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Are there risks at the site now?

Moton School
No health or environmental problems detected; the school was built on top of 3 to 5 feet of clean fill.

Shallow Ground Water
Contaminated with elevated levels of metals.  However, this aquifer is not used by humans and does not impact surface water.

Residential Areas - Soils
Surface Contamination (prior to the implementation of the 1997 Action Memorandum) - Marginal human health risk:

  • 1.3 X 10-4 lifetime cancer risk (all contaminants of concern);
  • 6.1% children with projected risk (Lead (Pb) concentrations 500 to 1,000 parts per million (pm)). 

Future Surface Contamination - If landfill materials below the top foot of soils were exposed due to human activity, health risks would increase to:

  • 5.0 X 10-4 lifetime cancer risk (all contaminants of concern);
  • 63.8% children with projected risk (Pb concentrations 1,000 to 4,000 ppm).

Undeveloped Property Soils
Surface Contamination - Prior to the cleanup, contamination levels on the undeveloped property (OU1) ranged from 37.2 to 28,300 ppm lead.  The site was covered with dense vegetation and surrounded with an 8-foot fence. 
Future Surface Contamination - City zoned tracts "commercial."

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Redevelopment Activity

The Agriculture Street Landfill Superfund site is located in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 95-acre site operated as a municipal dump from 1909 until 1957. From the 1970s through the late 1980s, parties developed about 47 acres of the site for private and public uses. At that time, the site supported 67 single-family homes, multiple-family dwellings, retail businesses, an elementary school, a community center, a recreation center and an electrical substation. Before 1994, access to the undeveloped portion of the former landfill was unrestricted. This access allowed unauthorized waste disposal and exposure to contaminants. EPA listed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1994. Between 1994 and 1997, EPA dug up and disposed of nearly 70,000 tons of material. EPA replaced this material with a permeable geotextile mat/marker in the subgrade, clean fill and sod. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed many structures on site, with only single-family homes and the electrical substation remaining in operation. All other structures on site await demolishing or redevelopment. The rest of the site remains undeveloped and vegetated. As part of the  U.S. Army Corps (USACE) infrastructure improvement project along the Florida Canal, the USACE has completed the construction of  a rail line and fence that runs adjacent to the site's undeveloped property (Operable Unit 1),

The former Gordon Plaza Apartments were purchased and are currently being renovated. Three of the residential buildings, as well as most of the commercial building are renovated, and the renovation of the remaining 2 residential buildings will start soon.


 The Housing Authority of New Orleans has completed the demolition and removal of the structures and debris of the abandoned Press Park Townhomes and apartment units.

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Institutional Controls

Institutional controls (ICs) are non-engineered instruments, such as administrative and legal tools, that help minimize the potential for human exposure to contamination and/or protect the integrity of a remedy by limiting land use. As part of the January 2008 Consent Decree between EPA and the City of New Orleans, the city joined the Louisiana One Call system, to ensure all contractors and utility companies performing work at the site follow the excavation protocols described in EPA's Technical Abstract Utilities paper. A field demonstration on excavation and backfill procedures was conducted with the utility companies at the site on December 1, 1999 and a copy of the abstract was provided to each company to include in their standard operating procedures.  Additional ICs that are in place includes:  a locked eight-foot high security fence around the undeveloped property (OU1), to limit unauthorized access, conveyance notifications, and a city ordinance.  In accordance with the terms in the 2008 Consent Decree, the city will repair the fence around the undeveloped property (OU1) as needed and cut the vegetation twice a year. The city ordinance ensures that any excavation performed on-site is in accordance with the protocol established by the EPA.  A summary of the implemented ICs at the site are included in the 4th Five Year Review (September 2018) and EPA’s protocol for excavating in the area can be found in Appendix A and B of the Fourth 5-Year Review located in the “Site Documents and Data Section”.

In an ongoing effort to keep existing and new residents that live on-site informed, in October 2019 the City of New Orleans placed notices in the utility bills, to remind the residents of the response action EPA completed ln 2002 and the actions the city will implement on the undeveloped property (OU1)  The city will issue these notices on an annual basis. 

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