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Rock Hill Chemical Co./Rutledge Property

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Cleanup operations at the Rock Hill Chemical site.

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: SCD980844005
Location: Rock Hill, York County, SC
Lat/Long: 34.966100, -080.998500
Congressional District: 05
NPL Status: Proposed: 06/24/88; Final: 02/21/90
Affected Media: Ground water
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: Not in use
Site Manager: Michael Townsend (townsend.michael@epa.gov)


Current Site Status

The Rock Hill Chemical Co. site includes an area where the Rock Hill Chemical Company operated a distilling and recovery facility from 1960 to 1964. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1990 because of contaminated ground water resulting from waste handling practices at the site. EPA, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), and the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs) 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. A water line connects the site and residences and businesses near the site to the public water supply. By conducting pilot studies, treating ground water and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA, SCDHEC and the site’s PRPs continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The 4.5-acre site is located next to U.S. Highway 21 (Cherry Road) and Farlow Street in Rock Hill, York County, South Carolina. The foundation of the former chemical company building remains on site. The southern portion of the site includes a parking lot and a commercial business. Vegetation and woods cover the northern portion of the site, which includes a campsite area where people live. U.S. Highway 21 (Cherry Road) and the former Rock Hill Mall border the site to the south. Commercial businesses border the site to the west. Residences and an unnamed stream border the site to the north. A shopping plaza borders the site to the east. The site’s broader surroundings include residential and commercial land uses. The Leonard Chemical Company, Inc. Superfund site is located northwest of the site.

From 1960 to 1964, the Rock Hill Chemical Company operated a distilling and recovery facility for paint solvents and textile dye products. Operations stored paint sludges, textile dye products, still bottoms and other wastes generated during the reclamation process and placed these materials directly onto the ground. In 1964, a fire at the facility caused drums of oil and chemicals to explode and release their contents. Following the fire, operations ended at the site.

In 1972, First Federal Savings Bank bought a portion of the property. In 1984, the bank began construction of a branch office on the property. In 1990, EPA listed the site on the NPL. The site is vacant and not in use.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations identified contamination in ground water that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from waste handling practices at the site.  Contaminants of concern include trichloroethylene (TCE), 1,2-dichloroethene (DCE), vinyl chloride and manganese.

In 1986 and 1987, First Federal Savings Bank and SCDHEC conducted cleanup activities to remove contaminated soil from the site. Following the cleanup activities, EPA determined that no further action for soil was necessary.

Ground water contamination remains confined to the site’s boundary. However, a water line connects the site to the public water supply and people do not use ground water on or near the site for drinking water purposes.

In 2008, 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

The site’s PRPs lead site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA and SCDHEC.

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Site Cleanup Plan

In 1994, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for the site. The plan included the following activities:

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

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Cleanup Progress

In 1986 and 1987, First Federal Savings Bank and SCDHEC removed contaminated soil and drums and disposed of the materials at an off-site landfill. From 1987 to 1989, First Federal Savings Bank and SCDHEC removed several tanks, the wastes from the tanks, and contaminated soil and disposed of the materials at an off-site landfill.

The site’s PRPs began operating the ground water treatment system in 1995.

The site’s third Five-Year Review, completed in 2011, found the cleanup remains protective of human health and the environment in the short term. The Five-Year Review also found that deed restrictions need to be put in place to restrict ground water use at the site for the cleanup to remain protective in 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 PRPs to investigate and clean up the site. The PRPs continue 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 information meetings.

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Future Work

In 2012, EPA issued the results of the PRPs’ pilot studies. The results of the studies will help to determine whether the use of living organisms to break down contamination or the use of soil vapor extraction would be effective for addressing the site’s ground water contamination.

The ground water treatment system continues to operate at the site.

EPA completed the last Five-Year Review in 2011 and plans to complete the next Five-Year Review in 2016.

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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

York County Library
138 East Black Street
Rock Hill, SC 2793

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