EPA Proposes Site to National Priorities List, Plating Inc., Great Bend, Barton County, Kansas
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing the Plating, Inc. site to the National Priorities List or NPL. The NPL is a published list of hazardous waste sites in the country that are eligible for extensive, long-term cleanup action under the Superfund program. EPA is asking for comments on the proposal.
Plating, Inc. is a former chromium and zinc plating facility located in Great Bend, Barton County, Kansas. The facility is in an industrial area at the Great Bend Airport surrounded by agricultural land. In 1988 the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) detected soil contamination from blowers and documented that the facility had been operating without air pollution control systems. KDHE ordered the facility to address state and federal violations for the handling and storage of hazardous wastes and remove the contaminated soil. Soil was excavated and the facility installed a chromium fume scrubber to prevent recontamination of the soil. In 1991 sampling revealed that the ground water was contaminated with chromium.
In 1994 KDHE and Plating, Inc. signed an order which lead to the facility installing a shallow remedial well to contain and remediate the shallow plume. In 2002 an additional remedial well was installed. In 2005 the facility ceased operations. In 2006 KDHE discovered abandoned tanks of solutions.
Domestic water supply wells for two businesses have been impacted by the contamination and KDHE is currently providing bottled water to these businesses. A contaminated ground water plume is migrating from the facility toward the city of Great Bend. KDHE has identified three public water supply wells that are threatened by the contamination. EPA is conducting a Removal Assessment of the facility. Several thousand gallons of plating solutions will need to be removed from the facility.
EPA is conducting investigations and cleanup work at the site under the Superfund program. Congress established Superfund in 1980 in response to growing concerns over human health and environmental risks posed by hazardous sites.
After a Superfund site is discovered, cleanup can fall under two programs: removal and remedial. Removal actions address immediate threats to human health and the environment posed by contamination. Remedial actions address sites that require extensive and potentially long-term cleanup.
Under the Superfund program, a site may qualify for placement on the NPL. The NPL is intended primarily to guide EPA in determining which sites warrant further investigation and cleanup. For a site to be included on the NPL, it has to score sufficiently high on the Hazard Ranking System (HRS). The HRS evaluates exposure pathways and the potential risk to human health and the environment.
Those sites that score high enough on the HRS are eligible for the NPL. A site that is listed on the NPL qualifies to be financed by Superfund's Trust Fund. If a responsible party is not identified, a site cannot undergo a remedial cleanup unless it is listed on the NPL.
The Plating, Inc. site is being proposed to the NPL due to the potential risks associated with the levels of chromium detected in soils and ground water at this site. The State of Kansas supports this proposal.
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE GRANT
EPA wants to help affected communities understand the technical information related to a site. EPA's Technical Assistance Grant Program provides up to $50,000 under Superfund for a qualified citizens group to hire independent technical advisers to help citizens interpret data, understand site hazards, and become more knowledgeable about cleanup technologies.
EPA is requesting comments until November 19, 2007 on the proposal to add this site to the NPL. Comments should be mailed or e-mailed to:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
CERCLA Docket Office
Mail Code 5305T
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460
ATTN Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-SFUND-2007-0686
If you have questions about this proposal or want additional information about applying for a Technical Assistance Grant, please contact:
U.S. EPA Region 901 N. Fifth St.
Kansas City, KS 66101
Phone: 913-551-7003 or Toll Free: 1-800-223-0425