The Southern Mineralite Site is located at 2933 Dauphine Street in New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana. The Site is thought to be the location of a former vermiculite exfoliation facility which operated from the 1930's to 1964. Records indicate that the facility received Libby Vermiculite from the WR Grace owned Zonolite Mine in Libby, Montana, however the amount received is unknown. The Zonolite Mine was the source of over 70 percent of all vermiculite sold in the U.S. from 1919 to 1990. There was also a deposit of asbestos at the mine, so the vermiculite from Libby was contaminated with amphibole asbestos which has been linked to lung cancer and mesothelioma. Vermiculite from Libby was distributed for processing to a number of facilities across the country.
EPA’s removal evaluations were conducted at the Site in response to an Agency-wide initiative to investigate current and former vermiculite facilities that received vermiculite ore from the W.R. Grace vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana.
A time-critical removal action of the western half of the site was conducted in 2017 by WR Grace under and Administrative Order with EPA.
The eastern half of the site was later purchased by a new owner who is planning to remove the current structure and the concrete pad that covers 90% of the site area. Because of the risk of further asbestos contamination on this half of the property, EPA is conducting a second assessment in February 2020. Decisions for further removal actions will be made in March 2020 after data is received.