Site Summary ProfileEPA ID: FLD980602882
Location: Cottondale, Jackson County, FL
Lat/Long: 30.728330, -085.392500
Congressional District: 02
NPL Status: Proposed: 12/30/82; Final: 09/08/83
Affected Media: Air, Ground water, Sediment, Soil, and Surface Water
Cleanup Status: Construction Underway - Physical cleanup activities have started
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Potential for Recreational/Ecological
Site Manager: Erik Spalvins (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Sapp Battery Superfund Site is a former battery recycling facility that operated from the early 1970s until 1980. The 45-acre Site is located about five miles south of Cottondale, Florida and about 1,000 feet west of the intersection of State Route 231 and County Road 280 (Corbin Road). The recycling operations involved “cracking” open the lead-acid batteries, removing the lead for recycling, and then dumping battery acid and plastic battery casings into an on-site holding pond and the surrounding swamps. The improper disposal of battery casings and battery acid contaminated the groundwater, soil and surrounding wetlands.
On-site wetlands were visibly impacted by acid runoff from site operations as early as 1977. In the spring of 1978, residents complained to the State of Florida that trees were dying in the nearby Steele City Bay and that animals were found dead in the area. The Florida Department of Environmental Regulation issued warning notices to the company in 1978 and 1979. The Sapp Battery Company attempted to address the ongoing contamination, but it was unsuccessful. In 1980, after legal action by the State, the Sapp Battery Company abruptly closed and abandoned the facility.
The EPA conducted an emergency removal action in 1980, neutralizing acidic water in a holding pit and in the west swamp, and adjusting the surface drainage of the facility. In August 1982, the EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL). The State of Florida conducted several more interim response actions in 1984 and 1985. The State hauled about 9,300 tons of contaminated sludge and soil to a hazardous waste landfill and treated about 175,000 gallons of water. The State of Florida prepared a Remedial Investigation (RI) and a Feasibility Study (FS) for the Site in 1985. The EPA selected a remedy for the entire site in a ROD signed in September 1986.
Former facility operations resulted in contamination of site soils, surface water bodies, sediments and ground water with sulfuric acid and heavy metals. The primary contaminant of concern (COC) was lead, which was found in surface soils, surface water, sediments, and ground water. Ground water contamination threatened the Floridan Aquifer, which is the primary drinking water source for nearby residents.
At present, the soil, surface water and sediment cleanups are complete and the threats to human health and the environment are under control. The threat of groundwater exposure is under control because of site restrictions and groundwater use restrictions.
Site Cleanup Plan
The cleanup plan at Sapp Battery has evolved over time. The original Record of Decision (ROD) for the site was issued in 1986 and presented a cleanup plan for the entire site. Major components of the 1986 ROD included:
- Solidification and on-site disposal of contaminated soils and sediments in a Florida Class I Landfill.
- Surface water treatment.
- Pump and treat contaminated groundwater using chemical precipitation.
After the ROD was signed, conditions at the site warranted five Explanation of Significant Differences (ESDs).
- 1996 ESD- Adjusted Lead Cleanup Levels.
- 1998 ESD- Eliminated requirements for a Florida Class I landfill, and added requirements for a monolith with numerical performance standards for leachability, permeability, compressive strength and diffusivity.
- Changed the layout of the disposal area to allow a shorter, easier to maintain monolith.
- 1999 ESD - Allowed for offsite transport of plastic battery casings in lieu of on-site treatment.
- 2000 ESD - Allowed for off-site disposal of plastic battery casings in lieu of recycling, when recycling was not feasible.
- 2007 ESD - Allowed for off-site disposal of solidified sediments from the wetlands area and Steele City Bay.
- Excluded "Wetland Area E" sediments from the lead clean-up, based on the lack of exposure to buried contaminants, and the lack of threat to groundwater
After the 1986 ROD, the EPA started approaching the site as separate Operable Units (OUs) to better organize the cleanup. OU-1 (source control of soil and sediments), OU-2 (groundwater), and OU-3 (Steele City Bay).
OU1 (Soils and Source Area)
From 1992 to 1999, some of the parties responsible for the contamination (The Sapp Battery Group) and the EPA conducted additional investigations and prepared the design for the OU1 remedy. As a result of new data and the evolving design, two Explanations of Significant Differences (ESDs) were issued in 1996 and 1998, which adjusted the remedy.
