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ON THE MERAMEC River in Missouri, Times Beach was primarily a small resort community with a population just over 1,000 citizens. Sadly, it became emblematic of the discovery of the hazard waste problem characterizing the 1980s and, as such, was rendered a “ghost town” in the early part of the decade due to contamination by dioxin, a cancer-producing chemical.

The tortured journey for this community began when Northeastern Pharmaceutical and Chemical Company, Inc. (NEPACCO), while manufacturing hexachlorophene (an antibacterial agent), leased a production facility from Hoffman Taff. Hoffman Taff (which was later acquired by Syntex Corporation) was the manufacturer of the notorious defoliant Agent Orange created to aid ground-based troops in their combat operations in the Vietnam War. The byproducts of these production processes produced both ...

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