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EPA Seeks Public Comment on the Proposed Plan for the Chemfax, Inc. Site in Gulfport, MS

Release Date: 10/11/2011
Contact Information: James Pinkney, 404-562-9183,

Chemfax, Inc. is located on Sixteenth Section land near the intersection of U.S. Highways 10 and 49. The facility was established in March 1955 and manufactured synthetic hydrocarbon resins and waxes from petroleum products. The primary operation at the time business ceased in 1995 was a paraffin blending process in which different grades of paraffin wax were heated together to a liquid state, blended, and then cooled with water. Site investigations revealed soils, ground water, surface water, and sediment were contaminated with BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes) and PAHs (polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons).

In 2002, EPA finalized the selected remedies for Site soils and groundwater in its Record of Decision (ROD). The selected remedy for soils was excavation and offsite disposal, and is not being amended. About 17,816 cubic yards of soil be removed for the protection of groundwater. The 2002 selected remedy for groundwater was pump and treat with physical and/or chemical treatment. The 2002 groundwater remedy is being proposed for amendment as part of this document. The amended remedial alternative being proposed now is monitored natural attenuation, which would involve no further action to address the groundwater at the Site, other than periodic monitoring.

The components of the recommended remedial strategy for Chemfax are described below:
control migration and leaching of contaminants in surface and subsurface soil to ground water that could result in ground water contamination in excess of performance standards;
prevent ingestion of ground water having concentrations of contaminants in excess of performance standards;
control migration and leaching of contaminants in Site soils to surface waters;
restoration of shallow groundwater to beneficial use.

Title to Sixteenth Section land is vested in the State of Mississippi, in trust for the support of public education. Lease payments during the Site’s operation were made to the Harrison County School Board. Future remedial costs will be negotiated with the State of Mississippi. Public input is important and the final cleanup approach could be different from the proposed cleanup approach, depending upon new information or comments the EPA may receive from the public. The EPA's final choice of a cleanup approach will be documented in a Record of Decision (ROD) Amendment. The EPA's response to comments will be included with the ROD Amendment in the Responsiveness Summary. Once the ROD Amendment is signed, work can begin on the design of the selected remedy.

ATTENTION: A media availability session will be held at the Crossroads Elementary School Library, Road, Gulfport, Mississippi from 5:00 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 13, 2011. EPA, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry will be available to answer media questions concerning the proposed cleanup approach for the Site. This arrangement will allow for the public to use the entire public meeting to get information and have their questions answered.