Case Summary: Settlement Approved for Alternate Energy Resources Superfund Site, Ga
On February 9, 2012, a consent decree between EPA, the State of Georgia, and Airgas Carbonic, Inc., et al., was approved by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Augusta Division, to complete cleanup work at the Alternate Energy Resources (AER) Superfund Site in Augusta, Ga.
Pursuant to the agreement, 73 parties, comprised of 68 private parties, four federal agencies and one state agency, will perform the cleanup work at the site at an approximate cost of $7.3 million. The federal and state agencies will participate in the cleanup by contributing financially to the private parties who will be performing the cleanup work. In addition, 797 other de minimis parties, including private parties, and federal and state agencies will pay the EPA $2,448,779, some of which will be disbursed to the parties performing the cleanup to pay for the work at the site. The State of Georgia joined the EPA as a co-plaintiff in this settlement and recovered 100% of its outstanding past costs, which totaled $577,854.
Alternate Energy Resources (AER), now defunct, was incorporated in the State of Georgia and operated a commercial hazardous waste storage and treatment facility at the AER superfund Site. In 2000, AER declared bankruptcy and abandoned the site.
The Alternate Energy Resources (AER) Superfund Site is a 2.6-acre unoccupied property located in Augusta, Ga. From 1975 to 2000, AER operated as a commercial hazardous waste storage and treatment facility. AER's waste treatment processes included: blending high-BTU hazardous waste to be used as fuel in off-site industrial boilers and furnaces; recycling hazardous waste solvents by distillation; and treating used oils, hazardous and non-hazardous wastewater, and non-hazardous coolants.
The sources of site contamination include:
•soil contamination that is present at significantly elevated concentrations;
•a 3,000 gallon toluene and heptane spill;
•a 500 gallon release from a rainwater collection basin;
•a 13,191 gallon waste oil, inks, and oil processing residues spill; and
•a 70,000 gallon former unlined surface impoundment.
Additional information about the AER Superfund Site can be found on the Region 4 website.
Contaminants of concern associated with activities at the AER facility include trichloroethene (TCE) and tetrachloroethene (PCE). TCE and PCE were detected in ground water samples and soil samples at concentrations significantly above background concentrations.
A ground water plume, believed to be caused by AER operations, impacted several domestic drinking water wells located within the Hollywood subdivision, between 0.5 mile and one mile southeast of the AER property. A TCE- and a PCE-contaminated ground water plume is migrating toward the Augusta Utilities Department (AUD) municipal water supply system wells located within two to four miles of the site. Approximately 13,798 people obtain potable water from the AUD system, and 102 people obtain potable water from private drinking water wells that have a potential to be impacted by the contamination from AER property.
The consent decree requires the 73 settling parties to complete remedial design and remedial action (RD/RA) at the AER Site and to pay past and future response costs. The remedial action objectives are to prevent migration of contaminants from vadose zone soils that result in groundwater concentrations above levels that allow for beneficial use; to prevent potential human exposure to groundwater with contaminants that pose an unacceptable risk and do not allow for beneficial use; and to restore groundwater to meet drinking water standards. The remedy includes: (1) the demolition of buildings; (2) sampling and studies of soil on and beyond the AER property boundary; (3) in-situ thermal desorption, in-situ stabilization, and in-situ oxidation; (4) enhanced reductive dechlorination in groundwater and monitoring and, (5) implementation of institutional controls. The consent decree requires payments by the settling 747 de minimis defendants and state agencies based on the de minimis cost matrix as well as payments by the non-performing federal agencies.
For more information contact:
Associate Regional Counsel
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
61 Forsyth Street, S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30303