Tuesday, January 31, 2012

EPA Updates Ector County Superfund Site

By: Duane Craig

The public comment period wrapped up for the East 67th Street Superfund site north of Odessa, Texas, and the Environmental Protection Agency has outlined the proposed plan for cleaning up the current environmental issues there, according to the EPA’s recent status report.

A plume of contaminated groundwater roughly follows 67th Street and is bounded in the four compass directions by Yukon Road, VFW Lane, Andrews Highway and Alderfer Avenue. The contamination is a combination of 15,000 gallons of alcohol- and naphtha-based solvents and 635 gallons of tetrachloroethylene, or PCE. The EPA characterizes the contamination as being “an intentional release … from the former Delta Chemical facility (now Brenntag) located on East 67th Street.”

This is a particularly sensitive area from the perspective of groundwater aquifers because it is one place where the waters of the Trinity and Ogallala aquifers are interconnected, according to this report by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

The remedies are expected to include bringing municipal water to those whose wells are affected, injecting solutions into the plume that will speed up the decomposition of the chemicals, extracting and treating polluted water, setting up a soil vapor extraction system and plugging existing wells that could allow contaminated water to migrate between the aquifers.

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