Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study Begins - Administrative Record Available for Public Comment, West Highway 6 & Highway 281 Superfund Site, Hastings, Nebraska
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 is announcing the start of Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) activities at the West Highway 6 & Highway 281 Superfund site. These activities will include additional investigation of soils and ground water contamination; determining the threats posed by contamination from the site; and developing a plan to clean up the site.
EPA continues to operate the existing soil and ground water treatment systems at the source area of the ground water contamination.
The site is an area of ground water contamination along a portion of Highway 6, also known as J Street, in southwest Hastings. Tetrachloroethylene, or PCE, and other common industrial solvents have been detected in the ground water in this area. Some of these contaminants have been detected in two nearby municipal wells and some private wells. EPA estimates the plume of contamination to be approximately two miles long.
A source of the contamination is the former Dana Corporation (Dana) facility near the intersection of West Highway 6 and Highway 281. Past releases of solvents from Dana's historical manufacturing operations have impacted the soils and ground water.
In 1998 Dana acknowledged a release of PCE from a degreasing pit to the soils beneath the facility. Dana then voluntarily initiated investigations of the soil and ground water beneath the facility. These investigations revealed significant concentrations of PCE and other contaminants in the soil and shallow ground water beneath the facility.
In 2003, Dana enrolled in the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality's (NDEQ's) voluntary cleanup program to address the contamination. Dana installed and operated a ground water extraction system and a soil vapor extraction and treatment system. These systems were only intended to treat contamination at the facility. However, NDEQ investigations in 2004 found that these systems were not preventing contaminated ground water from moving off the facility. NDEQ attempted to obtain Dana's voluntary compliance to determine the full extent of contaminated ground water, but was unsuccessful.In late 2004, NDEQ asked for EPA's assistance to compel Dana to perform further investigation and cleanup activities. NDEQ then terminated its voluntary cleanup agreement with Dana. Dana and 40 of its domestic subsidiaries filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in March 2006.
On April 19, 2006, the West Highway 6 & Highway 281 site was added to EPA's National Priorities List. Dana announced it would stop operating the existing treatment systems at the facility in May 2006. At that time, EPA initiated removal action activities to continue operating the treatment systems and to assess their effectiveness.
PCE has been found at high levels (182,000 micrograms per liter) in ground water beneath the facility. PCE has also previously been detected in Municipal Wells 13 and 14 and several private drinking water wells. EPA's drinking water standard for PCE is 5 micrograms per liter.
ACTIVITIES TO DATE
EPA activities at the site include the following:
- Operation of the existing soil and ground water treatment systems at the facility.
- Preliminary investigations to assess the effectiveness of the soil and ground water treatment systems.
- Private well surveys to identify affected and potentially affected residents and businesses.
FUTURE REMEDIAL ACTIONS
EPA's remedial process is designed to find a long-term solution to address the contamination at the site. EPA will perform the remedial investigation to fully define the extent of the contamination, and conduct a feasibility study to evaluate different alternatives to clean up the contamination. EPA will ultimately present this information to the community and ask for comments on the proposed actions before making decisions regarding the cleanup.ADMINISTRATIVE RECORD
EPA invites the public to review and comment on the administrative record file for the West Highway 6 & Highway 281 Site. A 30-day public comment period began September 7, 2006 and will continue through October 7, 2006. The file is available during regular business hours at the following locations:
Hastings Public Library
Fourth and Denver Streets
EPA Region 7
901 N. Fifth Street
Kansas City, Kansas
Comments on the administrative record file, questions and requests for additional information can be addressed to:
Office of External Programs
U.S. EPA Region 7
901 N. Fifth Street
Kansas City, KS 66101
Toll free: 1-800-223-0425