For Immediate Release
July 19, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

KDHE Deploys to Valley Center for Cleanup of Barton Solvents Site

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) today deployed additional personnel to Valley Center to coordinate the cleanup of the Barton Solvents site following Tuesday’s explosion and fire.

In addition to the environmental monitoring already being conducted, KDHE will work with local officials and Barton Solvents to initiate groundwater and soil monitoring in and around the facility. The results of the monitoring will help determine what remediation steps are needed to return the groundwater and soil to pre-incident conditions.

The need for groundwater monitoring may continue for sometime to verify that contaminates from the incident are remediated to ensure the public is protected. Solvent contaminated water and soil is already being removed from Barton Solvents property, staged for analysis and properly disposed.

In addition to the cleanup efforts at the facility, KDHE is also working with local officials to assess the amount of contaminants that entered Valley Center’s wastewater treatment facility. KDHE is providing technical assistance to plant operators to help minimize damage and speed up the recovery of the wastewater treatment system.