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NPL Site Narrative for Sangamo Weston, Inc./Twelve-Mile Creek/Lake Hartwell PCB Contamination

Pickens, South Carolina

Federal Register Notice:  February 21, 1990

Conditions at proposal (January 22, 1987): The Sangamo-Weston, Inc./Twelve-Mile Creek/Lake Hartwell PCB Contamination Site consists of the Sangamo property and portions of the Twelve-Mile Creek and the Twelve-Mile Creek arm of Lake Hartwell. The 224-acre site is in northwestern South Carolina, in Pickens, Pickens County. Sangamo manufactured PCB-containing electrical capacitors there during 1955-76.

As required by CERCLA Section 103(c), Sangamo notified EPA of its disposal of approximately 38,700 cubic yards of PCB waste on its plant site and an undetermined amount in seven satellite dumps, all in the Twelve-Mile Creek Basin. Solid, sludge, and liquid wastes were stored or disposed of in piles, landfills, and impoundments. EPA is continuing to search for any additional sources of contamination, and may expand the site if contamination is found to extend further than currently identified. Sangamo-Weston has removed over 17,000 cubic yards of waste from past disposal areas on and off the plant property. These wastes are contained in an EPA-approved landfill on the plant property.

EPA and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) detected PCBs in run-off leaving the Sangamo-Weston Pickens Plant, tributaries of Twelve-Mile Creek, Lake Hartwell, and the distribution system of the Easley-Central Water Plant, which provides drinking water to 14,500 people. The plant intake is in Twelve-Mile Creek. A Clemson University intake in the Twelve-Mile Creek arm of Lake Hartwell serves 15,800 students and employees. Since 1977, EPA and SCDHEC have monitored PCB levels in fish taken from Lake Hartwell. Levels have been declining, although the rate of decline appears to be slowing. After reviewing data from 1983 to early 1986, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry said PCBs appear to present no imminent or substantial public health threat in Pickens County.

In December 1984, 344 residents of Cateechee, South Carolina, filed lawsuits against Sangamo and two other companies over alleged health effects from PCB exposure. In August 1986, EPA negotiated a Consent Order under CERCLA Section 106(a) with Sangamo-Weston for sampling to determine the extent of contamination at one of the seven satellite dumps, a 0.5-acre dump used for landfilling 24,000 cubic feet of PCB waste. In November 1985, EPA found PCB levels as high as 27,000 ppm in soil samples.

Status (February 21, 1990): Under a CERCLA Consent Order signed on June 18, 1987, Sangamo-Weston will conduct a remedial investigation/feasibility study to determine the extent of the contamination at six satellite dumps and the Pickens Plant and identify alternatives for remedial action.

Under an agreement reached in June 1988, the Catteechee residents will receive varying settlements. In addition, Sangamo-Weston granted the Medical University of South Carolina $750,000 for periodic epidemiological studies of residents with complaints involving PCBs.

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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