CAPITOL CITY PLUME
On this page:
- What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
- What Is the Current Site Status?
- Activity and Use Limitations
- Sampling and Monitoring
- Enforcement Information
On related pages:
The Capitol City Plume site is located in Montgomery, Alabama. The site includes an area of groundwater contamination near the City of Montgomery’s well field. EPA proposed the site for listing on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 2000 because of contaminated groundwater and soil throughout the western downtown Montgomery area. EPA, the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), the City of Montgomery and the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs) have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination. Site contamination does not currently threaten people living and working near the site. A water line now connects residences and businesses to the public water supply. By conducting cleanup activities, EPA, the USGS, ADEM and the site’s PRPs continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.
The City of Montgomery made a request to EPA to allow ADEM to take over site-lead responsibilities. EPA responded to the city’s request in a letter dated detailing requirements for the Agency to undertake a formal site deferral. EPA approved the city’s Environmental Action Plan in May 2014. EPA is working with ADEM and the City of Montgomery to complete a formal site deferral by January 2015, after which time ADEM will lead site cleanup efforts. The formal Site deferral from EPA to ADEM was finalized on September 30, 2015. Please contact ADEM for further information related to the Site at (334) 271-7797 or see the City of Montgomery website describing current actions:
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
EPA and the USGS lead site investigation and cleanup activities in cooperation with ADEM. EPA sent a general notice letter to several site PRPs informing them of their potential responsibilities at the site.
In 1993, ADEM began investigating soil contamination at the RSA Energy Plant site at the corner of Monroe Street and McDonough Street. ADEM identified six plumes of groundwater contamination. RSA dug up and disposed of contaminated soil.
EPA conducted site investigations and studies from 2000 to 2003.
The City of Montgomery installed 16 monitoring wells and 16 temporary wells at the site. The city has also removed and plugged two shallow drinking water wells at the Court Street Pump Station. In 2006, the city began using monitoring wells to monitor groundwater contamination.
EPA began an additional remedial investigation in 2008. Sampling identified where the contamination came from and when it occurred.
The City of Montgomery works with EPA to implement cleanup activities to help address the site’s contaminated groundwater. In 2010, the city planted two acres of poplar trees. These trees take up and break down contaminants from shallow groundwater.
In 2011, EPA and the USGS completed field sampling activities to further delineate site groundwater contamination as well as to assess the possible occurrence of vapor intrusion in a Montgomery County building.
What Is the Current Site Status?
Parties continue to investigate ground water and soil contamination. Ground water monitoring is ongoing at the site. ADEM is leading a site cleanup with parties through a formal deferral from EPA to ADEM completed September 30, 2015. For additional information, please see the City of Montgomery website that describes current activities at:
Activity and Use Limitations
At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup.
For more background, see Institutional Controls.
EPA uses institutional controls to reduce exposure to contamination by restricting access to contaminated areas. Institutional controls can also guide human behavior through legal mechanisms such as deed restrictions and public health warning signs.
Sampling and Monitoring
The EPA conducted vapor intrusion sampling activities to make sure air quality at the site did not pose an unacceptable to human health and the environment. ADEM is requiring Site PRPs to sample soils and groundwater to complete a remedial investigation.
EPA identified several site PRPs and completed negotiations recover past site investigation costs and require that site PRPs fund current and future remedial actions at the site.