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Environmental Enforcement Roundup: EPA Adminstrative Order; Barber’s Orchard Remediation

Environmental Leader’s daily roundup of key environmental enforcement news

EPA Orders Property Owner Not to Install Wells

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has signed a Unilateral Administrative Order, requiring Gillingham Road, LLC to refrain from installing any new groundwater wells or pumping any currently installed groundwater wells on property located northwest of the Mottolo Pig Farm Superfund Site in Raymond, N.H.

The order was issued to prevent the release of hazardous substances because the property is located in an area where new groundwater use is likely to draw site contamination into new or existing wells.

The order follows a Record of Decision Amendment issued by EPA on Sept. 22, which will add an extension of the Town of Raymond public water supply main approximately two miles to provide public water to approximately 25 residences.

The Mottolo Pig Farm, previously owned and operated by Richard Mottolo, has been on EPA’s Superfund list since 1987 following completion of a removal action on site. The pig farm was used as a disposal location by the owner until 1979, who disposed of drums and pails containing hazardous waste into a one-quarter acre depression at the site. Work by EPA and the N.H. Dept. of Environmental Services (NHDES) has also included several additional cleanup actions as well as long term water monitoring on and around the site. Recent results of the groundwater monitoring found elevated levels of trichloroethylene (TCE) and arsenic in some residential drinking wells. The September Record of Decision Amendment served to address continuing water contamination issues in these residential wells.

Gillingham Road, LLC is the owner of property located on Blueberry Hill Road near the site. The property has been subdivided for residential development of 35 lots. Despite prior communications from EPA and NHDES notifying Gillingham Road, LLC that use of the groundwater under the property would likely cause contaminated groundwater to migrate toward the property, Gillingham Road, LLC has proceeded to install wells on the property and purge them for testing. Prior to the effective date of the Order, Gillingham Road, LLC will have an opportunity to request a conference with EPA, on any matter pertinent to the Order.

EPA to Begin Removal Actions at Barber’s Orchard Site

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and contractor, Environmental Restoration, on Friday announced they were commencing remediation efforts at Barber’s Orchard in Waynesville, NC to begin removal actions of contaminants at the site.

Activities to be included in the removal action are to document current conditions of roads, clear appropriate portions of properties, construct erosion control structures where/when needed, excavate and dispose of off-site contaminated soil (approximately 127,374 cubic yards) and remove any underground distribution pipeline and dispose of off-site.

At the height of operations, approximately 100-120 trucks will be entering and leaving the staging area on a daily basis. Hours of operation will be 10 to 11 hours per day, Monday through Friday and at least a half day on Saturday. Water will be used to minimize dust emissions during soil excavation, transport and hauling, and air monitoring will be conducted during all excavations. The removal action is projected to be completed in September 2011.

Barber’s Orchard was a 438 acre productive apple orchard for many years. In 1988, after bankruptcy, the bank holding the loan on the Orchard began selling tracts of land in various sizes. Of the 438 acres, approximately 100 acres have been developed into residential properties, 10 acres have been replanted with apple trees, 20 acres have been developed into church properties, approximately 30 acres have been developed as either commercial or light industrial property, approximately 30 more acres may be developed into commercial or light industrial property, and the remaining acreage, approximately 248 acres, is anticipated to be developed into residential properties.

The following chemicals were identified as chemicals of concern in the soil: arsenic, lead, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDD), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, and endrin ketone. Lindane has been detected in the groundwater. The selected soil remediation documented in the 2004 Record of Decision was soil excavation with off-site disposal of contaminated soil.

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