This 60-acre former industrial site, located at the confluence of the Mississippi and the Des Peres Rivers on the southern border of the City of St. Louis, has been vacant for more than 27 years.
The site was first used industrially by Vulcan Iron Company from 1870 to 1896 and was home to the first Bessemer steel works west of the Mississippi. From 1918 to 1950 Laclede Gas Company developed and operated a coke oven/coal gasification and by-product plant. Great Lakes Carbon Corporation purchased the site in 1950 and continued the operation of the coke ovens, building as many as 40 additional coke ovens over their tenure. In 1980 the site was sold to Carondelet Coke Corporation, who closed the plant doors for good in 1987.
The site’s valuable location along the river, with river, rail, and highway access was offset by the known and unknown site contamination from years of industrial use. The development of this site would involve the resolution of significant environmental issues, including the following:
- Wetlands mitigation
- Archeological and radiological investigations
- Removal and on site processing of 80,000 cubic yards of concrete and brick for subsequent reuse
- Management of 8,760 tons of asbestos containing debris generated during wet demolition of historic buildings
- Closure of underground storage tanks
- Remediation of over 100,000 tons of soil
- Treatment of over 1 million gallons of groundwater
- Construction of on-site groundwater treatment system
- Grading of over 300,000 cubic yards of surface cap material
EOI prepared an application for Missouri Department of Economic Development Brownfield Redevelopment tax credits. This successful application covered the majority of the environmental costs, which totaled approximately $12 million. EOI developed remedial options within the guidelines of Missouri’s voluntary cleanup program and new risk-based corrective action regulations, using institutional controls, engineered barriers, and engineered cells, as well as traditional excavation, removal, and disposal.
EOI designed a comprehensive risk transfer program, structured so that EOI assumed the financial risk for cost overruns arising from known conditions, as well as unexpected costs incurred because of unforeseen conditions. This arrangement indemnified the developer, property owners and the municipality, and was the mechanism that allowed the project to move forward.