Thursday, December 22, 2011

Old ESCO Superfund Site Enters Phase Three Remediation

By: Duane Craig

Environmental contractors, operating under the guidelines of the Environmental Protection Agency, started the third step in remediating the Old ESCO Manufacturing Superfund site in May 2011. That step included removing more than 20,000 cubic yards of soil contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, according to the EPA’s August 2011 update.

The environmental issues list included PCB soil contamination on the site as high as 3,390 mg/kg with drainage pathways having concentrations as high as 105 mg/kg.

This site is in Greenville, Texas, at 500 Forrester St., and it is surrounded by residential properties. An electrical manufacturer named ESCO operated there from the 1940s until about 1970 when it moved to another property nearby. By 1990, ESCO had defaulted on the taxes of its first property and ultimately went bankrupt. Greenville would like to have the property used again as low-density residential or park or open space once the current environmental issues are solved.

The EPA had conducted soil removals twice before at nearby residential properties contaminated with PCBs during 2008 and 2009. The contractors removed about 9,000 tons of contaminated soil during those years. Part of that work included drainage adjustments to limit the amount of soils that moved off-site during flooding and rain. So far, the drinking water of the area has not been affectedbecause the city gets its water from a nearby lake and not from wells.

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