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EPA in Missouri

Compass Plaza Well Trichloroethylene (TCE) Superfund Site, Rogersville, Missouri - Fact Sheet, August 2016

EPA Conducting Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study

INTRODUCTION

The Compass Plaza Well TCE Superfund Site is a contaminated groundwater plume affecting a cluster of wells in and around Rogersville, Missouri. The site includes wells around the Compass Plaza commercial development, at 201 S. Marshall St., wells in other areas in Rogersville, in Greene County, Mo., and a small area of Webster County, Mo.

Investigation and monitoring activities have been underway at the site since 2010. The investigation has found that an unidentified source contaminated the groundwater beneath the Compass Plaza commercial development, forming a plume – an underground mass of water polluted by the chemical solvent trichloroethylene (TCE).

Environmental sampling has found TCE contamination in several private wells (domestic and irrigation wells) and two non-community public wells. It is important to note that TCE has not been detected in the municipal water supply wells that serve the city of Rogersville.

TCE is used to remove oils and grease from metal products. It is a manufactured substance and does not occur naturally in the environment. TCE is used in industrial solvents and degreasers, and household products such as correction fluids, paints, paint removers, adhesives, rug and metal cleaners, and spot removers.

On March 15, 2012, EPA added the Compass Plaza Well TCE Superfund Site to the National Priorities List (NPL). The addition of the site to the NPL notifies the public that EPA believes a site requires further study and cleanup under EPA's Superfund program. An NPL listing makes the site eligible for long-term federal funding to comprehensively investigate and address site contamination. These funds also guarantee the public an opportunity to fully participate in cleanup decisions.

BACKGROUND

Previous actions have been conducted in the area to protect human health and the environment, address the potential for TCE exposure, and determine the source of the contamination.

In March 2010, following routine public drinking water monitoring by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), the MDNR Public Drinking Water Branch found TCE in two non-community public wells and one irrigation well on the western edge of Rogersville. TCE was also detected in the Compass Plaza development’s drinking water well and in two nearby public wells.

In response to these detections, MDNR’s Superfund Section initiated a combined Preliminary Assessment/Site Investigation (PA/SI) and started coordination with EPA and Greene County Resource Management. Investigations to identify possible source areas and exposure pathways for TCE were conducted by MDNR, EPA and Greene County Resource Management. Sampling by those agencies from 2010 to 2012 found TCE in 13 of 350 private wells (domestic and irrigation wells) sampled. Of those 13 wells, five had TCE levels above the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 5 parts per billion (ppb).

The MCL is the maximum permissible level of a contaminant in water which is delivered to any user of a public water system. A way to visualize 5 ppb in water is to think of five drops in a billion drops of water, or roughly five drops of water in an Olympic-size swimming pool.

In August 2010, EPA installed water supply treatment systems at the five private residences that had TCE contamination above 5 ppb. All of those systems have been tested and are effectively removing TCE from drinking water at these homes.

In December 2010, EPA, in cooperation with MDNR, Greene County Resources Management and the Natural Resources Service, plugged a well with high concentrations of TCE. Plugging the well helped protect ground water resources by reducing the potential of TCE to spread further into the aquifer. An aquifer is an underground body of rock that can contain or transmit groundwater. These same agencies also performed oversight for the construction of a new drinking water well at the same location. The well was designed and constructed to prevent TCE contamination from having a direct pathway from the upper aquifer to the lower aquifer. Reducing contaminant movement between aquifers is particularly important at sites with complex underlying geology, such as the Compass Plaza Well TCE Site.

As an additional series of actions, so far 13 monitoring wells have been installed at the site to better delineate the contamination.

REMEDIAL INVESTIGATION AND FEASIBILITY STUDY (RI/FS)

EPA is currently conducting a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) to determine the full extent of TCE contamination, and evaluate different alternatives for cleanup of the site. The site is being investigated, and an evaluation of proposed remedies will occur before a proposed remedy is determined. As a part of this process, EPA will provide recommendations for cleanup costs, and will work to identify potentially responsible parties (PRPs) responsible for the contamination. PRPs could be required to conduct or pay for the cleanup. EPA will investigate the full extent of contamination before starting significant cleanup.

EPA is committed to providing opportunities for communication between citizens and the agency. EPA will continue to engage the public in various activities designed to inform and involve community members throughout the decision-making process. Prior to any site cleanup decisions, EPA will present findings of the investigation to the community and solicit public comments about the next steps.

ADMINISTRATIVE RECORD

The Administrative Record file serves as the official record for the site and contains all site documents. It is available for public review, during normal business hours, at:

Rogersville City Hall
211 East Center Street
Rogersville, Missouri 65742

Rogersville Public Library
100 West Clinton Street
Rogersville, Missouri 65742

EPA Region 7 Records Center
11201 Renner Boulevard
Lenexa, Kansas 66219

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

More information about the site can be found on EPA's Site Profile Page.
 
If you have questions about this Fact Sheet or need additional information about the site, please contact:
 
Elizabeth Kramer
Community Engagement Specialist
Enforcement Coordination Office
EPA Region 7
11201 Renner Boulevard
Lenexa, Kansas 66219
913-551-7186 or toll-free at 1-800-223-0425
 
Devin Pollock
Remedial Project Manager
Superfund Division
EPA Region 7
11201 Renner Boulevard
Lenexa, Kansas 66219
913-551-7275 or toll-free at 1-800-223-0425
Email: pollock.devin@epa.gov