Site Summary ProfileEPA ID: FLD980602346
Location: Miami, Dade County, FL
Lat/Long: 25.804700, -080.277200
Congressional District: 21
NPL Status: Proposed: 12/30/82; Final: 09/08/83; Deleted: 09/01/88
Affected Media: Ground water
Cleanup Status: Deleted from the NPL
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: In reuse as part of Miami International Airport
Site Manager: Brenda Lane (email@example.com)
The Varsol Oil Spill site is located in the northeast section of the Miami International Airport. The Airport is located less than 0.5 miles south of the Lower Miami Springs Municipal Well Field.
Starting in 1966, there had been approximately 15 spills and leaks at the site related to industrial operations needed to run the airport. The total discharge of spills is estimated to be approximately two million gallons. This included an underground pipeline leak resulting in the discharge of about 1.6 million gallons of varsol, a petroleum solvent, discovered in the northeast section of the airport around 1970.
The Varsol site and two other sites, the Miami Drum Services site and the Northwest 58th Street Landfill site, are being collectively considered as one management unit for the cleanup investigation and selection of cleanup activities. They are related, in that they all lie over the Biscayne Aquifer, which is the sole source of drinking water for the residents of southeastern Florida.
The surface water and ground water were contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Site Cleanup Plan
The Record of Decision for the site was issued in 1985 and was a No-Action Record of Decision due to no trace of varsol being found at the site.
Removal of underground hydrocarbons at the airport was attempted in the early 1970s primarily at the Eastern Airlines maintenance base. Hydrocarbon decontamination separator trenches were installed by Eastern Airlines in 1971 to remove the 1.5 million gallons of varsol that had spilled underground. The recovery operations were terminated in August 1973 due to slow natural migration of hydrocarbons into the trenches. Actual recovered volumes were approximately 133,000 gallons of hydrocarbons.
In 1983, Dade County installed 43 monitoring wells to determine the extent and magnitude of jet fuel spilled. In 1983, Dade County also installed three recovery wells in the Concourse E area and began recovery operations. Through May 1984, over 102,000 gallons of jet fuel had been recovered from the area.
In 1985, after detailed site analyses, EPA determined that no action needed to take place at this site because it posed no public or environmental threa and the site could be deleted from the NPL.
The 1988 Notice of Intent for Deletion for the site states that, “while no varsol was found in and around the airport, the spill did occur. Several factors could contribute to the fact that no varsol is detectable at this time; some of the solvent was recovered. Biodegradation is believed to have destroyed some more, but the hydrology of the aquifer system strongly suggests some of the solvent contributed to and has become a part of the “background” contamination in the aquifer. EPA, with the concurrence of the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation, has determined all appropriate Fund-financed response have been completed” at the site.
[Miami-]Dade County brought enforcement action against Eastern Airlines, the owner of the solvents that spilled. A Consent Agreement was signed to assess and clean up, if necessary, several maintenance areas and tank farms.
EPA conducted a range of community involvement activities related to the Varsol site to solicit community input and to ensure that the public remained informed about site activities throughout the site cleanup process.
The site was deleted from the NPL in September 1988.
No Five-Year Reviews are required for the site.
No further updates are warranted at this time.
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.
Metropolitan Dade County
Department of Environment
33 Southwest 2nd Avenue, Suite 800
Miami, FL 33130
For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.