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Interstate Lead Co. (ILCO)

Photos/Multimedia

Remediated area of the Acmar Church, one of the seven satellite sites included as part of the ILCO Superfund site.

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: ALD041906173
Location: Leeds, Jefferson County, AL
Lat/Long: 33.688880, -086.633330
Congressional District: 06
NPL Status: Proposed: 09/18/85; Final 06/10/86
Affected Media: Ground water, Sediment, Soil, Surface water
Cleanup Status: Physical cleanup activities have started.
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: Yes
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Portion of site not in use – main facility at the site is vacant. Portion of site in continued use – residential land uses, commercial land uses, municipal land uses and other land uses including a church are located at satellite sites 
Site Manager: Charles King (king.charlesl@epa.gov)


Current Site Status

The Interstate Lead Company (ILCO) site includes the area where ILCO operated a secondary lead smelter and lead battery recycling facility from 1970 until 1992. The site also includes seven satellite sites located in and around Leeds, Alabama, where the company disposed of contaminated wastes from its main facility. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1986 because of contaminated ground water, sediment, soil and surface water resulting from facility operations. EPA, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) and the ILCO Site Remediation Group, 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 residents and businesses to the public water supply. By conducting cleanup activities, placing institutional controls on site properties, monitoring ground water and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA, ADEM and the site’s PRPs continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The 11.5-acre site is located in Leeds, Alabama, approximately 15 miles east of Birmingham. The site includes the main ILCO facility and seven satellite sites in and around Leeds. The main ILCO facility is located at 8551 Borden Avenue (formerly 1247 Borden Avenue) in southeast Leeds. The seven satellite sites include:

Borden Avenue and the ILCO Parking Lot border the main ILCO site to the north, an abandoned foundry and a wooded area border the area to the south, an unnamed tributary of Dry Creek borders the area to the west, and a commercial business borders the area to the east. Site surroundings include industrial and residential land uses.

The main ILCO facility operated as a secondary lead smelter and lead battery recycling facility from 1970 to 1992. From 1970 to 1984, ILCO disposed of contaminated materials and wastewater treatment sludge at the seven satellite sites. In 1986, EPA listed the site on the NPL. ILCO declared bankruptcy in 1992.

The vacant main ILCO facility is fenced and gated. ILCO and Interstate Trucking Company, Inc., an affiliated company, own the main ILCO facility and the ILCO Parking Lot satellite site across the street. Residential and other land uses remain in place at several satellite sites.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in ground water, sediment, soil and surface water that could potentially harm people in the area. Investigations at the seven satellite sites found contamination in soil, sediment and ground water contamination. Contaminants of concerns include lead, antimonyarseniccadmiumchromium and nickel.

Some ground water contamination remains below the main ILCO facility and the ILCO Parking Lot and Fleming’s Patio satellite sites. However, a water line connects people living or working in the area to the public water supply.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

ILCO Site Remediation Group, the site’s PRPs, lead site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA and ADEM.

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Site Cleanup Plan

Site investigations and cleanup activities have focused on three areas, which EPA refers to as operable units, or OUs. These areas include OU-1: soil, sediment and ground water contamination in the seven satellite sites near the main ILCO facility, except for ground water at the ILCO Parking Lot satellite site; OU-2: soil and ground water contamination at the Main ILCO facility and ground water contamination at the ILCO Parking Lot satellite site; and OU-3: contamination of surface water, sediment and fish in the unnamed tributary, Dry Creek and Little Cahaba River.

In 1991, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for OU-1. The cleanup plan was amended in 1994 and 1996. The plan included the following activities:

In 1994, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a ROD) for OU-2. EPA amended the cleanup plan in 1996. The plan included the following activities:

In 1995, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a ROD) for OU-3. The plan included the following activities:

Data collected since the initial remedy was selected indicate that the soil, sediment, and groundwater remedies specified for the City of Leeds Landfill, Gulf/BP Service Station, and Dry Creek and unnamed tributary are no longer necessary. The remedies for the soil and groundwater at the City of Leeds Landfill and the Gulf/BP Service Station were changed to No Action. The soil and groundwater at these sites no longer pose a hazard, making additional cleanup action unnecessary.

Also, recent data supports amending the groundwater remedy for the ILCO Main Facility and Parking Lot from pump and treat to In Situ Precipitation. The amended remedial action for the OU-2 ILCO Main Facility and Parking Lot addresses the remaining contamination in the OU-2 groundwater. The remedial action for the soil, which included excavation and off-site disposal at an approved facility, was not changed.  The major components of the selected remedy for the amended remedial action include:

For OU-3, Dry Creek and the unnamed tributary, the amended remedy for the sediment and surface water is No Action. No additional remedial action is necessary since sampling shows that lead levels in all media no longer pose an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment. As a result, the fish advisory and surface water, sediment, and biota monitoring are no longer necessary.EPA issued the final amended ROD to the OU-1, OU-2, and OU-3 RODs in September 2012 to reflect these changes.

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

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Cleanup Progress

In the early 1980s, EPA and ADEM conducted investigations and found the main ILCO facility in violation of hazardous waste storage, disposal and discharge standards. In 1984, EPA conducted short-term cleanup activities at the Acmar Church of God (now the New Life Fellowship) satellite site. EPA removed approximately 5,000 cubic yards of waste material and soil. In 1992, EPA conducted cleanup activities at the main ILCO facility. EPA removed and transported over 5,000 tons of contaminated material to a permitted hazardous waste landfill and collected and treated acid stored in several on-site impoundments.

Between 2000 and 2001, PRPs dug up, treated and disposed of 220,243 tons of soil and debris off site.

In 2004 and 2005, PRPs removed additional contaminated soil. PRPs have completed nearly all cleanup activities. EPA placed institutional controls on the main ILCO facility and the ILCO Parking Lot and Fleming’s Patio satellite sites to restrict land use and the placement of wells on the property.

EPA has directed the PRP Group to proceed with the design of the In Situ Precipitation remedy for the OU-2 groundwater. The PRP Group will provide the design documents for EPA and ADEM review and approval and proceed with the implementing the ground water remedy. The PRP Group plans to implement the OU-2 groundwater remedy activities in summer 2012.

The site’s second Five-Year Review, completed in 2011, found that the cleanup for OU-1 remains protective of human health and the environment and that the cleanup for OU-2 and OU-3 will be protective of human health and the environment upon completion.

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

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Enforcement Activities

EPA negotiated legal agreements with the site PRPs to fund site cleanup, monitoring and oversight activities.

RODs 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 and information meetings.

For the 2012 amended Record of Decision, EPA issued an Amended Proposed Cleanup Plan to the public as part of the process to modify the remedies. ADEM reviewed and concurred with the remedy described in the Amended Proposed Plan for the modified remedial actions prior to the plan being released for public comment. EPA published a notice of availability for the final Amended Proposed Plan in the Leeds Herald newspaper and provided the public with an opportunity to provide written and oral comments to EPA from June 18 to July 18, 2012. No comments were received from the public.

Prior to beginning the OU-2 groundwater remedial action, EPA will notify the surrounding community of the activities.

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Future Work

EPA is working to implement the OU-2 remedy to address ground water contamination. Monitoring of ground water will continue until remedial goals are reached.

EPA completed the last Five-Year Review in 2011 and plans to complete the next Five-Year Review in 2016.

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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

Leeds Public Library
802 Parkway Drive SE 
Leeds, AL  35094

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