Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tennessee Wells Move Closer to Superfund Status

by Duane Craig

Alamo, Tennessee sits close to the center of Crockett County and has become the center of attention by the Environmental Protection Agency because two of its wells are contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE).

The EPA, by request of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, is considering placing the wells on its Superfund list. As a Superfund site it would be eligible for federal funds in the quest to cleanup the two wells.

This has largely come about because after 20 years no one can definitively place the blame on any responsible party. There are a number of local businesses that were suspected including an electrical equipment manufacturer, a dry cleaner and the local newspaper, but apparently there was little evidence. The TCE was first detected in 1988. Since then the drinking water has been treated to keep it safe. There are also other compounds in the water including solvents and tretrachloroethene (PCE). The EPA will decide once a 60-day comment period has passed. The site is then assessed for cleanup processes so a cleanup plan can be developed.

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