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Fact Sheet

July 2012

EPA Announces Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis and Administrative Record for Public Comment, Iowa-Nebraska Light & Power Former Manufactured Gas Plant, Norfolk, Madison County, Nebraska


The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) invite the public to comment on the Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) for the Iowa-Nebraska Light & Power Former Manufactured Gas Plant (FMGP). The EE/CA evaluates cleanup alternatives for hazardous substances remaining on a site and recommends a specific response action to ensure the protection of human health and the environment.


A 30-day Public Comment Period will begin July 18, 2012, and end on August 17, 2012. During this period, citizens are encouraged to provide comments on the EE/CA.

Comments or questions may be directed to:

Ben Washburn
Community Involvement Coordinator
Office of Public Affairs
U.S. EPA Region 7
901 N. 5th Street
Kansas City, KS 66101
Phone: 913-551-7364
Toll-free: 1-800-223-0425 


EPA will hold a Public Availability Session to provide information, answer questions, and receive comments on the EE/CA for the Iowa-Nebraska Light & Power FMGP. A brief presentation about the EE/CA and EPA activities will be given at 6:00 p.m. This session will be held:

Thursday, July 26, 2012
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Norfolk Public Library
308 W Prospect Ave
Norfolk, Nebraska

As part of the Superfund process, EPA will prepare and complete a Community Involvement Plan (CIP). The CIP will outline EPA outreach efforts to the community during site cleanup. EPA values the input of the community throughout the Superfund process and to better serve the community, EPA representatives will conduct interviews with residents at the Public Availability Session to determine the most effective ways for community input and involvement at the site.

EPA Region 7 is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in the Public Availability Session, please notify the EPA Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator, Jonathan Cooper, at 800-223-0425 or by email at cooper.jonathan@epa.gov at least seven days prior to the availability session. Speech or hearing impaired individuals should email or call using the local relay service.


The FMGP is located at the southwest corner of Norfolk Avenue and 7th Street in Norfolk, Nebraska, and is currently vacant.

Until pipelines were constructed in the early part of the 20th century, natural gas was not available in many parts of the United States. In areas where natural gas was not available, manufactured gas was used as a clean burning fuel for lighting and heating in homes and businesses.

A succession of companies, including Iowa-Nebraska Light & Power, manufactured gas at the site from the early 1900s until the gas plant went out of operation in the late 1940s. It is estimated that 4.6 billion cubic feet of gas was manufactured at the FMGP.

During the gas manufacturing process, wastes and by-products such as coal tar residues and sludges, spent oxide waste and ash materials were also generated and may have been left on-site resulting in soil and ground water contamination. Some of these wastes and by-products are hazardous materials and can cause health and environmental problems if handled improperly.


In accordance with an agreement with EPA, Centel Corporation and Black Hills Energy, formerly known as Aquila Inc., an EE/CA was conducted to investigate the FMGP and evaluate removal alternatives. The EE/CA presents the results of the evaluation of the alternatives for responding to the release or threat of release of hazardous substances into the environment from the FMGP. The EE/CA, as prepared by Centel Corporation and Black Hills Energy, recommends that the following response actions be taken: 


The proposed response action is excavation of the contaminated soils down to ground water and:

  1. Off-site disposal at a licensed landfill, backfilling the excavated areas with clean fill, and imposing institutional controls; or
  2. treatment by thermal desorption and imposing institutional controls.

Institutional Controls (ICs) are non-engineered controls such as restrictive covenants, easements, zoning and ordinances that limit the use of real property and help minimize the potential for human exposure to contamination and/or protect the integrity of the remedy.

Thermal Desorption is an environmental remediation technology that uses heat to increase the volatility of contaminants so they can be separated or removed from the soil. It is not incineration.


The recommended response action to address contaminated ground water at the FMGP is ground water monitoring for a period up to 10 years as a post-removal site control.

EPA and NDEQ concur on these recommendations; however, a final decision will not be reached until all public comments have been considered.


Site documents are available for the public to review at the following locations:

EPA Region 7
901 N. 5th Street
Kansas City, Kansas

Norfolk Public Library
308 W Prospect Avenue
Norfolk, Nebraska

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