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A.L. Taylor (Valley of the Drums)


Entrance to the A.L. Taylor site.

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: KYD980500961
Location: Brooks, Bullitt County, KY
Lat/Long: 38.081930, -085.725000
Congressional District: 02
NPL Status: Proposed: 06/10/82; Final: 09/08/83; Deleted: 05/17/96
Affected Media: Ground water, Soil, Surface water
Cleanup Status: Deleted from the NPL
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: Yes
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: None
Site Manager: Yvonne Jones (jones.yvonneo@epa.gov)

Current Site Status

The A.L. Taylor (Valley of the Drums) site includes an area used for waste disposal and drum recycling from 1967 to 1977. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983 because of contaminated ground water, soil and surface water resulting from waste handling practices. EPA, the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (KDEP) and the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs) investigated site conditions and took 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 monitoring ground water, regularly inspecting the site, and conducting required Five-Year Reviews, EPA and KDEP continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The 23-acre site is located in a rural area 10 miles south of Louisville, Kentucky, near State Highway 1020. The site includes 17 acres of wooded and grassy areas. A security fence encloses the remaining 6-acre-area. Site surroundings include wooded areas, private residences, Wilson Creek and a golf course. Some commercial businesses are also located nearby.

The site owner used the site for a waste disposal operation from 1967 to 1977. The owner dug up pits on site and emptied the contents of waste drums from area paint and coating industries into the pits before recycling the drums. After the Commonwealth of Kentucky stopped the owner from burying solvents, the site owner used soil from the nearby hillsides to cover the disposal pits. In addition, the owner stored thousands of drums on site, especially during the later years of site operations. The owner received and disposed of waste at the site until 1977.

The Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet (KNREP, now KDEP) first documented releases of hazardous substances from the site in 1975 and pursued legal action against the site owner at the time. In January 1979, there were releases of oil and hazardous substances at the site. Pollutants were leaking from drums and spreading into the nearby Wilson Creek. EPA inspected the site in 1981 and discovered 4,000 deteriorating and leaking drums that were discharging pollutants into the Wilson Creek.

In 1983, EPA listed the site on the NPL. The site is not currently in use.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in ground water, surface water and soil that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from waste handling practices at the site. Contaminants of concern include heavy metals, volatile organic compounds such as ketones, plastics such as pthalates, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Ground water contamination remains and is primarily confined to the site boundary. People living near the site are not using affected ground water.

EPA removed contaminated surface water and capped contaminated soil. The capped area is fenced, secured and regularly inspected.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

EPA initially led site investigation and cleanup activities in cooperation with KDEP. KDEP currently leads operation, maintenance and monitoring activities, in cooperation with EPA.

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Site Cleanup Plan

In 1986, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for the site. The plan included the following activities:

Summaries of site cleanup approaches are also available online in key site cleanup documents, including the ROD.

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Cleanup Progress

In 1979, EPA conducted an emergency short-term cleanup at the site, removing and storing drums and building trenches to contain waste and to protect nearby Wilson Creek. 

In 1980, following a request by KNREP, five PRPs removed several thousand drums from the site.

In 1981, EPA removed the remaining 4,200 drums and disposed of them off site. EPA then regraded the site to reduce the amount of ponded water on site and minimize surface erosion. 

In 1987, EPA installed the clay cap, perimeter drainage system, ground water monitoring wells and security fence to address remaining soil contamination. In 1988 and 1989, EPA reseeded and regraded the cap.

EPA performed operation and maintenance activities at the site from September 1998 until February 1990. Since then, KDEP has performed these activities, which include ground water monitoring and cap maintenance.

The site’s fourth Five-Year Review, completed in 2008, found that the site’s cleanup approach 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 1991, EPA and the site’s PRPs signed a legal agreement to repay EPA for the costs the Agency incurred during initial cleanup activities. The PRPs also agreed to provide funding to perform site monitoring, operation and maintenance work. EPA continues to use this funding to support operation and maintenance activities.

The ROD and Five-Year Reviews online provide information on specific legal agreements for 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 included public notices and information meetings.

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Future Work

EPA completed the last Five-Year Review in 2008 and plans to complete the next Five-Year Review in 2013. 

KDEP continues to perform operation, maintenance and monitoring activities.


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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

Ridgeway Memorial Library
127 North Walnut Street
Shepherdsville, KY  40165

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