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Post-Katrina NPL and Non-NPL Superfund Site Evaluations
Southern and Coastal Alabama and Mississippi
October 2005

US-EPA, Region 4, SESD, Athens, Georgia

[ Full Report | EnviroMapper for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita ]

Executive Summary

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the Gulf coast of the southeastern United States, causing unprecedented damage from eastern Louisiana to near Mobile, Alabama. During the period from October 12 through October 14, 2005, personnel from the USEPA Region 4, Science and Ecosystem Support Division (SESD), Athens, Georgia, collected sediment, surface water and groundwater samples in the vicinity of nine National Priorities List (NPL) and two non-NPL Superfund sites in the potentially affected region to determine if storm-related releases occurred or, in the case of sites with operating remedial systems, make determinations as to the functionality of these systems. The locations of these sites are shown and identified in Figures 1 and 2 in Appendix A of this report. Actual sample locations are shown in Figures 3 through 12, also included in Appendix A. The analytical data are presented in Section 6 of this report.

EPA’s conclusions regarding the potential impact of the hurricane on these sites are based on a comparison of post-hurricane data to existing soil and sediment clean-up values defined for the site, or available past sample data collected during remedial investigations or routine monitoring activities. In addition, the results were compared to EPA Region 9 Preliminary Remediation Goals (PRGs) and the Office of Water's 2004 National Recommended Water Quality Criteria (NRWQC) to determine if conditions at the sites might represent previously unrecognized risks to human health and the environment. EPA Region 9 PRGs (available at: http://www.epa.gov/region9/waste/sfund/prg/index.html) are risk-based concentrations based on long-term (i.e., 30-year) exposures to children and adults in a residential setting. The PRGs are intended to assist risk assessors and others in initial screening-level evaluations of environmental measurements. EPA Office of Water's 2004 NRWQC (available at: http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/criteria/wqcriteria.html ) are a compilation of surface water quality criteria for the protection of aquatic life and human health for approximately 150 pollutants. The impact evaluations are presented in Section 7 of this report.

The scope of the investigations at each site and the conclusions that were reached regarding releases or impacts from Hurricane Katrina are presented in the following site summaries. The NPL status is provided in the summary heading.

Olin-McIntosh Plant (NPL) (Figure 3, Appendix A)

The Olin-McIntosh plant is an active chemical facility that previously used mercury in its processes. Surface water and sediment samples were collected at two locations at the Olin-McIntosh plant and were analyzed for mercury and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Total mercury was detected in one sediment sample at 0.58 mg/kg, which is consistent with results obtained from the 1991-1992 sampling for the remedial investigation conducted at the site. 1,3-Dichlorobenzene was detected in the same sediment sample at 4 ug/kg. This level is well below the 140 mg/kg cleanup level set for the site and the risk-based Preliminary Remediation Goal (PRG) of 530 mg/kg. Mercury was detected in one surface water sample at a concentration of 0.21 ug/l. The detected concentration is below the National Recommended Water Quality Criteria (NRWQC) value of 0.77 ug/l, but above the State of Alabama standard for protection of aquatic life of 0.012 ug/l. This sample, however, was not taken in a permanent body of water capable of sustaining aquatic life. Furthermore, the reported concentration is less than concentrations of mercury previously detected in surface water samples at the site.

Reported concentrations of site-related contaminants of concern are consistent with historical characterization data and no chemicals were found to exceed risk-based PRGs. Thus, EPA does not believe the site was impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

Ciba Geigy (NPL) (Figure 4, Appendix A)

Ciba-Geigy is an active chemical facility which, in the past, produced the pesticide, dichlorodiphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT). Sediment and surface water was sampled in the vicinity of the Ciba-Geigy facility’s permitted National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) outfall. Additionally, a sample of the on-site permitted wastewater effluent was also collected. All samples were analyzed for diazinon and pesticide/PCB compounds.

The pesticide DDT, and its metabolites (i.e., breakdown products) DDD and DDE were detected in the sediment sample at concentrations of 3.3 ug/kg, 4.4 ug/kg, and 7.1 ug/kg, respectively. None of the detected levels of DDT, DDD and DDE exceeded residential Preliminary Remediation Goals (PRGs). Likewise, the reported levels for diazinon were below its residential PRG of 55,000 ug/kg.

Based on these sampling results, EPA does not believe the site was impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

Stauffer-Cold Creek (NPL) (Figure 5, Appendix A)

The Stauffer-Cold Creek plant is an active chemical production facility, now owned and operated by Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. Syngenta produces agricultural pesticide and herbicides, including thiocarbamates; thus, samples were analyzed for a suite of thiocarbamate herbicides, including Butylate (Sutan™), Molinate (Ordram™), Cycloate (Ro-Neet™), EPTC (Eptam™), Pebulate (Tillam™) and Vernolate (Vernam™). Four sediment samples were collected near the facility’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) outfalls and were analyzed for six targeted thiocarbamate herbicides.

Five of the thiocarbamate herbicides were detected in three of the four samples. Detected concentrations of the thiocarbamate herbicides were below available residential Preliminary Remediation Goals (PRGs).

Based on these sampling results, EPA does not believe the site was impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

Stauffer-LeMoyne (NPL) (Figure 5, Appendix A)

The Stauffer-LeMoyne plant is an active chemical production facility. Past production at the plant included carbon tetrachloride, chlorine and caustic soda (sodium hydroxide). Two sediment samples were collected near the facility’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) outfalls.