The Sapp Battery Group conducted the OU1 source control Remedial Action from 1999 through 2001. The OU1 soil remedy was designed to reduce the leaching of contaminated soils by mixing with water, MAECTITE® (a patented chemical treatment process for lead and other heavy metals), and Portland cement. The treated material was tested to confirm the unconfined compressive strength, permeability, and leachability. A total of 93,944 cubic yards of material were excavated, solidified, stabilized and placed on-site in a monolith about 13 acres in area. During the Remedial Action, the cleanup plan needed to be adjusted, so two ESDs were issued in 1999 and 2000. The Sapp Battery Group will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the soil remedy and will maintain the on-site disposal area.
The EPA is accepting comments from August 25th to September 25th, 2011 on a Proposed Plan for the OU2 Groundwater Remedy, which presents a proposed revision to the Groundwater remedy selected in the 1986 ROD. Public comments may be sent to email@example.com
Impacts to the groundwater began in the mid 1970s, when the Sapp Battery Company was dumping battery acid from lead acid batteries into an unlined pond. This dumping stopped in 1980, when the Company abruptly closed and abandoned the facility.
The EPA began removal of source material contributing to groundwater contamination in 1980 with an EPA emergency removal action. By 1983, a large groundwater monitoring network was in place. Groundwater data from 1983 and 1985 helped form the basis for the 1986 ROD. More source material was removed by the State of Florida during other interim response actions in 1984 and 1985. A supplemental groundwater investigation was performed in 1988.
In 2004, the EPA began a series of investigations to address the remaining groundwater contamination. The EPA’s initial approach was to implement the pump and treat remedy from the 1986 ROD. After the first field effort, the EPA determined that the pump and treat approach would not work at the site because the contaminated parts of the aquifer consisted of low permeability peat, clays and silts. As new groundwater data became available, the understanding of site conditions evolved, and new remedial approaches became feasible. A Proposed Plan released August 25, 2011 presents and evaluates the new approaches and recommends Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) to be the revised cleanup approach.
OU3 (Wetlands) Remedial Action
The EPA conducted the OU3 cleanup. The design for OU3 began in July 2003 and was completed in March 2005. The EPA collected surface water and sediment samples to refine the nature and extent of sediment contamination as part of the design. As a result of the updated sediment data, an ESD was developed in September 2007. The cleanup for OU3 started in 2007 and was completed in September 2008. Approximately 58,347 tons of contaminated soil and sediment from the swamps at the site were excavated and transported off-site for disposal.
During the site investigation, the EPA found documentation of who may have been responsible for the site contamination and pursued them through enforcement actions. The EPA demonstrated that several Responsible Parties had liability for the site contamination. In 1992, the EPA signed a Consent Decree with a group of Responsible Parties to carry out the OU1 (soil and source area) cleanup. The Responsible Parties formed the Sapp Battery Group to conduct the cleanup.
The passage of the Superfund Recycling Equity Act of 1999 (SREA) provided an exemption from liability for the Responsible Parties. As a result, the Sapp Battery Group completed the OU1 remedial action, and the EPA is implementing the remaining site remediation of OU2 and OU3.
EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities at the Sapp Battery site to solicit community input and to ensure that the public remains informed about site activities throughout the site cleanup process. Outreach activities have included public notices, interviews, and public meetings on cleanup activities and updates.
The EPA is offering a 30-day public comment period from August 25th to September 25th, 2011 to provide an opportunity for public input in selecting the final cleanup approach for OU2 (groundwater). Public input is an important contribution to the remedy selection process. During this comment period, EPA will hold a public meeting on September 7, 2011 at the Cottondale Community Center, 2666 Front Street, Cottondale, Florida, 32437 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. The EPA will present the latest understanding of Site contamination; describe the preferred alternative listed in the Proposed Plan and answer questions. The Proposed Plan provides a summary of the cleanup alternatives being considered; for a more detailed history and explanation, the public is encouraged to consult the Information Repository.
A revised remedy for OU-2 is presented in a Proposed Plan released August 25, 2011. The EPA is accepting comments from August 25th to September 25th, 2011. Public comments may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Site Administrative Documents
For more information or to view any site-related documents, please visit the site information repository at the following location. As new documents are generated, they will be placed in the information repository for public information.
Jackson County Public Library
413 North Green Street
Marianna, FL 32446
For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.