City eyesore full of cancer causing chemicals, community wants action -

City eyesore full of cancer causing chemicals, community wants action

(KMOV) – The old Carter Carburetor building in north St. Louis is an eyesore that’s full of cancer-causing chemicals – and it may finally come down, thanks to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The contaminated site sits right across the street from the Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club.


Clean up comes with a $26 million price tag.


The site once employed hundreds of St. Louisans, but has sat vacant for the last 25 years.


Neighbors want to erase the polluted blight of the abandoned property.

“It’s a distraction and deterrent to any further development, and it’s the kind of place that attracts vagrants,” said Flint Fowler, president of the Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club.

Fowler says he has been fighting for clean up for a decade.


Karl Brooks, regional administrator for the EPA says clean up is a complicated project. “There’s a lot of different forms of pollution that require some pretty technical approaches to it.”

The EPA wants to burn off cancer-causing chemicals underground. The vapors will then be captured, and the soil will be trucked off to an approved landfill.

The Old Willco Plastics building will be left largely in tact once harmful material like asbestos is removed. But the EPA says the main building, Carter Carburetor Inc, must come down.

The owner disagrees.


“I would like to see this building resurrected,” said Tom Kerr. “I don’t think it’s that complicated.

Kerr says he has a buyer for the building that he says would bring as many as 600 jobs to the community once the property is given the all-clear.

The EPA has high hopes to start the clean-up process within one calendar year.

To submit your comments, contact:

Janette Lambert

Community involvement coordinator

U.S. EPA - Region 7

901N 5th St.

Kansas City, KS 66101

(913) 551-7768 or

Toll Free: 1-800-223-0425


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