Background

The Kansas City Terminal Railway rail yard was built in 1914 to service Kansas City’s Union Station. As train travel became less popular, the site was abandoned.  The city of Kansas City enlisted the help of the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) in the mid-1990s. HEDC formed the Westside Industrial Redevelopment Corporation (Westside)  and began plans to revitalize the district by redeveloping the old rail yard.  However, environmental investigations at the 22-acre site revealed asbestos-containing materials, lead-based paint, and lead- and petroleum-contaminated soils.

Approach

Westside hired Foth to evaluate historical site data and prepare a plan to manage the environmental cleanup. The client also heeded Foth’s recommendation to purchase cost-cap insurance to mitigate costs for unknown conditions. Following that advice, Foth discovered a buried railroad tank car and widespread arsenic impact to soil that remained inconspicuous to previous investigators. The cleanup of arsenic-impacted soil using excavation and off-site disposal was accomplished through a statistical approach that met a site-wide, risk-based cleanup standard, rather than a point-by-point standard.

Results

Foth’s strategies reduced the remediation costs from an original $1.0 to $3.0 million estimate to $600,000. The U.S. EPA recognized the site with a Phoenix Award. The Westside Business Park is now home to a thriving business. The redevelopment of this site has brought new industry, new jobs, and new life to the community.

EPA Phoenix awardl logo