Para-Chem Southern, Inc.
Site Summary ProfileEPA ID: SCD002601656
Location: Simpsonville, Greenville County, SC
Lat/Long: 34.713400, -082.233000
Congressional District: 04
NPL Status: Proposed: 10/26/89; Final: 08 /30/90; Partially Deleted: 12/11/97
Affected Media: Ground water, Sludge, Subsurface Soil, Surface Water
Cleanup Status: Construction Complete - Physical cleanup activities have been completed.
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Industrial - An active manufacturing plant operates on the site.
Site Manager: Ralph Howard (email@example.com)
The 134-acre Para-Chem Southern, Inc. site, located in Simpsonville, Greenville County, South Carolina, is the location of an active manufacturing facility. The plant produces acrylic polymers, thickeners, latex coatings, and adhesives for a variety of consumer and industrial applications. The manufacturing plant has been operational since 1965. (ADD PARA BREAK?) In 1985, Para-Chem notified EPA and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) regarding three areas on the Para-Chem Site where plant wastes were thought to have been buried between 1975 and 1979. Wastewater from the plant was disposed of in two unlined lagoons until November 1984, when the SCDHEC issued Para-Chem a permit under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). During 1985, two spills of ethyl acrylate totaling 3,515 gallons occurred during plant operations at a tank farm west of the plant production area. The spills occurred within an earthen dike containment area; however, a small amount of ethyl acrylate discharged into an adjacent storm drainage ditch. The spills were contained on the Para-Chem property.
Site investigations overseen by SCDHEC (1986-89), found that surface water, subsurface soils, sludges on the site , and ground water, both on and off site, were contaminated with site-related compounds. Contaminants included polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, base neutral acids, metals, and volatile organic compounds. An estimated 1,500 people obtain drinking water from private wells within three miles of the site, the nearest within one mile.
Site Cleanup Plan
The Record of Decision (ROD) for the site was issued in 1993. Major cleanup elements for the site included:
- Excavation of contaminated sludge and subsurface soil, with verification sampling.
- Biological treatment of sludge. Treatability studies may be performed if deemed necessary by EPA to evaluate the effectiveness of this process.
- Transportation of the non-biodegradable portions of the sludge and adjacent soils to an approved facility, and treatment of the sludge and soils, if necessary, to comply with land disposal restrictions.
- Extraction of contaminated ground water.
- Treatment of contaminated ground water using air stripping to remove organic contaminants. Additional pre-treatment will be performed, if necessary, to allow for discharge of the treated ground water to a local publicly-owned treatment works.
On December 23, 1999, EPA issued a ROD Amendment to address two additional areas of contamination that had not been evaluated during the initial remedial investigation. The major components of the modified remedy include:
- Implementation of a soil vapor extraction system to address contaminated soils in H-400 area.
- Modification of the soil performance standards for the H-400 area.
- Expansion of the ground water recovery system to include ground water recovery and treatment surrounding the MW-22 area.
Approximately 3,000 tons of drums, waste materials, soil, and debris were also removed from four former disposal areas in 1987.
During 1996, as required in the 1993 ROD, the potentially responsible party (PRP) removed an additional 18,607 tons of contaminated waste materials from the site. Upgrades to the existing ground water recovery system were completed in 1998, and additional construction and well-installation work was completed during 2000-2001 to implement the remedy described in the 1999 ROD Amendment. The soil vapor extraction system operated from early 2000 through mid-2001; treatment was terminated upon reaching the soil cleanup goals. With the completion of the SVE.
The first Five-Year Review (FYR) for the site was completed in September 2005 and raised concerns over how effective the ground water recovery system was in capturing the contaminated ground water plume. However, groundwater modeling by an EPA contractor in 2007 allayed some of this concern. A number of operational changes to the groundwater recovery and treatment system were completed in 2006-2007. Also in 2006 and 2007, a work plan for addressing the FYR recommendations was prepared, amended, and approved. Field work implementing the plan was performed and reported to EPA and South Carolina DHEC in 2008. In September 2010 the US Army Corps of Engineers completed a second FYR for EPA on the Para-Chem Southern, Inc. Site. This review considered progress made since 2005. Aside from administrative matters, the main 2010 FYR findings indicate that while the system is performing as intended, certain additional investigation work will still be necessary to confirm the complete effectiveness of the groundwater recovery and treatment system. System operations, semi-annual sampling, and monitoring continue in 2011.
Site cleanup activities are being led primarily by PRP with oversight by EPA.
SCDHEC placed the PRP under a joint wastewater/hazardous waste Consent Order in February 1985 to remove the buried drums and to address the January 1985 spill of 3,500 gallons of ethyl acrylate.
In January 1986, SCDHEC fined the PRP for violating its NPDES permit. Since 1986, the company has been fined twice for failure to meet its NPDES permit.
The PRP entered into Consent Order 86-17-W, SW with SCDHEC on February 27, 1986, to investigate environmental conditions at the site.
Under Superfund, the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study was performed by the PRP under an Administrative Order on Consent issued by EPA on September 27, 1991.
In October 1994 EPA and the PRP signed a Consent Decree for the design and construction of the site remedy described in the 1991 ROD.
EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities at the Para-Chem Southern, Inc. 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. Most recently, a newspaper advertisement was placed in the Greenville (SC) paper before the start of the 2010 Five-Year Review.
Based on the 2010 Five-Year Review findings and recommendations, a work plan is in preparation by the PRP. Field work and other work to address the Five-Year Review recommendations will continue during 2011-2012. Operation and monitoring of the groundwater recovery and treatment system continues.
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.
Fountain Inn Library
400 Main Street
Fountain Inn, SC 29644
For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.