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Wildwood's Former EPA Sites Back in the News: WWM provides clearinghouse for site reports

Updated: Jun 20

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In the 1970's Russel Bliss dumped and sprayed toxic waste over at least 27 sites in Missouri. His activity led to the infamous Times Beach evacuation in the early 1980's.

Bliss owned property off of Strecker Road and was part of the "Ellisville Superfund Site", which included several other parcels of land nearby.

After numerous remediation efforts the various parcels of land have been delisted by the EPA. Controversy regarding the success of the remediation efforts and concerns by the City of Wildwood as to the appropriateness of developing on those sites without further and intensive oversight led to the adoption of a Special Circumstance Overlay District, that would put certain properties under additional review for proposed development.

The SCOD was approved unanimously by the council on Nov. 9 2020, but now some residents are angry over proposals to include some properties in the SCOD, and they expressed that frustration at the June 7th Planning and Zoning session.

Some residents claimed that they saw no evidence of health problems of those living near or on the properties, and that scientific evidence did not warrant such action by the city. This stands in stark contrast to a claim years ago by a parent that they believed living near one of the subsites had caused illness.

Developments and policy decision regarding these properties and the perceived effectiveness of their remediation has spanned decades. For its part, the City of Wildwood has produced numerous reports which characterize the sites as still worthy of scrutiny for toxicity and was in part the inspiration for adopting the SCROD.

Regardless of ones position on the SCOD, information is key to understanding, and for those interested in some of the documentation that has been created over the years, WWM is providing a resource page that hosts some of those publicly available reports.