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Helena Chemical Co. Landfill

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Helena Chemical site

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Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: SCD058753971
Location: Fairfax, Allendale County, SC
Lat/Long: 32.941200, -081.239000
Congressional District: 02
NPL Status: Proposed: 06/24/88; Final: 2/21/90
Affected Media: Debris, Ground water, Sediment, 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: Commercial - Retail sales outlet for agricultural chemicals.
Site Manager: Candice Teichert (teichert.candice@epa.gov)


Current Site Status

The Helena Chemical Co. Landfill site includes an area where several companies owned and operated pesticide formulation facilities from the mid-1960s until 1979. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1990 because of contaminated debris, ground water, sediment and soil resulting from facility operations. EPA, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), and Helena Chemical Company, 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 monitoring ground water, sampling ground water, the public water supply and sediment, and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA, SCDHEC and the site’s PRP continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The 13.5-acre site is located in Fairfax, Allendale County, South Carolina. The site includes a 4-acre former landfill in the northeast portion of the site, two warehouse buildings and an office building. An undeveloped wooded area borders the site to the north. An abandoned manufacturing facility borders the site to the south. Railroad tracks and U.S Highway 321 border the site to the east. Agricultural and undeveloped land and several residences border the site to the west. A residential neighborhood and Fairfax Elementary School are located northeast of the site. Homes near the site include low-income and minority residents. A public water supply well is located 200 feet west of the site.

Prior to the mid-1960s, Atlas Chemical Company owned and operated a pesticide formulation facility at the site. Two other companies owned and operated pesticide formulation facilities at the site: Blue Chemical Company from the mid-1960s until 1971 and Helena Chemical Company from 1971 until 1979. Helena Chemical Company’s operations included the formulation of both liquid and dry agricultural insecticides. The company’s formulation operations ended in 1979.

In 1990, EPA listed the site on the NPL. Currently, Helena Chemical Co. continues to operate a retail facility on site that sells fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and seed. A fence surrounds the site.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in debris, ground water, sediment and soil that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from facility operations at the site. Contaminants of concern include pesticides, aldrin, benzene hexachloride isomers, chlordane, dieldrin, disulfoton, endrin, toxaphene and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Contamination affected ground water on site and off site. Ground water contamination poses a threat to the public water supply well near the site. However, the City of Fairfax connected the site and surrounding areas to the public water supply and EPA does not consider ground water contamination to be a risk to people.

EPA dug up and removed contaminated soil.

Sediment contamination remains in wetlands on site and poses a threat to biological receptors. Fencing surrounds the contaminated sediment and limits access to the area.

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.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

Helena Chemical Company, the site’s PRP, leads site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA and SCDHEC.

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Site Cleanup Plan

In 1993, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for the site. The plan included the following activities:

In 1995, EPA issued an amendment to the cleanup plan (a ROD Amendment) to update soil cleanup activities to include incineration of contaminated soil at an off-site facility.

In 1999, EPA issued a second ROD Amendment to update cleanup activities to include the separation of waste into three categories: demolition debris, soils with low concentrations of contamination and soils with high concentrations of contamination. Cleanup activities sent the highly contaminated soils off site for incineration and the less contaminated soils and demolition debris to off-site hazardous waste landfills.

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

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Cleanup Progress

In 1980, SCDHEC conducted an investigation of the site.

In 1995, the site’s PRP completed construction of the ground water pump-and-treat system, began operation of the system and implemented the wetland mitigation system.

From 1997 until 1999, the PRP conducted cleanup activities. The PRP removed 5,172 cubic yards of contaminated soil from the site, incinerated it and disposed of an additional 7,741 cubic yards of contaminated soil at off-site disposal facilities.

The site’s second Five-Year Review, completed in 2009, found that the cleanup remains protective of human health and the environment. The Five-Year Review recommended additional steps to make sure the cleanup remains protective for the long term.

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 pump-and-treat system continues to operate at the site.

Ground water monitoring and sampling of ground water and sediment are ongoing.

EPA plans to establish a site repository near the site.

EPA completed the last Five-Year Review in 2009 and plans to complete the next Five-Year Review in 2014.

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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

Fairfax City Hall
635 Allendale Fairfax Highway
Fairfax, SC  29827

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