EPA & Boys & Girls Clubs

U.S. EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis President Flint Fowler, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, U.S. Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay and Hall of Fame baseball player Ozzie Smith posed with golf clubs after the official transfer of the old Carter Carburetor Superfund Site to the Boys & Girls Clubs on September 16. The site needed to be cleaned of multiple toxic contaminates before it could be used again.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis has entered into an agreement to purchase the former Carter Carburetor Superfund Site and develop a youth golf training facility at the site along with Gateway PGA Reach.

These plans were announced at the site on September 16 as part of a celebration of the completed cleanup of the toxic site with EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

“I am grateful to the U.S. EPA, U.S. Department of Justice, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the City of St. Louis, Thompson Coburn LLP and the American Car and Foundry Company for coming together to promote the growth and development of children in the St. Louis region,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis President Flint Fowler.

“BGCSTL relies on the generosity and support from a variety of public and private benefactors to help young people realize their potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. Today we are witnessing the power of partnership.”

The Carter Carburetor site is a large former manufacturing facility, where operations over decades resulted in contamination from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and trichloroethylene (TCE). The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis is located next door to the site and prior to EPA’s cleanup, the Carter Carburetor site was the subject of significant community concern regarding the site’s condition and the potential exposures to area children and residents.  

In 2013, EPA entered into a $35 million settlement agreement with ACF Industries, Inc. to pave the way for the site’s cleanup, building demolition, and ultimately productive reuse. Cleanup of the site began that year with the removal of asbestos and hazardous debris from buildings on the property. Demolition and removal of the buildings began in 2015. Additional waste removal work, on-site waste treatment, and other cleanup work continued into 2017.

“I couldn’t be prouder to sign this Prospective Purchaser Agreement because it opens up a tremendous future for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Few imagined a polluted, former carburetor plant could be transformed into a golf training center for the youth of St. Louis. But with vision and teamwork it happened.”

EPA and ACF Industries, Inc. completed site work in May 2020. As a part of site cleanup, ACF conducted removal actions to address dilapidated buildings onsite that were heavily contaminated with PCBs and asbestos. The site will be acquired and redeveloped by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, which has long stood in the shadow of this site. In partnership with the Gateway PGA Reach organization, they will build a golf training facility for inner city youth on most of the site property. 

The St. Louis Land Reutilization Authority owns part of the Site (including an area where PCBs are buried and capped, which it acquired through tax default), which it hopes to develop into a pollinator park, urban prairie feature, or community garden to support the surrounding reuse.  

“Cleaning up the Carter Carburetor site was no small task given the multiple contaminants, including PCBs, TCE, asbestos, and others,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford.  “The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, the community leaders and partners worked tirelessly with EPA to see this through. And, now that the site has been cleaned up, the community can move forward in redeveloping the property into a tremendous community asset."

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