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NPL Site Narrative for General Electric Co/Shepherd Farm

GENERAL ELECTRIC CO/SHEPHERD FARM
East Flat Rock, North Carolina

Federal Register Notice:  December 16, 1994

Conditions at Proposal (February 7, 1992): The General Electric Co./Shepherd Farm site is in East Flat Rock, Henderson County, North Carolina. Since 1955, General Electric's Lighting System Division has manufactured various types of luminaire systems on a 50-acre property bounded by Tabor Road, Spartanburg Highway (U.S. 176), and Bat Fork Creek. On the GE property are a manufacturing plant, a warehouse, plots used for landspreading of wastes, two unlined waste treatment ponds, a sludge impoundment, landfills, and a recreation center.

From 1957 to 1970, wastes from the General Electric (GE) facility were also disposed of approximately 2,500 feet to the southwest in an old dry pond or ravine known as Shepherd Farm. Wastes were brought to this 3-acre area and deposited, burned, then bulldozed. A trailer park is now located on a portion of the old dump site. Samples collected in May 1990 by EPA indicate primarily the same waste types and contaminants are present on Shepherd Farm and the GE property. GE wastes were also deposited on the Seldon Clark property located across Tabor Road from GE. GE wastes may also have been deposited in other nearby areas.

Studies conducted by EPA, the State, and GE between 1976 and 1989 revealed that several inorganic compounds and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) had contaminated ground water and surface water sediments on and off both the GE property and the farm. A drainline that carried wastewater from the manufacturing plant to the treatment ponds had apparently ruptured. VOCs also contaminated 19 nearby private wells. Municipal water lines have been extended to these homes. The wastewater treatment ponds and sludge impoundment on site were found to be contaminated with PCBs and heavy metals.

Among the compounds identified in on-site and off-site wells are tetrachloroethene, trichloroethene, 1,2-dichloroethene, cobalt, chromium, copper, lead, nickel, zinc, and manganese. An estimated 4,400 people formerly obtained drinking water from private wells within 4 miles of the site, the nearest 0.04 mile from the site.

Soils in the trailer park contain PCBs, according to a 1991 EPA report.

Status (December 1994): In June 1994, EPA Region 4 began a fund-lead Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS). GE refused to sign the Administrative Order by Consent. Ground water, surface water, sediment and soil samples have been taken to determine the extent of contamination on the GE facility, the Shepherd Farm property and the Seldon Clark property. EPA plans to propose a clean-up alternative in late 1995.

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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