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Distler Brickyard

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Demolition debris at the Distler Brickyard site.

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: KYD980602155
Location: West Point, Hardin County, KY
Lat/Long: 37.989710, -85.951380
Congressional District: 02
NPL Status: Proposed: 12/30/82; Final: 09/08/83
Affected Media: Ground water, Soil
Cleanup Status: Construction complete - physical cleanup activities have been completed
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: Yes
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: None
Site Manager: Michael Townsend (townsend.michael@epa.gov)


Current Site Status

The Distler Brickyard site includes an area where a brick manufacturer operated from the late 1800s to the mid-1970s and waste storage operations took place from 1976 to 1979. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983 because of contaminated ground water and soil resulting from operations at the site. EPA, the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (KDEP) and 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 collecting additional data and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA, KDEP and the site’s PRP continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The 3-acre site is approximately 17 miles southwest of Louisville, just north of mile-marker 36 on U.S. Route 60/31 West (Dixie Highway) in West Point, Hardin County, Kentucky. The site is part of a larger property, a 70-acre farm. The site includes the remains of five brick kilns, pump stations and wells. Grass and shrubs cover the remaining site area.

Forested land borders the site to the north, south and east. U.S. Route 60/31 West borders the site to the west. An Illinois Central Railroad track runs through the site, parallel to the brick kilns. Several house foundations and an old barn are located 300 feet east of the railroad track. Residential areas and West Point are located less than a mile north of the site. The Distler Farm Superfund site is located two miles north of the site.

From the late 1800s to the mid-1970s, a brick manufacturing plant operated at the site. In 1976, Kentucky Liquid Recycling Inc. leased the site property and began to use it to store waste. Operations disposed of waste at the site until 1979, when KDEP ordered the operations to cease. In 1983, EPA listed the site on the NPL. The site is not in use.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in ground water and soil that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from operations at the site. Contaminants of concern include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and heavy metals.

EPA has addressed soil contamination at the site.

KDEP treated ground water at the site until 2008. KDEP continues to monitor ground water.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

KDEP leads operation and maintenance activities and long-term cleanup 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:

In 1988, EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) to require the cleanup of soil and ground water to health-based criteria levels.

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, KDEP ordered Kentucky Liquid Recycling Inc. to cease its operations at the site.

During initial site inspections, KDEP found 2,310 drums containing chemicals, stressed vegetation and stained soil as well as dead grass, trees and birds.

In 1982, EPA removed 2,310 drums and 42 tractor trailers of contaminated soil. EPA transported contaminated soil off site for incineration and backfilled, graded and seeded the dug-up areas.

In 1994, KDEP began operating the site’s permanent ground water treatment system.

EPA and KDEP conducted additional sampling between 1998 and 2001.

In 1998, EPA and KDEP developed and applied an innovative cleanup technology at the site. The technology combined hydraulic fracturing with injection of chitin (i.e., a slurry of shrimp and crab shells) to enhance the breakdown of remaining site contaminants using the living organisms. As the first of its kind in-field application of the technology, the project received partial funding of $500,000 from the National Science Foundation. The pilot application of the technology began in 2001. The full-scale project operated in 2003 and 2004.

The site’s third Five-Year Review, completed in 2008, found available information was inadequate to determine whether the site’s cleanup had completely achieved cleanup goals. The Five-Year Review recommended that the evaluation of additional monitoring data to determine whether the cleanup protects people and the environment.

In 2008, operation of the site’s ground water treatment system ended.

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’s PRP to fund site activities. KDEP leads operation and maintenance activities and long-term cleanup activities at the site in cooperation with EPA.

The ROD, ESD 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, interviews and information meetings.

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Future Work

KDEP is conducting a data collection program to determine the completion status of the site’s cleanup.

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

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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

West Point City Hall – City Clerk
509 Elm Street
West Point, KY  40177

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