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News Releases from Region 04

EPA Deletes Perdido Groundwater Contamination Site in AL from National Priorities List

01/02/2018
Contact Information: 
James Pinkney (pinkney.james@epa.gov)
(404) 562-9183 (Direct), (404) 562-8400 (Main)

ATLANTA (January 2, 2018) –  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing significant improvements in 2017 – through the deletion of all or parts of seven Superfund sites from the National Priorities List (NPL) to include the Perdido Groundwater Contamination site in Perdido, AL.

“We have made it a priority to get these sites cleaned up faster and in the right way, said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.  “By creating a streamlined task force and making major remedy decisions that hold potentially responsible parties accountable for clean-up, the Superfund program is carrying out the Agency’s mission of protecting human health and the environment more every day.”

In 2016, EPA had deletion activities at two NPL sites, one full site and portions of another. But in 2017, under the leadership of Administrator Pruitt, EPA has deleted three entire sites and portions of four others.  This increase in deletions reflects Administrator Pruitt’s commitment to accelerating progress, reducing risks at Superfund sites and returning sites to productive use.

These deletions come on the heels of Administrator Pruitt’s list of 21 sites that have been targeted for immediate and intense attention – a direct response to the Superfund Task Force Recommendations issued this summer.

NPL deletion occurs when all the remedies are successfully implemented and no further cleanup is required to protect human health or the environment.  The Agency deletes portions of NPL sites when work at those portions is complete and other parts of the site still have ongoing actions.

The Perdido Ground Water Contamination Site is located in Perdido, Baldwin County, Alabama, and is the site of a train derailment, which occurred on May 17, 1965.  The Site originated as a borrow area which provided sand and fill material to the County for local use. In 1965, a train derailment by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad (a predecessor of CSX Transportation, Inc., CSXT) occurred approximately 200 yards east of the intersection of State Highways 47 and 61.  Chemicals from the derailed tank cars spilled into the drainage ditches along State Highway 61 and caught fire.

Later, as a result of the accident, an unknown quantity of benzene that had not been destroyed by the fire eventually penetrated the soil and entered the ground water aquifer. In 1982, benzene was identified in several residential domestic water supply wells within the community of Perdido. An alternate supply of drinking water was provided by CSXT by constructing a waterline six miles from the nearby town of Atmore. Approximately 150 Perdido homes within a one-mile radius of the derailment were connected to the alternate water supply.

Deleting a site or portions of a site from the NPL may facilitate future redevelopment, one of EPA’s goals for the Superfund program. 

The NPL is one focus area of the Superfund Task Force Recommendations to improve and revitalize the Superfund program. Work to prioritize and reinvigorate the Superfund program is underway and will continue into 2018.

The Superfund Task Force Recommendations can be viewed at https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force-recommendations

To search for more information about these sites, and other sites deleted from the NPL, please visit https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-national-priorities-list-npl-deletion-search

Additional information about EPA’s NPL deletions can be viewed at

https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-national-priorities-list-deletion

Connect with EPA Region 4 on Facebook: www.facebook.com/eparegion4

And on Twitter: @USEPASoutheast

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