EPA TO PROPOSE SITE TO NATIONAL PRIORITIES LIST
West Highway 6 & Highway 281, Hastings, NE
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing the West Highway 6 & Highway 281 Site to the National Priorities List or NPL. The NPL is a published list of hazardous waste sites in the country that are eligible for extensive, long-term clean-up action under the Superfund Program. EPA is asking the public for comments on this proposal.
EPA is requesting public comments on its plan
Docket Coordinator, Headquarters
Attention Docket ID No. SFUND-2005-0005
The site is an area of groundwater contamination that is located along a portion of West Highway 6, also known as J Street, in southwest Hastings. Tetrachloroethylene, or PCE, and other common industrial solvents have been detected in the groundwater in this area. Some of these contaminants have been found in two nearby municipal wells and some private wells. EPA estimates the plume of contamination to be approximately two miles long.
A suspected source of the contamination is the former Dana Corporation facility located near the intersection of West Highway 6 and Highway 281. Past releases of solvents from Dana Corporation’s historical manufacturing operations have impacted the soils and groundwater. In 2003, Dana Corporation and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) entered into an agreement to address the contamination at the facility.
Dana Corporation has taken certain actions to address the contamination at its former facility, including the performance of soil and groundwater investigations, and installation of soil vapor and groundwater extraction systems to help contain the contamination. NDEQ and EPA have also performed investigations at the Site beyond the boundary of the former Dana facility, in order to determine the impact of PCE contamination in municipal and private wells along Highway 6. On July 1, 2005, NDEQ sent a request to EPA for assistance with the investigation and cleanup of this site.
EPA is conducting the site investigations under the Superfund program. Congress established the Superfund program in 1980 in response to growing concerns over human health and environmental risks posed by hazardous sites. Superfund is one way EPA can discover, investigate and clean up contaminated sites.
After a Superfund site is discovered, cleanup can fall under two programs: removal or remedial. Removal actions address immediate threats to human health or the environment posed by contamination. Remedial actions address sites that require extensive and potentially long-term cleanup.
Under the Superfund program, a site may qualify for placement on the NPL. The NPL is intended primarily to guide EPA in determining which sites warrant further investigation and cleanup. For a site to be included on the NPL it has to score sufficiently on the Hazard Ranking System (HRS). The HRS evaluates exposure pathways and the potential risk to human health and the environment.
Those sites that score high enough on the HRS are eligible for the NPL. A site that is listed on the NPL qualifies to be financed by Superfund’s Trust Fund. If a responsible party is not identified, a site cannot undergo a remedial cleanup unless it is listed on the NPL.
The West Highway 6 &Highway 281 Site is being proposed to the NPL because of the affect of PCE on the drinking water supply. The State of Nebraska and the City of Hastings both support this proposal.
CURRENT AND FUTURE ACTIONS
Plans for future investigations and cleanup are being made. A remedial investigation and feasibility study will be performed to fully define the nature and extent of contamination, followed by an evaluation of alternatives to clean up the contamination. EPA will ultimately present this information to the community and ask for comments on EPA’s proposed actions before making decisions about the cleanup.
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE GRANT
EPA encourages community participation during all phases of the Superfund process. The Agency values citizen input and wants to help affected communities understand the technical information related to this site. EPA’s Technical Assistance Grant Program provides up to $50,000 under Superfund for a qualified citizens group to hire independent technical advisers. The technical advisers can help citizens interpret technical data, understand site hazards, and become more knowledgeable about the different technologies that are used to clean up sites.
Documents describing EPA’s investigations at the site can be found at the following locations during regular business hours:
EPA Region 7
Superfund Records Center
910 N. 5th Street
Kansas City, Kansas
Hastings Public Library
517 West 4th Street
If you have questions about this fact sheet or need additional information regarding this site, please contact:
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of External Programs
901 North 5th Street
Kansas City, Kansas 66101