Fort Hartford Coal Co. Stone Quarry
Site Summary ProfileEPA ID: KYD980844625
Location: Olaton, Ohio County, KY
Lat/Long: 37.538880, -086.702760
Congressional District: 01
NPL Status: Proposed: 06/24/88; Final: 08/30/90
Affected Media: Air, Ground water, Surface water
Cleanup Status: Construction complete - physical cleanup activities have been completed
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Currently unused
Site Manager: Robert West (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Fort Hartford Coal Co. Stone Quarry site is located approximately 1.25 miles northwest of Olaton, Kentucky, in east central Ohio County. It is bounded on the north by the Rough River, to the south by Underwood Road, to the east by a single residence, and to the west by agricultural land. The property encompasses approximately 850 acres. Approximately 120 additional acres are located underground and compose the mine portion of the site. Portions of the property have been logged, and several of the logging roads remain above the mine.
From the late 1950s until about 1978, limestone was excavated from the mine. In 1981, Barmet Aluminum Corporation (Barmet) contracted with the Fort Hartford Coal Company to store salt cake fines, a by-product of Barmet's aluminum recycling operation, in the underground portion of the site. Salt cake fines were delivered to the site from a Barmet plant in Livia, Kentucky at a rate of approximately 500 tons per day from 1981 to 1991. Barmet closed the Livia plant in June 1991. An estimated 0.5 million tons of salt cake fines have been placed at the site.
Salt cake fines react with rain or ground water. The reaction produces the toxic gas ammonia. EPA determined that salt cake fines would pose a long-term threat to human health and the environment.
There were approximately 56 residences identified, within a one-mile radius of the property boundary, during a survey that was conducted prior to the site cleanup phase. During the cleanup design phase, approximately half of these residences used private wells as a source of potable water. As of 2007, potable water for these residences was being supplied by a municipal water system.
Site Cleanup Plan
Initial cleanup actions were implemented in 1990. A Record of Decision (ROD) was issued in 1995 to address remaining contamination at the site. Major components of the cleanup approach included:
- Institutional controls to prevent exposure to ground water and ammonia.
- Continued diversion of intruding ground water away from salt cake fines via pumping with subsequent discharge to the Rough River.
- Deed restrictions.
- A ground water and surface water monitoring program to determine the effectiveness of plume containment and contaminant reduction.
- Containment of night air emissions via portal doors.
- An air monitoring program to determine effectiveness of night containment of ammonia emissions.
- Forced ventilation of mine air via two dispersion stacks.
In 1999, EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) to provide additional information on the selected cleanup approach for the site originally described in the 1993 ROD. The ESD also modified the performance standards for ground water established in the ROD.
In 1990, the potentially responsible party (PRP), Barmet, initiated a series of expedited response actions at the site. These included:
- Grading the site to promote drainage away from salt cake fines areas.
- Repairing mine roof collapses which were allowing water intrusion into the mine.
- Permanently closing 26 sinkholes which could allow water intrusion.
- Obtaining a discharge permit from the State for controlled discharge of site drainage into the Rough River.
The PRP completed all physical components necessary to implement the cleanup approach described in the ROD by July 1998. The PRP conducted cleanup activities as planned and no additional areas of contamination were identified. In 1999, EPA and the State determined that the cleanup action activities were completed according to design specifications.
The PRP is conducting long-term monitoring and maintenance activities according to the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Plan that was approved by EPA in 2000.
The first Five-Year Review (FYR) was completed in 2002. The second FYR, completed in 2007, found that the cleanup approach was constructed and operated in accordance with the ROD, as modified by the ESD. The 2007 FYR also found that the cleanup approach is functioning as designed and institutional controls are effective at preventing potential exposures. However, in order for the cleanup approach to be protective in the long-term, the FYR noted that the following action needs to be taken: conduct a study to determine the cause of the increasing levels of ammonia and chloride in the ground water and evaluate potential responses to this problem.
Site cleanup activities are being led primarily by PRPs with oversight by EPA.
In 1989, the PRP entered into an Administrative Order on Consent with EPA, requiring the PRP to perform expedited cleanup actions and a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study for the site.
EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order to the PRP in 1995 to design the cleanup approach and implement the cleanup required in the 1995 ROD.
EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities at the Fort Hartford Coal Co. Stone Quarry site to solicit community input and to ensure that the public remains informed about site activities throughout the site cleanup process. Outreach activities have included public notices and information meetings on cleanup progress and activities.
O&M activities continue at the site.
The next FYR is schedule for August 2012.
Site Administrative Documents
For more information or to view any site-related documents, please visit the site information repository at the following location. As new documents are generated, they will be placed in the information repository for public information.
County Records Clerks Office
301 S. Main St.
Hartford, KY 42347
For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.