NPL Site Narrative for Hemphill Road TCE
HEMPHILL ROAD TCE
Gastonia, North Carolina
The Hemphill Road TCE site consists of a Northwest (NW) parcel and a Southeast (SE) parcel along Hemphill Road near the intersection of Forbes Road in South Gastonia, North Carolina, and an associated ground water contamination plume.
During the 1950s, the site owner reportedly used the SE parcel to recycle several thousand chemical drums. The owner reportedly dumped drum residues onto the ground, then rinsed, burned and flattened the drums for sale as scrap metal. The NW parcel was purchased in 1973 and the SE parcel in 1988 and was operated as Gastonia Industrial Truck.
Trichloroethene (TCE)-contaminated ground water was discovered in 1988 in a private drinking water well near the site. Follow-up investigation in 1989 revealed TCE contamination in an adjacent residence to the north on Hemphill Road, as well as in the Gastonia Industrial Truck's facility production well. In 1999 TCE was found in the nearby Kensington Estates community well. Source investigations on both the NW and SE properties revealed only trace levels of TCE in soils on the SE parcel, indicating that a significant source of TCE may no longer remain in the soils.
Potential Impacts on Surrounding Community/Environment:
Private drinking water wells on Hemphill Road and the Kensington Estates community drinking water wells are contaminated with TCE and are located as far as ¼ mile to the west of the SE parcel on Hemphill Road. Another contaminated community well, Wesley Acres, is located between ¼ and ½ mile to the south. The underlying geology of the area is fractured bedrock and contamination is likely migrating via bedrock fractures.
Response Activities (to date):
Following the discovery of contamination, the Kensington Estates well was taken offline and hooked up to the Amy Acres community well. At the time of shutdown, the Kensington Estates well served 100 people. The owners of the two private residences placed filters on their wells, but the filters weren't maintained and one was determined to be not working in 2012. One additional well was found contaminated. In May 2012, the EPA installed whole house filter systems on the three private drinking water wells.
Need for NPL Listing:
The state of North Carolina referred the site to the EPA to allow for a comprehensive cleanup to address all the human health and environmental risks posed by the site. Other federal and state cleanup programs were evaluated, but are not viable at this time. The EPA received a letter of support from the state for placing this site on the NPL.
[The description of the site (release) is based on information available at the time the site was evaluated with the HRS. The description may change as additional information is gathered on the sources and extent of contamination. See 56 FR 5600, February 11, 1991, or subsequent FR notices.]
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.