Dioxin ‘Hot Spots’ in the United States

Several U.S. communities at or near Agent Orange manufacturing or storage sites continue to report dioxin levels above recommended safety standards.

  • These include Dow Chemical sites in Saginaw and Midland MI; a Diamond Shamrock site in Newark Bay NJ; a Monsanto Chemical Co. site in Nitro WV; a testing site in Hilo HI; and military bases where the herbicides were tested or stored, at Gulfport MS, Fort Drum NY, Eglin Air Force Base FL and Fort Detrick MD.
  • In October, 1998, a federal court ordered Hercules Inc. and Uniroyal Chemical Ltd. To reimburse the Environmental Protection Agency $102.8 million for its cleanup of the Vertac Superfund site in Jacksonville AR, where Agent Orange was produced and stored.[i]
  • In 1983, all 2,200 residents of Times Beach MO were relocated due to dioxin contamination from the use of waste oil from a chemical production facility in Verona MO (not related to Agent Orange) to control dust on local roads. The relocation cost $30 million, plus $110 million to incinerate the contaminated soil.[ii]
  • The early stages of the Times Beach controversy, along with the 1970s dioxin contamination scandal at Love Canal in Niagara Falls NY (also not related to Agent Orange), led to creation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund toxic waste cleanup program in 1980.

For More Information Contact: Janice Joseph at the Aspen Institute Agent Orange in Vietnam Program, 477 Madison Avenue Suite 730 New York, NY 10022. janice.joseph@aspeninstitute.org, 212 895-8000

August 2011

[i] Environmental Protection Agency, “Judge Rules that Hercules and Uniroyal Must Pay U.S. $102 Million for Superfund Cleanup,” press release, Washington DC Oct. 23, 1998. http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/018c01599b51b0ef852566ab005a945a!OpenDocument  Accessed 12/13/09

[ii] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Times Beach Record of Decision Signed,” press release, Washington DC, Sept. 30, 1988. http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/times/03.htm