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Townsend Saw Chain Co.

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Ground water treatment building on the Townsend Saw Chain Co. site.
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Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: SCD980558050
Location: Pontiac, Richland County, SC
Lat/Long: 34.106250, -080.834160
Congressional District: 02
NPL Status: Proposed: 06/24/88; Final 02/21/90
Affected Media: Ground water, Soil
Cleanup Status: Construction complete - Physical cleanup activities have been completed.
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Industrial - A fuel injection equipment manufacturing facility currently operates on the site.
Site Manager: Scott Miller (miller.scott@epa.gov)


Site Background

The 50-acre Townsend Saw Chain Co. site is a small manufacturing facility located approximately two miles south of Pontiac, Richland County, South Carolina. Starting in 1971, Textron Inc. began utilizing the facility for manufacturing the saw chain component of chain saws. Between 1964 and 1981, under both Textron, Inc. and a previous owner, Dictaphone Inc., waste rinse waters from on-site plating and parts-assembly processes were discharged to the ground surface in a low-lying area adjacent to the facility. These discharges are the origin of the ground water and soil contamination.

Currently AMBAC International (formerly American Bosch), a manufacturer and supplier of fuel injection equipment, operates the facility.

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Threats and Contaminants

Wastewaters produced by facility operations contained heavy metals and solvents which contaminated ground water and soil at the site. Major contaminants of concern included chromium, cadmium, cyanide, nitrite and nitrate salts, and several volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Private wells within three miles of the site provide drinking water to an estimated 1,400 people. The nearest well is less than 0.4 miles from the site. Woodcreek Lake is within two miles downstream of the site and is used for recreational activities.

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Site Cleanup Plan

An Interim Record of Decision (IROD) for the site was issued in 1994. Major components of this interim action included:

The Final ROD for the site was issued in 1996. Major cleanup elements for the site included:

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Cleanup Progress

Cleanup began at this site in the early 1980s with the installation of a ground water pump and treat system. This system operated until 2002 and recovered more than 550 pounds of chromium from the ground water.

During 1995-1996, approximately 75 tons of soil contaminated with chromium, lead, and several other heavy metals were excavated from two hotspot locations and properly disposed.

In 2000, an innovative, in-situ (treat-in-place) technology was initiated at the site which converts hexavalent chromium into an inert and harmless type of chromium mineral that can safely remain in the subsurface. From 2000-2003, injection well lines were used to place ferrous sulfate in contact with chromium-contaminated ground water on the site and on the adjoining off-site area. This treatment has steadily reduced the size of the ground water contamination plume, but a few monitoring wells still have elevated chromium concentrations.

Further in-situ chemical treatment of ground water on the main site was completed in November 2008, and a biostimulation pilot study has been proposed to address VOCs in the ground water plume.

A remedial design is currently underway to prevent continued discharges of chromium and VOCs to the adjoining off-site wetlands, and will include installation of a permeable reactive barrier to stop discharge of contaminants into the tributary.

Site cleanup activities are being led primarily by potentially responsible parties with oversight by EPA.  

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Enforcement Activities

In 1982, as required by a Consent Order with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), Textron, Inc. installed a ground water treatment system, consisting of five extraction wells, chemical treatment tanks, and an irrigation field for disposal of the treated water.

In October 1991, EPA and Textron, Inc. signed an Administrative Order on Consent under which Textron agreed to conduct a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) at the site.

In 1994, based on an Interim Record of Decision, EPA issued a CERCLA Section 106 order (to which the company voluntarily agreed) requiring Textron, Inc. to design and construct an improved pump and treat system.

The Remedial Action (RA) is being conducted by Textron, Inc. and their consultants under a Unilateral Administrative Order which became effective April 1997 and an Administrative Order on Consent which became effective August 2001.

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Community Involvement

EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities at the Townsend Saw Chain Co. 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.

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Future Work

Ground water treatment is ongoing and all groundwater cleanup goals are expected to met within 3 years of February 2011.  The next Five-Year review will be completed in 2015.

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Site Administrative Documents

Site Repository

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.

Northeast Regional Library
7490 Park Lane Rd.
Columbia, SC 29223

For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.

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