Stage of Clean-up: Remedial Assessment Not Begun
St. Maries Creosote site is immediately adjacent to, and south of, the St. Joe River in the city of St. Maries, Idaho. Currently, the east side of the property contains the log-sorting and -peeling operation and the remainder is used for log storage; however, all processes using creosote ended in 1964. The site is relatively flat and consists of log decks and haul roads between decks. The edge of the site that forms the bank of the St. Joe River consists of various fill materials, including concrete, treated poles, scrap metal, and other debris.
From 1939 through 1964, the site was used for peeling and treating logs to be used for poles. The bottom portion of the poles were treated by soaking in large butt vats filled with creosote, a wood preservative containing 80% polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), to prevent the poles from rotting once installed into the ground. The butt vats were located approximately 50 to 75 feet from the bank of the St. Joe River. Historically, as the treated poles were loaded onto rail cars by the stiff arm, creosote dripped onto the soil around the butt vats and rail cars. If several cars were loaded at once, poles would drip creosote onto the soil beneath the rail line.
During a site reconnaissance conducted by consultants for the property owners on November 20, 1998, minor staining on the surface of the site was observed. Severe soil staining, a noticeable odor (as creosote), and a product sheen were noted along the bank of the river. More...