The samples were analyzed for total mercury, cyanide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Total mercury was detected at 0.87 mg/kg, which is below the residential Preliminary Remediation Goals (PRGs) for both total mercury (33 mg/kg) and methyl mercury (6.1 mg/kg).

Based on these sampling results, EPA does not believe the site was impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

Perdido Groundwater Contamination (NPL) (Figure 6, Appendix A)

The Perdido Groundwater Contamination Site is a 15-acre site with benzene contaminated groundwater caused by a 1965 train derailment. The remedy for the site includes a groundwater extraction and treatment system.

Two water samples, one of untreated groundwater and one of treated groundwater, were collected from the groundwater treatment system at the site. Both samples were analyzed for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). No VOCs were detected in either sample.

Based on these sampling results, EPA does not believe the site was impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

Redwing Carriers (Saraland Apartments) (NPL) (Figure 7, Appendix A)

From 1961 to 1971, Redwing Carriers, Inc., a trucking company, owned and operated the Saraland site as a terminal for cleaning, repairing and parking its fleet of trucks. The chemicals of concern for the site are polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon compounds (PAHs), pesticides, herbicides and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Two sediment samples were collected from ditches adjacent to and down gradient of the site.

Seven different PAHs were detected in the samples. The level of benzo[a]pyrene in one sample (150 ug/kg) exceeded the residential Preliminary Remediation Goal (PRG), but fell within a risk range of 1 in 1,000,000 to 1 in 10,000 risk of an individual developing cancer over a lifetime from exposure to those concentrations, which USEPA has found acceptable in other contexts. The levels of the other PAHs detected, as well as the levels of Dieldrin and DDE, were below residential PRGs.

Based on these sampling results, EPA does not believe the site was impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

American Creosote Works (NPL) (Figure 8, Appendix A)

The American Creosote Works site is a former wood treating facility that operated from 1912 until the late 1990s. Surface water and sediment samples were collected from two locations downstream of the site.

Numerous polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon compounds (PAHs), were detected in the two sediment samples. The results are consistent with the results of previous samples collected at the site. Five site-related PAH compounds were also detected in the surface water samples, but all levels were less than 10 ug/l and below National Recommended Water Quality Criteria (NRWQC).

Based on the site history and the Remedial Project Manager’s direct observations, the contamination observed and documented by this evaluation existed prior to Hurricane Katrina. There is, therefore, no indication that Hurricane Katrina had any adverse impact at the site.

Sonford Products (Non-NPL) (Figure 9, Appendix A)

From 1972 to 1975, Sonford Products and Sonford International operated at the site producing liquid formulations from solid pentachlorophenol. Contaminants of concern include pentachlorophenol, dioxin, arsenic, lead, toxaphene and lindane. This site is currently in progress for NPL listing, and contamination will addressed through the remedial process.

Three sediment samples were collected and analyzed for metals, extractable organic compounds, pesticide/PCBs and dioxins. Detections of lead in sediment samples were below residential screening values, however arsenic and benzo(a)pyrene exceeded residential PRGs but fell within a risk range of 1 in 1,000,000 to 1 in 10,000 risk over background of an individual developing cancer over a lifetime from exposure to those concentrations, which EPA has found acceptable in other contexts.

The dioxin/furan analyses for these three sediment samples showed that detected concentrations were well within the range of reported levels from pre-hurricane sampling. Levels of pentachlorophenol were below residential PRGs.

Based on these sampling results, EPA does not believe the site was impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

Davis Timber (NPL) (Figure 10, Appendix A)

The Davis Timber Company site is a former timber processing and wood preserving facility operated by the Davis Timber Company from 1972 to the late 1980's. Sediment samples were collected at two locations downstream of the site and analyzed for semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), dioxins and furans.

Low levels of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon compounds (PAHs), dioxins/furans and pentachlorophenol (PCP) were detected. The results are consistent with the results of previous samples collected at the site in 2004.

Since there does not appear to be any significant change in concentrations of site-related chemicals at the sampled locations, EPA does not believe the site was impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

Chemfax, Inc. (Non-NPL) (Figure 11, Appendix A)

Chemfax, Inc. operated from 1955 to 1995 and produced synthetic hydrocarbon resins and waxes from petroleum products.

Four sediment samples were collected across four transects of the Bernard Bayou at locations likely to have been impacted by a release from site. Acetophenone was the only extractable organic compound detected and was reported at a concentration of 96 ug/kg in one sample. This concentration is well below residential PRG soil screening values. Acetone was the only volatile organic compound identified in the four samples and was present at concentrations less than 20 ug/kg. Detected concentrations were below residential PRGs.

There is no indication of an adverse impact due to a release from the Chemfax, Inc. site associated with Hurricane Katrina. Reported concentrations are all below available risk-based soil screening levels for these analytes.

Picayune Wood Treating (NPL) (Figure 12, Appendix A)

The Picayune Wood Treating site had been used as a wood treating operation from approximately 1946 to 1999. Three sediment samples and one surface water sample were collected in the vicinity of the site and analyzed for semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) including polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

PAHs were detected in sediment samples but not in surface water. The levels of PAHs detected in the sediment exceeded residential Preliminary Remediation Goals (PRGs) but fell within a risk range of 1 in 1,000,000 to 1 in 10,000 risk of an individual developing cancer over a lifetime from exposure to those concentrations, which EPA has found acceptable in other contexts.

Based on these sampling results, EPA does not believe the site was impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

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Post-Katrina NPL and Non-NPL Site Evaluations
Southern and Coastal Alabama and Mississippi
October 2005
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