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Woolfolk Chemical Works, Inc.

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Site Description

The Woolfolk Chemical Works Site in Fort Valley, GA is a 31 acre site which resulted from the facility's production, formulation, and packaging of pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides (including arsenic and lead-based products), since 1910. Production expanded during the 1950s to include dichlorodiphenyl-trichlorethane (DDT), lindane, toxaphene, and other chlorinated pesticides.

In 1977, Reichold Limited, doing business as Canadyne Georgia Corporation (CGC), purchased the facility. Some assets were sold to SureCo in 1984. A central part of the manufacturing facility was demolished and a capped area was constructed in 1986-1987. CGC still retains ownership of the capped area. SureCo formulated, packaged, and warehoused various organic pesticides, used primarily in the lawn and garden market and by peach growers until late 1999. In the early 1980s, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division investigated the site based on complaints from local citizens. The company was discharging waste products to a drainage corridor heading away from the site.

CGC sold the property to Peach County Properties Inc., and as a part of that agreement, began a Removal Action to remediate a lead-arsenic plant and the surrounding soils. Contamination reports from this removal effort revealed a more extensive problem at the site. The site was put onto the National Priority List (NPL) in August 1990.

Current Site Status and Cleanup Actions to Date

  • In April 1990, CGC entered into an Administrative Order on Consent to implement a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS). The RI and the baseline risk assessment indicated that there were 48 contaminants of potential concern; however, the majority of the risk was driven by the arsenic contamination.
  • Due to its size and complexity, the Woolfolk site has been separated into five Operable Units (OUs), or cleanup projects:
    • OU1: The groundwater system is currently operating; however, recent monitoring data has indicated that the groundwater plumes are not being fully contained. As a result, a system evaluation and optimization is ongoing. Additional monitoring wells will be required to fully determine the extent of groundwater contamination and additional design and system modifications are likely.
    • OU2: OU2 includes the redevelopment property remedy selected in September 1995 (completed in 1998). An antebellum farmhouse was decontaminated and remodeled into a tourist welcome center and office space for the Fort Valley Chamber of Commerce. Also, several contaminated homes were torn down to make way for a new community library. The Remedial Action (RA) is complete and the remedy is functioning as intended
    • OU3: Cleanup of OU3 will address the four areas of concern on the former Woolfolk property: 1) on-site soil; 2) on-site capped area; 3) on-site manufacturing buildings; and, 4) the facility's storm water sewer system. OU3 is currently in the RA phase.
    • OU4: OU 4 includes the remaining cleanup actions off-site including: residential soils (approximately 40), attic dust in residential homes (approximately 70) and the upper portion the ditch that drained away from the site along Preston Street. OU4 is currently in the RA phase.
    • OU5: This remedy includes the drainage ditch from the mouth of Lavender Street Pipe to the beyond railroad trestle for an unknown distance. (The drainage ditch discharges into the upper tributary of Big Indian Creek.) OU5 is currently in the Remedial Investigation (RI) phase.
  • Approximately 50,000 tons of contaminated soil and debris have been removed from 26 residences and a drainage corridor originating from the site.
  • EPA has continued to monitor groundwater affected by the site to ensure that citizens are impacted by potentially contaminated groundwater.

Current Funding Status

  • The estimated cost to conduct this remedy over three years is approximately $18 million dollars. Thus far, EPA has provided approximately $3.5 million to begin cleanup work for Operable Units 3 and 4 at this site.

For more information on the projects at this site, please read the Woolfolk Chemical Works, Inc. Fact Sheet on the Region 4 Superfund Web site.

Key Accomplishments

  • 17 properties were purchased during a Removal Action. After demolition and removal of contaminated soil and debris, the area was used to build a new public library. Two of the buildings were decontaminated and renovated and are now being used by the City of Fort Valley as a Welcome Center and an Adult Education Center.
  • Approximately 50,000 tons of contaminated soil and debris have been removed from 26 residences and a drainage corridor originating from the site.
  • EPA has continued to monitor groundwater affected by the site to ensure that citizens are not impacted by potentially contaminated groundwater.
  • Thus far, EPA has provided approximately $3.5 million to begin cleanup work for Operable Units 3 and 4 at this site.

 

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