Minden was home to the Shaffer Equipment Co., which built and stored electrical substations for the coal industry from 1970 to 1984. Shaffer used PCB-laden oils in transformers and other equipment. After two failed remediation attempts during the 1990s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers capped the site in 2002. Minden residents have reported higher-than-usual rates of cancer and requested additional EPA soil sampling in early 2017. Some have asked for federal funding for relocation. The agency conducted further sampling around Minden the week of March 19. An EPA spokesman says if PCB levels from the three rounds of testing are high enough, the site will be proposed for the NPL in September.
Residents of Minden, W.Va. Seeking Superfund Status
March 28, 2018