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General Electric/Shepherd Farm

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General Electric facility on the General Electric/Shepherd Farm site.

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: NCD079044426
Location: East Flat Rock, Henderson County, NC
Lat/Long: 35.272220, -082.411110
Congressional District: 11
NPL Status: Proposed: 02/07/92; Final: 12/16/94
Affected Media: Ground water, Soil
Cleanup Status: Construction Complete – Physical cleanup activities have been completed.
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: Yes
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: In continued use – a manufacturing facility and a residential area are located on site
Site Manager: Michael Townsend (townsend.michael@epa.gov)


Current Site Status

The General Electric Co/Shepherd Farm site includes two areas where General Electric (GE) has operated a manufacturing facility and a waste disposal area since 1955. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1994 because of contaminated ground water and soil resulting from waste handling practices. EPA, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR), and GE, the site’s potentially responsible party (PRP), have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination. Site contamination does not currently threaten people living and working near the site. By treating ground water and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA, NCDENR and the site’s PRP continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

Site Location and Background

The site includes two separate disposal areas in East Flat Rock, Henderson County, North Carolina. The 110-acre GE Lighting Systems facility area is located at the southeastern corner of Spartanburg Highway (U.S. Highway 176) and Tabor Road. The 31-acre Shepherd Farm area is located on Roper Road, 1,200 feet west of Spartanburg Highway and southwest of the GE Lighting Systems facility. The GE Lighting Systems facility area includes an active manufacturing facility, a warehouse, eight plots formerly used for waste disposal, two unlined waste treatment ponds, a sludge impoundment, two former landfills and a recreation center. The Shepherd Farm area includes 125 manufactured homes, a residence and agricultural land. Residential areas, commercial businesses and agricultural land surround the site.

Since 1955, GE has manufactured several types of luminaire systems at the GE Lighting Systems facility. From 1955 until 1975, transformer production operations produced wastes. From 1957 to 1970, operations disposed of wastes on site and in a dry pond on the Shepherd Farm area. In 1994, EPA listed the site on the NPL. Currently, the manufacturing facility continues to operate at the site.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in ground water and soil that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from waste handling practices at the site. Contaminants of concern include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) vinyl chloride, trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (also known as PCE or PERC), metal, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

The site’s PRP cleaned up soil contamination to support commercial and industrial uses at the GE Lighting Systems facility area. The PRP cleaned up soil contamination to support residential use at the Shepherd Farm area.

Ground water contamination remains on site and off site. Residences located on the Shepherd Farm area are upgradient of ground water contamination. People do not use private wells in the area affected by ground water contamination. The PRP provides some residences with bottled water. A water line connects other residences to the public water supply.

EPA assessed whether residents or workers might be at risk from harmful ground water vapors in buildings. EPA found that vapor intrusion did not pose a threat to residents and workers.

The PRP considered children’s health issues as part of the site’s risk assessment.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

GE, the site’s PRP, leads site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA and NCDENR.

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Site Cleanup Plan

In 1995, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for the site. The plan included the following activities:

In 2000, EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) to remove the use of living organisms as part of ground water cleanup activities and to change the discharge location for treated ground water to the GE facility.

Summaries of site cleanup approaches are also available online in key site cleanup documents, including the ROD.

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Cleanup Progress

The site’s PRP removed all underground storage tanks, contaminated soil and a ruptured drain line from the site.

The PRP extended a water line to connect some residences to the public water supply. The PRP provides other residences with bottled water.

In 1997, the PRP removed contaminated soil from the Shepherd Farm area.

In 1999, the PRP removed contaminated soil from the GE Lighting Systems facility area and completed capping activities.

In 2000, the PRP completed construction of the pump-and-treat system and began operating it.

The site’s second Five-Year Review, completed in 2009, found that the cleanup continues to protect people and the environment in the short term. In order for the cleanup to be protective over the long term, the Five-Year Review recommended additional site activities.

Summaries of cleanup activities are also available in Five-Year Reviews online.

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Enforcement Activities

EPA negotiated legal agreements with the site’s PRP to investigate and clean up the site. The PRP continues to fund site cleanup, monitoring and oversight activities.

The ROD and Five-Year Reviews online provide additional information on specific legal agreements for the site.

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Community Involvement

EPA has worked with the community and its state partner to develop a long-term cleanup plan for the site, reflecting the Agency’s commitment to safe, healthy communities and environmental protection. Community engagement and public outreach are core components of EPA program activities.

EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities to solicit community input and to make sure the public remains informed about site activities throughout the cleanup process. Outreach efforts have included public notices, interviews and public meetings.

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Future Work

The site’s PRP is working on the Five-Year Review recommendations by implementing institutional controls to protect the integrity of the cap and to restrict ground water use and by conducting a drinking well survey.

Ground water treatment and operation and maintenance activities are ongoing.

EPA completed the last Five-Year Review in 2009 and plans to complete the next Five-Year Review in 2015.

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Additional Information

EPA keeps additional site documents and information in a site information repository at the location below. EPA also posts site documents, when available, on EPA’s CERCLIS Site Profile page. For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.

Site Repository

Henderson County Public Library
301 N. Washington Street
Hendersonville, NC 28739

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