Times Beach

Times Beach in the United States

Times Beach in Environmental Law

A town in Missouri, located thirty miles south west of St. Louis, that became one of the symbols of mismanagement of hazardous waste. In 1971, it was not uncommon to spray streets with oil to suppress dust. Unfortunately, at a number of sites throughout the country, the oil contained chemical residues. The oil used at Times Beach included dioxin, a toxic substance used in the production of Agent Orange and a number of pesticides. Thirty-three sites in Missouri were found to be contaminated with dioxin, one of the most dangerous chemicals known, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The contamination was not discovered until 1982, two years after the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act was passed. Unlike other contaminated hazardous waste sites, Times Beach did not go through the slow process created by the law to get the property characterized and remediated. Instead, in February 1983, the government spent $33 million dollars to buy the town and relocate the citizens. The money came from Superfund, a federal fund established to address abandoned hazardous waste sites and respond to imminent threats to health or the environment.

In 1988, the EPA determined what remedial action should be taken. Dioxin adheres to soil tightly, so it has not gotten into groundwater or been carried to surface water in harmful amounts. Contamination was found on roads, shoulders, and ditches.

Times Beach, where contamination was not as widespread as at many other sites, is being used as a collecting area for other dioxin wastes. The soil there is being incinerated and will remain on site. New soil is also being brought in. The state has placed restrictions on development in the area, but they may be unnecessary since Times Beach is subject to flooding and is not readily adaptable to building. However, flooding was rare when the houses and businesses were originally built in that town. Times Beach is unincorporated.
Based on “Environment and the Law. A Dictionary”.

Times Beach: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Times Beach. This part provides references, in relation to Times Beach, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Times Beach by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Times Beach and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Times Beach or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Times Beach and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Times Beach. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Times Beach should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Times Beach when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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