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Sangamo Weston, Inc./Twelve-Mile Creek/Lake Hartwell PCB Contamination

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: SCD003354412
Location: Pickens, Pickens County, SC
Lat/Long: 34.895, -82.7232
Congressional District: 03
NPL Status: Proposed: 01/22/87; Final: 02/21/90
Affected Media: Debris, Ground Water, Sediment, Sludge, Soil
Cleanup Status: Construction complete, new remedial activities underway
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: Yes
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Portion of the site is in recreational reuse
Site Manager: Craig Zeller (zeller.craig@epa.gov)

Current Site Status

The Sangamo Weston, Inc./Twelve-Mile Creek/Lake Hartwell PCB Contamination site includes the area where Sangamo Weston, Inc. owned and operated a capacitor manufacturing plant from 1955 to 1987. The site also includes six areas where operations disposed of waste as well as areas downstream from the site, including a portion of Twelve Mile Creek and Lake Hartwell. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1990 because of contaminated debris, ground water, sediment, sludge, soil and fish tissue resulting from facility operations.

EPA, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) and Schlumberger Technology Corporation, 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. A water line connects residences and businesses to the public water supply. By treating and monitoring ground water and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA, SCDHEC and the site’s PRP continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The site is located in Pickens, South Carolina, and includes a former capacitor manufacturing plant, six areas used for waste disposal and areas downstream from the plant, including a portion of Twelve Mile Creek and Lake Hartwell. The majority of the manufacturing plant area and the six waste disposal areas are vacant. Residential land uses and undeveloped land surround the site.

From 1955 until 1987, Sangamo Weston, Inc. operated a capacitor manufacturing plant at the site. Operations disposed of wastes at the six areas near the plant and discharged wastewater into Town Creek, a tributary of Twelve Mile Creek which is a major tributary of Lake Hartwell. In 1990, EPA listed the site on the NPL. Following cleanup activities, EPA deleted portions of the site from the NPL.

As a result of a merger, Sangamo Weston, Inc. became Schlumberger Technology Corporation. In 1999, Schlumberger Technology Corporation donated part of the site property to the City of Pickens. The locality redeveloped the area into a public recreation complex. Following cleanup activities, the manufacturing plant area supports industrial uses and the six areas support residential land uses.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in debris, ground water, sediment, sludge, soil and fish tissue that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from waste handling practices at the site. Contaminants of concern include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The site’s ground water contamination remains within the boundaries of the plant area of the site and the boundaries of one of the six satellite disposal areas. Parties issued a fish advisory, which remains in effect for fish caught from Lake Hartwell and Twelve Mile Creek.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

Schlumberger Technology Corporation, the site’s PRP, led site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA and SCDHEC.

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Site Cleanup Plan

Site investigations and cleanup activities have focused on two areas, which EPA refers to as operable units, or OUs. These areas include OU-1: the land-based contamination at the plant and six disposal areas; and OU-2: the lake and river areas downstream, including a section of Twelve Mile Creek and a portion of Lake Hartwell.

In 1990, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for OU-1. The plan included the following activities:

In 1994, EPA issued a cleanup plan (ROD) for OU-2. The plan included the following activities:

In 2009, EPA issued a ROD Amendment to address ground water contamination through the use of chemicals called oxidants to break down contaminants.

EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) in 2009 to incorporate activities required to remove the Woodside 1 and Woodside 2 dams as part of the OU-2 cleanup plan.

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

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Cleanup Progress

Between 1993 and 1997, the site’s PRP dug up and treated approximately 60,000 tons of contaminated sediment, soil and sludge. The PRP placed treated soil back on the plant area, capped the area with top soil and regraded the area.

In 1994, the PRP began annual monitoring of sediments and fish tissue.

In 1997, the PRP began ground water treatment at one of the six disposal areas and operated the treatment system for approximately 10 years. The treatment system recovered 118 million gallons of ground water and removed 86 pounds of contamination. In 1998, treatment of ground water at the plant began. The system has recovered 225 million gallons of ground water and removed 1,630 pounds of VOCs and 18 pounds of PCBs.

In 1998, a public education program began to educate users of Lake Hartwell about current fish consumption advisories at the lake. As of 2009, 79 new fish advisory signs have been posted.
The PRP has made several efforts to make sure sediments are not trapped behind the impoundments on Twelve Mile Creek.

The site’s third Five-Year Review, completed in 2010, found that the cleanup remains protective of human health and the environment. EPA also recommended the installation of seep collectors at two freshwater springs near the plant. The collectors will collect VOC-contaminated water discharging from the springs for processing by the site’s ground water treatment plant.

In 2011, EPA began a supplemental site investigation to identify the location and amount of residual sediment deposits, determine the concentration of PCBs in those deposits, and conduct a risk assessment.

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 monitoring and oversight activities.

RODs, ESDs 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.

EPA continues to work with a community group interested in site cleanup activities.

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Future Work

The PRP continues to conduct annual monitoring of sediments and fish tissue.

EPA completed the last Five-Year Review in 2010 and plans to complete the next Five-Year Review in 2015.

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Additinal Information

EPA keeps additional site documents and information in site information repositories at the locations 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

RM Cooper Library
Clemson University
Clemson, SC  29634

Pickens County Public Library – Easley Branch
110 West First Avenue
Easley, SC  29640

Hart County Library
150 Benson Street
Hartwell, GA  30643

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