Superfund Site Profile
For nearly 50 years, the West Dallas area of Dallas, Texas, was home to a major lead smelter operated by the RSR Corporation. Facility operators processed spent car batteries and scrap lead. The company sent resulting waste materials, byproducts and batteries to nearby landfills where these wastes contaminated soils, sediment and groundwater. Wind also transported lead dust from the smelter into nearby parks, schools and neighborhoods. EPA placed the RSR Corporation site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List in 1995.
EPA assessed nearly 7000 properties and cleaned up the yards of over 400 properties between 1991 and 1994. Much of the lead dust deposited from the RSR smokestack affected a nearby Dallas Housing Authority (DHA) public housing complex. With EPA oversight, DHA removed the soil contamination, demolished the sub-standard public housing that existed on the site and reconstructed more than 1,200 units of affordable housing for the West Dallas community. The cleanup of the RSR Superfund site enabled DHA to continue to offer much-needed affordable housing and other needed services, such as a grocery store, library, public and private schools and more. DHA also constructed its headquarters on site and they employ more than 100 people.
Today, following cleanup, the site and the surrounding West Dallas area are a hub of new activity. Goodwill Industries of Dallas acquired 46 acres from DHA and built a 275,000-square-foot facility. Open since 2002, the facility includes offices, meeting space and a retail store. Goodwill Industries of Dallas employs over 500 people and in 2013 placed more than 1000 people in jobs across North Texas. The company focuses on hiring and training disadvantaged workers, benefiting the local workforce.
For their remarkable efforts at the site and across West Dallas, EPA Region 6 presented DHA and Goodwill Industries of Dallas with Excellence in Site Reuse recognition.
The cleanup provided opportunities for other redevelopment opportunities as well, including several public and private schools and the Lakewest YMCA facility, which opened in 2000. The YMCA offers recreation opportunities for local families and residents and hosts several community services, including a day care, a women’s healthcare clinic and a police substation. With residents now benefitting from a new supermarket and shopping center, an animal care clinic, restaurants, and a wider range of housing options, West Dallas will continue to thrive. EPA remains committed to working with local groups and agencies to support redevelopment.