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Triana/Tennessee River


Diversion ditch on the Triana/ Tennessee River site.

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile

EPA ID: ALD983166299
Location: Huntsville, Madison/Limestone Counties, AL
Lat/Long: 34.508880, -086.638190
Congressional District: 05
NPL Status: Proposed: 12/30/82; Final: 09/08/83
Affected Media: Soil, Sediment, Surface water, Fish tissue 
Cleanup Status: Construction complete - physical cleanup activities have been completed
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: NA
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: In continuous use - located completely within the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge and the Redstone Arsenal
Site Manager: Brian Farrier (farrier.brian@epa.gov)

Current Site Status

The Triana/Tennessee River site includes an area where the Olin Corporation operated a pesticide manufacturing plant from 1947 until 1970. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983 because of contaminated soil, sediment, surface water and fish tissue resulting from waste handling practices at the site. EPA, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) and the Olin Corporation (Olin), the site’s potentially responsible party (PRP), have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination. By monitoring fish tissue, sediment and surface water and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA, ADEM and the site’s PRP continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

Site related documents can be found in the Additional Information section below.

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Site Location and Background

The site includes an 11-mile stretch of the Huntsville Spring Branch and Indian Creek tributaries of the Tennessee River located in Morgan, Madison and Limestone counties in northern Alabama. The tributaries flow into the Tennessee River near Triana, Alabama. The site is located completely within the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge and the Redstone Arsenal, home to the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command and other defense-related agencies.

From 1947 to 1970, Olin operated a pesticide manufacturing plant within Redstone Arsenal and discharged wastewater into Huntsville Spring Branch. In 1983, EPA listed the site on the NPL.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in soil, sediment, ground water, surface water and fish tissue that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from waste handling practices at the site. Contaminants of concern include DDT.

Cleanup actions have addressed soil, sediment and surface water-related threats.

Site cleanup has made significant progress toward achieving the performance standard for fish tissue.

The site’s PRP continues to monitor fish tissue, surface water and sediment at the site. The PRP stopped ground water sampling in 1997 because sampling did not detect any significant ground water impacts.

Access to the site is highly restricted given its location within the perimeter of the Redstone Arsenal.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

Olin, the site’s PRP, leads site investigation and cleanup activities. A Review Panel provides oversight. The Review Panel includes representatives from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Tennessee Valley Authority, EPA, the U.S. Army and the State of Alabama.

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Site Cleanup Plan

In 1983, the State of Alabama, EPA and the site’s PRP entered into a legal agreement, referred to as a Consent Decree, requiring that the PRP carry out a cleanup plan to address contamination in fish tissue. The cleanup plan defined three reaches of surface water as A, B, and C and included the following activities:

The PRP completed these actions in 1987, effectively isolating at least 95 percent of the DDT estimated to be in Reach A.

The Consent Decree also included a requirement to conduct long-term annual monitoring of three fish species (bass, channel catfish, and smallmouth buffalo) in each reach to determine the effectiveness of the cleanup activities. The Consent Decree set the cleanup standard for DDT in fish filets at 5 parts per million. The Consent Decree required that the fish species meet this standard for three straight years, referred to as continued attainment, in each reach. After meeting the continued attainment goal in reach, under the Consent Decree, the PRP is required to sample each fish species in each reach after a period of seven years.

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Cleanup Progress

The site’s PRP conducted the cleanup activities described above from 1986 until 1987, and then began annual fish monitoring. In 1994 and 2003, respectively, largemouth bass and catfish achieved continued attainment of the performance standard in each reach. Smallmouth buffalo achieved continued attainment of the performance standard for Reaches B and C in 2010 and 2006, respectively. 

Annual fish monitoring since 2010 has consisted of smallmouth buffalo in Reach A. This fish species met the performance standard in this reach 2009 and 2010 but not in 2011. DDT levels found in 2011, 2012, and 2013 were 5.2 ppm, 6.6 ppm, and 4.2 ppm, respectively.

The site’s fourth Five-Year Review, completed February 17, 2010, found that the site’s cleanup continues to protect people and the environment from remaining site contamination.

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

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Enforcement Activities

In 1980, EPA and the State of Alabama filed complaints against the site’s PRP. The complaints alleged that DDT discharged from the manufacturing plant had created an imminent and substantial endangerment to human health and the environment.

The 1983 Consent Decree between the PRP, the State of Alabama, and the United States required the PRP to implement a cleanup plan to address contamination at the site. The PRP continues to fund site monitoring and oversight activities.

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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 annual public meetings of the Review Panel.

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Future Work

The PRP will continue to perform monitoring of smallmouth buffalo in Reach A until the species achieves continued attainment of the performance standard; the PRP will then conduct its required final fish monitoring event seven years later.

EPA completed the last Five-Year Review by February 10, 2015.

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Additional Information

Site Documents

Click on a topic to see available documents.

Legal Documents
Site Cleanup Reports

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

Triana Public Library
640 Sixth Street
Triana, AL  35756 

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