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Record of Decision System (RODS)

CARTER LEE LUMBER CO.

Abstract

Site Name:  CARTER LEE LUMBER CO.
Address:  1621 WEST WASHINGTON STREET 
City & State:  INDIANAPOLIS  IN  46222
County:  MARION
 
EPA ID:  IND016395899
EPA Region:  05
 
NPL Status:  Deleted from the Final NPL
 
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/ROD/R05-95/290
ROD Date:  09/29/1995
Operable Unit(s):  01
 
Media:  soil, groundwater
 
Contaminant:  Heptachlor, arochlor 1254, alpha BHC, 4,4-DDT
 
Abstract:  Please note that the text in this document summarizes the Record of Decision for the purposes of facilitating searching and retrieving key text on the ROD. It is not the officially approved abstract drafted by the EPA Regional offices. Once EPA Headquarters receives the official abstract, this text will be replaced.

The Carter Lee Lumber Company Site is located west of downtown Indianapolis. The site is seven miles upgradient of one of the groundwater pumps used to supplement the publicly owned drinking water supply for the City of Indianapolis. It is located in a commercial and industrial center primarily composed of heavy industry with the exception of some scattered areas of older single-family residential dwellings. The site is currently used for storage for a commercial lumber yard and is fenced with restricted access. The Carter Lee Lumber (CLL) Company has been at its present location for over 120 years. The site occupies a four-acre parcel in the southeast corner of the CLL property. This parcel was acquired by CLL in 1979 for expansion of lumber storage capabilities.

Lumber and associated materials are stored in three sheds on the site. The site is paved with asphalt except for the southeast corner, which is covered with about six inches of compacted gravel and soil. The site is relatively flat. It is bordered on the east and south by Conrail railroad tracks, on the west by Reichwein Avenue and the north by CLL property. The bordering tracks are elevated as much as six to eight feet above the site. The southeast corner of the property is the lowest elevation point on the site.

From 1960-1973, the site was owned by Penn Central Corporation. During this time period, the property was leased to several commercial waste hauling companies that used the site for industrial waste product disposal. The site was leased first for the disposal of calcium ferrosulfate. There is no evidence that this material is hazardous. It was then leased to a series of partnerships mainly for industrial waste disposal. From court records regarding these partnerships, the nature of the business was to purchase lime slurry, a waste product, and to sell it to other companies. Neutralized metal plating sludge and neutralized calcium ferrosulfate were reportedly sprayed on the site from 1971-1972. No other information regarding the contaminants disposed of at the site is available.

There are unsubstantiated allegations of tank car dumping and disposal of oily filter cakes from Conrail Lines associated with this site. In addition, from 1940-1985, CLL operated a small quantity, batch-load wood preserving operation immediately off site, north of the northeast corner of the site. This operation reportedly used consumer grade pentachlorophenol. This information about possible contamination was used to plan the site investigation.

CLL purchased the site in 1979. While the property was being developed for lumber storage, red soil was discovered. When the red soil interfered with proper soil compaction, it was moved. The red soil was stored near a trench area dug to hold construction debris. Asphalt was laid on portions of the site and the storage yard was fenced as part of this work. The red soil was later spread over an area in the southeast corner of the site and covered with six inches of clean soil and six inches of compacted gravel, where it is currently located.

The site was investigated by EPA's Ecology and Environment Field Investigation Team (FIT) in 1985 because a Carter Lee Lumber Company employee reported small animals with sores and patchy fur. Company employees complained of skin lesions and weight loss as well. Neither reports were confirmed by local health officials.

FIT collected samples of the red soil. When tested, these samples contained heavy metals and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs). Based on the FIT investigation, the site was scored for NPL listing due to the potential for groundwater contamination and a concern for potential dermal contact.

During the remedial investigation (RI) of the site, sampling and analysis of groundwater and subsurface and surface soil occurred which allows a determination of site conditions to be made. Based on the evaluation of site conditions, EPA determined that there is no threat to human health and the environment through exposure by ingestion or direct contact with the pesticides/herbicides and PCBs found in the soils and groundwater on and near the site at concentrations above background. Background contamination was not evaluated as part of this study, however the presence of background contaminants was the basis for eliminating some on site contaminants from further consideration.
 
Remedy:  The risk assessment conducted at the site determined that the site contaminants do not pose a significant risk to those who may come in contact with them. Given these determinations, the no action alternative is selected because it has been demonstrated that the contamination found could not be attributed solely to CLL and the level of contamination attributable to the site results in negligible risk.
 
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