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Fact Sheet

February 2013

Proposed Final Remedy for Cleanup Released for Public Comment, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) Hobson Yard, Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 invites the public to review and comment on the proposed final remedy for cleanup at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) - Hobson Yard Site located at 801 West O Street in Lincoln, Nebraska (EPA ID # NED000822767).

The public is encouraged to review EPA’s investigation reports and other historic information regarding the BNSF Hobson Yard Site. This information is available at the following locations during normal business hours:

Bennett Martin Public Library
136 South 14th St.
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
(404) 441-8500

EPA Region 7 Library
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, Kansas 66219
(913) 551-7979

The public comment period runs February 11 to March 13, 2013, to enable the public to comment on the proposed corrective measures. Written comments should be mailed or emailed to:

Ruby Crysler
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, KS 66219
Email: crysler.ruby@epa.gov

Comments should be received no later than March 13, 2013.

Comments received will be summarized in a Response to Comments, and responses will be provided to those individuals providing the comments. The Response to Comments will be drafted at the conclusion of the public comment period and incorporated into the Administrative Record. EPA may modify the corrective measures based upon new information and comments from the public.

A public hearing is not scheduled at this time. If one is requested in writing with a statement of issues to be raised, EPA will conduct a hearing and receive both oral and written comments.


In 1994, EPA negotiated an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) requiring BNSF to perform interim measures, a RCRA Facility Investigation, and a corrective measure study. The site, as defined in the AOC, is the northeast portion of the entire BNSF property (approximately 100 acres).

The site was originally developed as a freight yard and steam engine terminal by the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad in 1906. Freight trains were assembled and steam engines were serviced and fueled in the yard. The old steam locomotives were replaced by diesel switch engines beginning in the 1940s. In 1956, about 95 percent of Burlington’s operations were converted to diesel. Burlington Northern Railroad came into existence when the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy merged with the Great Northern and Northern Pacific in 1970. The yard continued to be used for car switching, storage, repair, diesel engine maintenance, and diesel engine fueling.

In 1992, EPA conducted a compliance inspection that included sampling of sludges within the Filled Lagoon. Several chlorinated solvents were detected at concentrations exceeding EPA’s Toxicity Characteristic Levels. The source of the chlorinated solvents in the sludge is believed to be the historic industrial waste water discharges to the lagoon system.

In 1993, BNSF detected a dense non-aqueous phase liquid in a site monitoring well located near a 20,000-gallon aboveground storage tank formerly used to store chlorinated solvents (PCE Tank Area). Ongoing groundwater monitoring has revealed widespread groundwater contamination that appears to be sourced from both the contaminated soils and sludges within the Filled Lagoon and the contaminated soils in the area of the former PCE storage tank.

As directed by the 1994 AOC, BNSF has implemented interim measures in the Former PCE Tank Area and in the Filled Lagoon Area to attempt to reduce contamination in these source areas.


The following contaminants have been detected:

In Soil: In Groundwater: In Surface Water and Sediment:


PCE Tank Area South Filled Lagoon Area Diesel Storage Tank Area


If you have questions, or want to join the mailing list, please contact:

Beckie Himes
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA, Region 7
Office of Public Affairs
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, KS 66219
Toll-free at (800) 223-0425, ext. 7253
Email: himes.beckie@epa.gov

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