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Luminous Processes


Fast food restaurant on the former Luminous Processes site.

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: GAD990855819
Location: Athens, Clarke County, GA
Lat/Long: 33.940280, -083.471950
Congressional District: 11
NPL Status: Proposed: 10/23/81; Deleted before Final
Affected Media: Soil
Cleanup Status: Deleted from the NPL
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: NA (not a ground water site)
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: In commercial use
Site Manager: Bill Denman (denman.bill@epa.gov)

Current Site Status

The Luminous Processes, Inc. site includes the area where an industrial facility manufactured luminous watch and clock dials from 1952 to 1978. EPA proposed the site to the  National Priorities List (NPL) in 1981 because of contaminated soil resulting from facility operations. EPA and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (Georgia EPD) 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 cleaning up the site, EPA and Georgia EPD continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The 1-acre site is located on U.S. Highway 78/29 in Clarke County, Georgia, approximately four miles west of Athens. Site surroundings include commercial and residential land uses. Commercial businesses border the site. The site includes the area where Luminous Processes, Inc. operated a manufacturing facility from 1952 to 1978. Manufacturing operations used radioactive material in the production of luminous watch and clock dials. The company abandoned the site in 1980. The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and the Georgia Department of Health (now the Department of Human Resources) licensed the site. Due to financial problems, the owners never completed decontamination activities when the plant closed.

In 1981, EPA proposed the site to the NPL. EPA completed cleanup activities and deleted the site from the NPL in 1982. Currently, a fast food restaurant is located on the site.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in soil that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from manufacturing operations at the site. Contaminants of concern identified at the site included radium-226 and tritium (H-3).

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

Georgia EPD led site investigation and cleanup activities in cooperation with EPA.

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Site Cleanup Plan

In 1982, Georgia EPD conducted early cleanup actions. Cleanup actions addressed site contamination and EPA did not require a long-term site cleanup plan.

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Cleanup Progress

In 1982, Georgia EPD began site cleanup activities to address contaminated areas inside the former manufacturing facility and from the outdoor area around the facility. Georgia EPD dug up approximately 18,000 cubic feet of contaminated soil and removed more than 2,400 drums of chemicals. Georgia EPD disposed of the soil and drums at an off-site facility. Altogether, Georgia EPA removed nearly 500 millicuries (units of radioactivity) from the site. Georgia EPD also filled in dug-up areas with clean soil, seeded the areas and restricted public access with fencing and warning signs. Georgia EPD completed cleanup activities in a five-month period. EPA determined that Georgia EPD had conducted all necessary cleanup actions and deleted the site from the NPL in 1982.

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Enforcement Activities

EPA negotiated legal agreements with the site owners. However, Georgia EPD used state funds to investigate and clean up the site.

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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 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.

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Future Work

EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 1982.

EPA does not require Five-Year Reviews for the site.

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Additional Information

EPA 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

EPA does not have an information repository for the site.

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