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ICG Iselin Railroad Yard

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Next to the Williams Steel building, where lead contaminated soil was removed.

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: TND987767795
Location: Jackson, Madison County, TN
Lat/Long: 35.602500, -088.797680
Congressional District: 08
NPL Status: Proposed: Proposed: 05/10/93; Final: 12/16/94; Deleted: 01/07/02
Affected Media: Ground water, Soil
Cleanup Status: Deleted from the NPL
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: Yes
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: Yes
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: In continued use – industrial land uses are located on a portion of the site
Site Manager: John Nolen (nolen.john@epa.gov)


Current Status

The ICG Iselin Railroad Yard site includes an area where several industrial and railroad operations have been located since 1906. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1994 because of contaminated ground water and soil resulting from operations at the site. EPA, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs) have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination. Site contamination does not currently threaten people living and working near the site. A water line connects the site as well as nearby residences and businesses to the public water supply. By cleaning up the site, placing institutional controls on the site property and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA, TDEC and the site’s PRPs continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The 80-acre site is located at the intersection of Eastern Street and Magnolia Street in Jackson, Tennessee. A residential area that includes low-income and minority residents borders the site to the north. Wooded and agricultural areas border the site to the west, east and south. The Jackson Energy Authority’s South Well Field is located 1,785 feet west of the site.

Operations at the site have included engine repair, radiator repair, diesel refueling and general maintenance. Historically, a main warehouse, numerous railroad tracks, storage tanks, a battery waste disposal pile, a rail-car fueling platform and a pollution control system were located at the site.

In 1906, the Mobile & Ohio Railroad Company acquired the site property. In 1940, Gulf Mobile and Ohio Railroad Company purchased the Mobile and Ohio Railroad Company. Gulf Mobile and Ohio Railroad Company continued to use the facility as a rail yard. In 1972, the company reorganized as the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad Company (ICG Railroad). From 1972 to 1986, ICG Railroad owned and operated a locomotive maintenance facility on site. In 1986, Williams Steel Company purchased a large portion of the site and used the area as a steel fabrication facility until 1989. In 1989, Iselin Properties, Inc., assumed ownership of the Williams Steel Company property. ICG Railroad sold the remaining portion of the site property to the Southern Railway Company, which became Norfolk Southern in 1988.

In 1994, EPA listed the site on the NPL. Following the completion of cleanup activities, EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 2002. Industrial operations are located on site. Norfolk Southern leases out its portion of the site as a railroad switching yard. Williams Steel Company continues to operate a steel fabrication facility on its portion of the site.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations identified contamination in ground water and soil that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from operations at the site. Contaminants of concern include lead and the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) vinyl chloride and benzene.

Ground water contamination remains at the site. EPA placed institutional controls on the site property to prohibit ground water wells, ground water use and residential uses. A water line connects residences and businesses to the public water supply.

TDEC considered children’s health issues as part of the site’s risk assessment.

TDEC has addressed soil contamination at the site.

EPA and TDEC assessed whether residents or workers might be at risk from harmful ground water vapors in buildings. EPA found that vapor intrusion did not pose a threat to residents and workers.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

TDEC, with the help of the site’s PRPs, leads site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA.

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Site Cleanup Plan

In 1999, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for the site. The plan included placing institutional controls on the site property to prohibit residential uses and well drilling for residential purposes.

Summaries of site cleanup approaches are also available online in key site cleanup documents, including the ROD and Five-Year Reviews.

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Cleanup Progress

EPA and TDEC conducted a remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) from 1992 until 1993.

In 1998, TDEC and the site’s PRPs conducted a non-time-critical removal action. Cleanup activities included digging up approximately 716 tons of contaminated soil and disposing of it at an off-site facility as well as backfilling the dug-up area. TDEC and the PRPs also placed a clay cap over a buried rail tie area as part of additional cleanup activities in 1998.

TDEC and the PRPs completed cleanup activities in 1999. EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 2002.

The site’s third Five-Year Review, completed in 2009, found that the cleanup remains protective of human health and the environment.

Summaries of cleanup activities are also available in Five-Year Reviews online.

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Enforcement Activities

EPA and TDEC entered into a Non-Fund-Financed State-Lead Enforcement Agreement, which established TDEC as the site’s lead agency. TDEC initiated enforcement activities as part of the site’s Non-Fund-Financed State-Lead Enforcement Agreement.

The ROD and Five-Year Reviews online provide additional information on specific legal agreements for the site.

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Community Involvement

EPA has worked with the community and its state partner to develop a long-term cleanup plan for the site, reflecting the Agency’s commitment to safe, healthy communities and environmental protection. Community engagement and public outreach are core components of EPA program activities.

EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities to solicit community input and to make sure the public remains informed about site activities throughout the cleanup process. Outreach efforts have included public notices, interviews and public meetings.

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Future Work

EPA completed the last Five-Year Review in 2009 and plans to complete the next Five-Year Review in 2014.

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Additional Information

EPA keeps additional site documents and information in a site information repository at the location below. EPA also posts site documents, when available, on EPA’s CERCLIS Site Profile page. For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.

Site Repository

Jackson-Madison County Library
433 East Lafayette
Jackson, TN  38305

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