From 1945 to 1991 ESCO manufactured, repaired, and refurbished electrical transformers and high-voltage switchgear for electrical distribution. <br />Other manufacturing operations at the site included metal fabrication, welding, grinding, sandblasting, silver electroplating, and painting.<br />Purpose of the Site<br />
<ul><li>The Texas Department of Water Quality began investigations in1980 after receiving a complaint that transformer oil had been improperly disposed of at the site.
2003 Phase I & II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) was conducted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
2008 the site was added to the National Priorities List (NPL).</li></ul>History of Main Investigations<br />
When complaints were made against ESCO, a testing well was sunk to test for ground water contamination, which always came up negative.<br />After ESCO went bankrupt and abandoned the site, the EPA sunk a 5th test well, which tested positive for PCB ground water contamination.<br />However, levels were so low they decided that no action was necessary at the time because residents received their water from city reservoirs located several miles away.<br />Whydidittakesolong?<br />
Results & Information<br />Detected in the soil of the 5 acre site:<br />Very high concentrations of the toxic compound called Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB).<br /><ul><li>Contamination was found all the way down to 15 feet below the surface of the soil, with the highest concentrations found only 0-6 inches from the surface.</li></li></ul><li>Results & Information, Continued<br />PCB’s were also found in a nearby ditch:<br />This ditch fills with water after it rains/floods thus contaminating the water and fish in nearby waters.<br />Local residents fish in these waters, which can become contaminated by these raining/flooding events.<br />
Asbestos – is a carcinogenic fibrous silicate mineral.
Asbestos is mainly used a fire retardant in buildings.</li></ul>ACM reporting limit for Asbestos is 1%.<br />30-60% ACM levels were detected on site.<br />Happily and ironically, the Asbestos has been remediated by a recent fire!!<br />Regretfully, More Results & Information<br />
Polychlorinated Biphenyl’s (PCB’s)<br />No natural source of PCB’s.<br />PCB’s are mixtures of synthetic and organic chemicals.<br />Used as coolants, lubricants, hydraulic fluid, & dielectric fluid in transformers, pumps, and other electrical equipment.<br />They don’t easily burn and they are good insulators.<br />Other uses include: dust suppression, PVC plasticizer, adhesives, and increasing pesticide formula longevity.<br />
Names for the specific PCB’s at this site are Aroclor 1260 and Aroclor 1254 The numbers in the name indicate the chemical formula for the PCB:<br /><ul><li>1st two numbers, “12”, indicate that there are 12 carbon molecules.
2nd two numbers, “60” and “54”, indicate the percentage of chlorine, 60% and 54%, respectively.</li></ul>Pyranol is another common PCB in the U.S. but it was not used or found at this site.<br />PolychlorinatedBiphenyl’s(PCB’s), Continued<br />
1979 the U.S. banned PCB manufacturing.<br />PCB’s are very stable, which means they do not easily breakdown in the environment.<br />They bind very well to the soil and thus migrate to other areas via surface water runoff or flooding of a contaminated area.<br />PCB’s accumulate in the fatty tissue of exposed organisms becoming toxic to the organism, and causing an array of health problems.<br />Carcinogenic to humans.<br />(Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry)<br />PolychlorinatedBiphenyl’s(PCB’s), Continued<br />
PCBConcentrationInfo<br />Protective Concentration Level is 7.7mg/Kg. <br />Highest levels of PCB concentration detected at the site was 85,000mg/Kg (URS Corporation 42).<br />Maximum background level is 0.0644mg/Kg.<br />Reference dose screen concentration is 1.6mg/Kg.<br />Cancer risk screen concentration is 0.32mg/Kg.<br />EPA removal action level is 1ppm.<br />1mg/kg =1ppm<br />Levels detected most test sites were well above 50ppm (up to 85,000ppm).<br />Levels above 50ppm must be disposed of in a specially lined & licensed landfill. <br />
Lead was found in the soils along the property line of the site.<br />Paint chips taken from inside the building contained:<br />Arsenic<br />Cadmium<br />Chromium<br />Lead<br />Mercury<br />Silver<br />OtherContaminants FoundonSite<br />
Surrounding Area<br /><ul><li>Contamination has migrated to as many as 35 other nearby properties:
According to EPA there is a potential risk of contact and exposure to residents, children, and presumably animals to contaminated soils.</li></ul>(U. S. Environmental Protection Agency) <br />
Clean-up activities were planned for early summer 2008 for the site.<br />However, remedial action has been delayed (for the site only) due to: <br />Additional tests scheduled<br />Recent fire at the site (Aug. 6th)<br />Recent local inclement weather conditions<br />Additional funding needed (for site only, not surrounding residential areas)<br />These tests and clean-up activities will commence soon. (Moore)<br />Remedial Plans & Progress<br />
Shaw, a site clean-up contractor, has began remedial actions on the contaminated residential areas:<br />excavated several feet of soil at multiple areas.<br />replacing the excavated soil with clean fill dirt will follow once removal is complete.<br />Weston, which is a Superfund Technical Assessment Response Team (START-3), is the contractor responsible for assessments and paperwork.<br />Remedial Plans & Progress, Continued<br />
References:<br />Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. "Division of Toxicology ToxFAQs: Polychlorinated Biphenyls." February 2001. 23 September 2008 <http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaq.html>.<br />Cook, Brenda Nixon; EPA Region 6 NPL Coordinator. "Hazard Ranking System (HRS) Documentation Record." March 2008. United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 14 September 2008. <http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/docrec/pdoc1777.pdf>. Pages: 58.<br />Moore, Gary. EPA on-site remediation coordinator. Early Morning Fire at Contaminated ESCO Plant. Brad Keller. Greenville Harold Banner. 10 August 2008.<br />URS Corporation. "Phase II Environmental Site Assessment for ESCO Manufacturing Facility, Greenville Texas. Work Order No. 128-0013." 4 November 2004. Pages: 42.<br />U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. "NPL Site Narrative for Old ESCO Manufacturing." <br /> 3 September 2008. National Priorities List (NPL). 14 September 2008. <http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/nar1777.htm>.<br />