Chemicals continue to be removed from abandoned factory in Slinger

CREATED Oct 10, 2012 - UPDATED: Oct 10, 2012

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SLINGER - Relief has come to a neighborhood in Washington County, now that a major toxic waste site in Slinger is being cleaned up.

Thousands of gallons of hazardous chemicals were removed from a small, abandoned factory.  Crews still need to remove solid waste from that site, and crews were removing those Wednesday.

It took about a month to clear out the former Niphos Coatings factory in Slinger, which closed in March 2010.

Now, an environmental agency says several thousand gallons of hazardous chemicals are gone.

The building these chemicals were housed in has deteriorated over the years.  It's located in a residential area near three schools.

So many people who live in the area have concerns about the chemical effects.

"They had a tanker here," said Jackie Toll.  "They're pulling the stuff out that needs to be handles."

About 3,400 gallons of metal plating waste and other liquids were collected and put into a container truck.

Several thousand gallons of acids and metal washing and rinsing solutions in drums also were removed.  That included extremely hazardous nitric acid.

Crews removed about 415 gallons of cyanide compounds last week.

Now, the EPA says all of this will be shipped to Illinois for proper disposal.

What remains inside the factory is sludge and solid compound chemicals.

The EPA says people don't need to worry about pollution, but they say there could be a sump pump inside the building.

Investigators will check into whether chemicals have gone into the sewer.

"If there is something in there, how much?  Where is it going?" asked Verneta Simon of the EPA.

"I know the building has been here a long time and I know what they did in there, so I'm surprised they didn't get it sooner," said Toll.

The business owner of the factory has not paid property taxes since 2007, and has not filed a chemical inventory report required under federal law since 2008.

The entire cleanup was set to be finished by November.