Medley Farm Drum Dump
Site Summary ProfileEPA ID: SCD980558142
Location: Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC
Lat/Long: 34.980500, -081.668500
Congressional District: 05
NPL Status: Proposed: 06/10/86; Final: 03/31/89
Affected Media: Ground water, Soil
Cleanup Status: Construction Complete - Physical cleanup activities have been completed.
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Potential for Commercial/Light Industrial
Site Manager: Ralph Howard (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Medley Farm Drum Dump site is located in a rural setting about five miles south of the town of Gaffney in Cherokee County, South Carolina. From 1973 to 1978, a 7-acre portion of the 62-acre farm property was used for storing drums of chemical wastes. In June 1983, EPA and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) investigated the site after a local resident reported the off loading of numerous drums on site. More than 5,400 drums were found buried at the property. The drums were in poor condition and many showed signs of previous leaks or were actively leaking. Six unlined lagoons containing 70,000 gallons of contaminated rain water and 2100 cubic yards of contaminated soil and refuse, were also present on the site.
EPA analyses in 1983 (see “Cleanup Progress” below) indicated that the drums and contaminated soils found onsite contained numerous volatile organic liquids, including toluene, benzene, vinyl chloride, and polychlorinated biphenyls. Studies conducted between 1989 and 1991 by the Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs), determined that soils and groundwater were contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), chloroform and 1,1,2-trichloroethane. Three areas of soil requiring treatment were identified, consisting of about 1 acre in total, while approximately 10 acres of the site were underlain by contaminated groundwater requiring treatment. Groundwater continues to be a significant potable water source in areas surrounding the site.
Site Cleanup Plan
The Record of Decision (ROD) for the site was issued in 1991. Major cleanup elements for the site included:
- Extraction and on-site treatment of contaminated ground water by air stripping.
- Off-site discharge of treated ground water to Jones Creek via a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.
- In-situ soil vapor extraction of soils that contain contamination above the soil cleanup goals.
- Review of the existing ground water monitoring system to insure proper monitoring of ground water. If deemed necessary, additional monitoring wells will be installed to mitigate any deficiencies in the existing ground water monitoring system.
- Monitoring of soil, ground water, and surface water.
A modification to the 1991 site cleanup plan, called an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), was issued by EPA in 2010. The ESD requires that institutional controls in the form of a restrictive covenant be implemented at the Site, because the cleanup action results in site contaminants remaining at the Site above levels that allow for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure to groundwater. No institutional controls were included in the original site cleanup plan.
During June and July 1983, an EPA removal action collected and disposed of approximately 2,100 cubic yards of contaminated soil and refuse, 5,400 drums and other containers of hazardous wastes, and 70,000 gallons of contaminated water and sludge from the six unlined lagoons. The lagoons were then backfilled with clean soil.
After a design phase, construction of both the soil vapor extraction system to treat soils and the 11-well ground water extraction and treatment system to treat ground water was completed in 1995. Both systems operated continuously until 2004. To address areas where greater contamination was present, EPA approved the installation of supplemental dual-phase recovery wells to capture both soil vapor and ground water for treatment in 2000 and 2001.
As of September 2004, soil had met cleanup goals and the soil vapor extraction system was turned off. Based on declining performance from the groundwater treatment system, EPA also approved termination of groundwater pump-and-treat operations. At the same time, EPA approved an optimization measure under the ROD, a “supplemental remedial action” which uses an enhanced reductive dechlorination (insitu biodegradation) treatment process. The supplemental RA is performed as groundwater injection events in which nutrient (lactate) solutions are placed into the affected groundwater. A period of groundwater monitoring and a subsequent sampling event to determine the effects and influence of the treatment then follow.
Between 2004 and 2006, four ground water nutrient injections were administered in order to enhance the natural biodegradation of lingering contaminants in the ground water, each followed by a monitoring period before sampling. In 2007, to test the degree to which favorable conditions would continue to prevail in site groundwater, EPA approved a longer monitoring period of almost 12 months. In July 2008, injections were resumed targeting wells that maintain elevated contaminant levels. A site-wide ground water monitoring event followed at the end of 2008. A 2009 report on these results showed continued contaminant reductions. EPA completed a Five-Year Review in 2009 (see link on this page), which included an extensive review of groundwater data to guide continued treatments. Also in 2009, a sixth site groundwater injection treatment was completed in site wells. The 2010 Remedial Action Biennial Progress Report, submitted to EPA and SCDHEC in August 2010, reported the results from this treatment.
The 2010 report proposed additional injection treatment events and potential improvements to the current infrastructure and methods. EPA approved this report in February 2011. Because the supplemental RA has been underway longer than originally expected, EPA initiated a formal modification to the site remedy during 2011, which will lead to EPA’s issuance of an Amendment to the 1991 ROD. The first step, a Focused Feasibility Study that considers the enhanced reductive dechlorination process used during the supplemental RA as well as other potential remedial technologies to address remaining Site groundwater contamination, was completed in December 2011.
The PRPs are taking the primary lead on the site cleanup activities with oversight by EPA.
On June 30, 1987, EPA signed a Consent Decree with the generators of the waste at the site for reimbursement of 83% of costs incurred by the United States in the 1983 removal action.
On January 29, 1988, EPA issued an Administrative Order on Consent to the PRPs for performance of the remedial investigation and feasibility study.
On March 27, 1992, a Consent Decree between EPA and the PRPs was entered in US District Court (South Carolina District, Greenville Division), to govern Remedial Design/Remedial Action activities at the site.
EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities at the Medley Farm Drum Dump 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, fact sheets, and public meetings on cleanup activities and updates.
EPA is preparing a Proposed Plan for the ROD Amendment, and will conduct community involvement activities during the first few months of 2012. EPA expects to complete the ROD Amendment during 2012. Groundwater remediation work will continue during 2012 and 2013.
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.
Cherokee County Public Library
300 East Rutledge Street
Gaffney, SC 29340
For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.