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Alpha Chemical Corporation


Alpha Chem Facility

Warehouse and tank structures on Alpha Chemical site

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: FLD041495441
Location: Kathleen, Polk County, FL
Lat/Long: 28.100830, -082.0097
Congressional District: 12
NPL Status: Proposed: 12/30/82; Final: 09/08/83; Deleted: 06/28/95
Affected Media: Ground water, Soil
Cleanup Status: Deleted from NPL
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: Yes
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: In continued use – industrial land uses are located on site
Site Manager: Deborah Cox (cox.deborah@epa.gov)

Current Site Status

The Alpha Chemical Corporation site includes an area where various manufacturers have produced fiberglass material since 1967. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983 because of contaminated soil and ground water resulting from manufacturing operations. EPA, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and Alpha Resins Corporation (ARC), 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. Site contamination does not currently threaten people living and working near the site. By conducting required Five-Year Reviews, EPA, FDEP and the PRP continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The site is located three miles north of Lakeland, Florida, in the town of Kathleen. The 32-acre site includes a resin manufacturing plant, parking areas, storage tanks, a rail spur and undeveloped land. Residential properties surround the site.

View site location map.

ARC started producing unsaturated polyester resin for fiberglass manufacturers in 1967. Four manmade ponds used for the disposal of wastewater and solid waste from resin manufacturing that gradually allow wastewater to enter the ground operated on the company’s property from 1967 until 1976. The ponds were unlined and permitted by the state to receive the wastewater. ARC used one of the ponds later for the disposal of solid waste and then covered the pond with dirt and seeded the area. In 1994, ARC transferred the site property to Alpha/Owens-Coming LLC (now AOC, LLC). The facility manufactures unsaturated polyester resin for the boat and bathtub industries.

In 1983, EPA listed the site on the NPL. Following the completion of all cleanup activities, EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 1995.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations identified contamination in soil and ground water that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from waste handling practices at the site. Contaminants of concern identified include xylene, styrene, ethylbenzene, benzoic acid, 1,2-dichloropropane and other volatile organic compounds.

Nearby off-site wells have not been exposed to site contamination. A 20-foot-thick impermeable clay layer shields the Floridan Aquifer, a source of drinkable ground water for area residents, from contaminated ground water. In 1986, the PRP conducted an endangerment assessment with EPA oversight. The study concluded that the area of contaminated ground water was not large and that the chance for off-site exposure to contamination was minimal.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

The PRP led site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA and FDEP.

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Site Cleanup Plan

In 1988, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for the site. The plan included the following activities:

Institutional controls placed on the property in 1989 make sure that the use of the site property does not damage the protective cover or operation of any monitoring system. In 2010, EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences that formally added a requirement for institutional controls to the cleanup plan.

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

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Cleanup Progress

Parties have taken a number of cleanup actions at the site. The site’s PRP removed contaminated soil from one waste pond. The PRP then backfilled the area with clean soil. The PRP completed construction of a cap covering the remaining unlined pond in 1989 and continued ground water monitoring. The PRP seeded the cap surface to prevent possible hurricane damage and erosion.

Ground water and surface water monitoring confirmed that contamination had decreased, meeting state and federal cleanup standards, and that the protective cap over the contaminated soil was effective.

In 1995, EPA deleted the site from the NPL.

The site’s fourth Five-Year Review (FYR), completed in 2008, found that the ground water cleanup continues to be protective of human health and the environment. Access controls are well maintained and public access to the site is restricted. The site is in industrial reuse and the site's owner intends for this use to continue over the long term. Clean soil placed over contaminated soils and the cover is well maintained, and the institutional controls in place make sure that the protective cap and the cap monitoring system remain protected.

As part of the fifth FYR, the Florida Department of Health sampled potable gound-water wells in the area surrounding the site. No exceedances of the MCLs were detected within a quarter mile of the site. On site monitoring wells were also sampled with no exceedances noted.

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 PRP to investigate and clean up the site. The PRP continues to fund site cleanup, monitoring and oversight activities.

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Community Involvement

EPA 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, interviews and information meetings on cleanup progress and activities.

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Future Work

Regular quarterly inspections of the protective cap over contaminated soil ensure it is functioning as intended and that no erosion is occurring.


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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

Lakeland Public Library
100 Lake Morton Drive
Lakeland, FL  33801

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