Sonoco Fiber Drum Plant

In 1999, Environmental Operations, Inc. (EOI) was contracted by Sonoco Products to perform an environmental assessment on property located in St. Louis County. The subject site had been used for manufacturing and storage since the 1950s, first by Continental Can Company and, most recently, by Sonoco for the manufacture of fiber drums. Realizing that contamination was probable, EOI recommended more investigation, discovering soil and groundwater contaminated by chlorinated solvents.

Excessive renovation costs were anticipated relating to asbestos and soil and groundwater contamination. As part of the building facelift and extensive interior remodeling, several types of asbestos-containing building materials were removed from the interior and the exterior of the structure. Chlorinated solvents were identified in soils at three areas on the site – a former exterior dumpster area, a former exterior underground tank location, and a former interior process area. These source locations were contributing to the groundwater contamination.

EOI entered the site into the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ (MDNR) Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) and the Department of Economic Development’s (DED) Brownfields Program, obtaining $2,800,000 in remediation tax credits . EOI designed and implemented a VCP approved plan for soil and groundwater remediation that met the owner’s critical schedule for overall site redevelopment and renovation. Several phases of site characterization identified the areas of onsite soil contamination and determined chemical and physical aspects of the groundwater. Contaminant source soils were removed from areas both inside and outside the building. The contaminated portion groundwater plume, both inside and outside the building, was treated in-situ with material to enhance naturally occurring anaerobic degradation of chlorinated solvents. This latest generation technology represented the first full-scale groundwater treatment in Missouri.

Currently, the building is under contract for lease of 80,000 square feet with an option for the remainder. It is anticipated that more than 550 jobs will be created. An interim NFA for soil was issued in 2001 and it is anticipated that the groundwater will meet cleanup criteria established for the site within one and one-half years after the initial treatment.