ST. LOUIS, Mo., July 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis expressed its appreciation to elected officials, Region 7 of the U.S. EPA, and ACF Industries for finalizing an agreement that begins the demolition and cleanup process of the abandoned Carter Carburetor plant. The plant is located adjacent to the Herbert Hoover branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, which today occupies the site of the legendary Sportsman's Park at the corner of Grand Boulevard and Dodier St.
"For decades, this vacant factory symbolized decline, neglect and hopelessness to this once thriving neighborhood. Worse, this decaying structure stands in stark contrast to one of the neighborhood's enduring jewels: the Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club," said Flint Fowler, president of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis. "Through the tireless work and commitment of our Representative William Lacy Clay, Jr., Senator McCaskill, the U.S. EPA, ACF Industries and our neighborhood organizations, we are together taking the first step toward revitalizing this neighborhood and creating a better environment for the thousands of children who call the Club home."
He also credited the substantial time commitment and talent of Thompson Coburn attorneys Peter Strassner and Anne-Marie Kienker, whose pro bono legal work facilitated the many transactions that enabled todays' announcement, and the many years of constant and superb stewardship by Vern Remiger, the Club's Board member and now Life Trustee.
Dr. Joan Silber, chairman of the board, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis said, "Today, we begin the process to create a more positive and supportive environment for the efforts of the Herbert Hoover Club which is helping local kids develop their skills in leadership, citizenship, realize academic achievement, and live healthy life styles."
When demolition and cleanup is complete, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis will have an opportunity to acquire the land for future development to meet the growing needs of the city's youth and support the revitalization of the area.
The announcement of the long-awaited cleanup followed an Agreement of Consent between the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. EPA and ACF Industries. Under the terms of the agreement, ACF will demolish the remaining Carter Carburetor buildings and remediate the site. This announcement is the culmination of three and one-half years of joint efforts by the local community, EPA, ACF Industries and the U.S. Department of Justice. The cost of the demolition and remediation is estimated at $30 million.
Karl Brooks, regional administrator for EPA's Region 7, said that today's announcement was the result of public and private parties working together to achieve a cleanup that was long overdue. "Over the past three and a half years we have conducted four roundtable discussions that brought the needs and concerns of the community to the attention of the EPA and ACF Industries. We now have a plan that will return the former plant site to the community and become the catalyst for the revitalization of this neighborhood. This is an outcome that we can all be very proud of."
"We will be working closely with the EPA, the City of St. Louis and the local community to complete this project in compliance with all appropriate health and safety standards while respecting the surrounding neighborhoods," said Gene Watson, senior project manager for AMEC, the global oil and gas, mining, and environment engineering firm that will manage the Carter Carburetor demolition and remediation. Watson also said that his team would provide neighborhood organizations with periodic updates on the progress of the cleanup.
Flint Fowler thanked Senator Claire McCaskill, Representative William Lacy Clay and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay for their invaluable support to the community's efforts to bring about this important environmental cleanup.
"This will be a tremendous improvement not only for the youth served by our club but for the entire St. Louis community," he said.
About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis
Since 1967, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis has been providing children ages 6 to 18 with a safe place to learn and grow. The Club operates five locations and currently serves over 9,500 kids and is open both after school and during summer. Serving kids in more than 90 ZIP codes, the Club is committed to children in need – children from underserved communities who lack access to structured and fun learning programs. The Club's goal is to inspire and enable youth to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. For more information, please visit http://www.bgcstl.org or call 314-335-8000.
About U.S. EPA Region 7
The EPA Region 7 is a government agency serving Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Nine Tribal Nations. Region 7 is dedicated to protecting and improving water quality across America's greatest watershed, the Missouri-Mississippi Basin. They also stress the importance of remedying a legacy of polluted soil by cleaning up neighborhoods in diverse Midwest locations. One of their main goals is to enforce a new generation of air quality laws that encourage industrial and transport innovation by protecting public health. For more information, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-missouri or call 913-551-7003.
About ACF Industries
Formed in 1899, ACF Industries was formally known as The American Car and Foundry Company. ACF Industries is now a premier manufacturer of railcars and railcar components. The company, headquartered in St. Charles, Missouri, has produced some of the best rail transportation equipment in American history and is considered a leader in manufacturing and fabricating specialty railcar parts and miscellaneous steel products. For more information, please visit http://www.acfindustries.com/ or call 636-949-2399.
SOURCE Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis