“We are standing today at the doorstep of growth in greatness for the city of Des Moines,” Mayor Frank Cownie said during a news conference in which cleanup plans for the former Dico site were announced. Seated, from left, are Edward Chu, acting administrator of EPA Region 7; Kayla Lyons, Iowa Department of Natural Resources director; and Michael Regan, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator. Photo by Kathy A. Bolten

Restrictions will be put in place on the types of development that can occur on the former Dico site after contaminated buildings and other debris are removed and a new groundwater treatment system installed, a federal official said during a news conference on Tuesday.

In addition, when remediation of the site is completed, the site will continue to be monitored by the federal government’s Superfund program, said Edward Chu, acting administrator of EPA Region 7.

Ownership of the former Dico property at 200 S.W. 16th St. is expected to be transferred to the city of Des Moines within the next 30 days, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials said at the news conference. The 43-acre site has been unused for more than 25 years as the property’s owner fought the federal government over cleanup costs and other issues.

Those issues have been resolved and cleanup of the Superfund site is expected to begin this summer.

However, once the site is cleaned up restrictions will be in place on what can be developed on the land, Chu said. Housing, for instance, will not be allowed, city and federal officials said.

“There will be restrictions on what is going to be touching the subsurface soil,” Chu said. The EPA will continue monitoring the site, which will not be removed from the Superfund program, he said.

The EPA will likely begin removing the dilapidated and contaminated buildings on the site this summer, Chu said. Cleanup of the site is expected to be completed by fall.

-Kathy A. Bolten