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NPL Site Narrative for American Crossarm & Conduit Co.

Chehalis, Washington

Federal Register Notice:  October 04, 1989

Conditions at proposal (June 24, 1988): American Crossarm & Conduit Co. formerly operated on a 16-acre site within the city limits of Chehalis, Lewis County, Washington, close to several local residences and businesses. The Chehalis River is about 1 mile to the southwest, and a tributary, Dillenbaugh Creek, flows past the site into the river. Two fresh water wetlands are within 1 mile of the site.

American Crossarm operated during 1948-83, primarily treating and selling laminated utility pole crossarms. The wood treatment process used pentachlorophenol (PCP) and creosote. Waste waters were discharged into an unlined surface impoundment.

Shallow ground water is contaminated with PCP, according to tests conducted by American Crossarm in 1984. Deeper ground water within 3 miles of the site provides drinking water to an estimated 1,100 people.

In February 1986, the company submitted a closure plan for the impoundment, which the Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE) rejected. On November 6, 1986, WDOE issued an order requiring the company to stop discharging waste water to the sewer, investigate the integrity of all tanks and sumps, and install secondary containment structures around all tanks and sumps.

On November 24, 1986, a flood of the Chehalis River caused oil and PCP to be released from the site. About 15 homes, 4 businesses, the surrounding property, Dillenbaugh Creek, and Chehalis River were contaminated with PCP, according to tests conducted by WDOE. The river is used for recreational activities and irrigation within 3 miles of the site. Using CERCLA emergency funds, EPA cleaned city streets, homes, businesses, and the creek. During these actions, EPA recovered and contained contaminated debris and soil, and emptied various industrial storage tanks.

The company filed for bankruptcy, which was later dismissed. The company appealed, and the U.S. District Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal in December 1987.

The facility is being proposed for the NPL because it is classified as a "protective filer" under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and so is not subject to Subtitle C corrective action authorities.

Status (February 1989): In August 1988, EPA conducted a trial burn using an on-site incinerator. After results indicated levels of combustion well within established guidelines, EPA began to incinerate the contaminated materials stored on-site. Incineration was completed in January 1989.

Status (October 4, 1989): EPA is considering various alternatives for the site.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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