Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:


Cleanup Activities

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The 2.75-acre Airco site is a former industrial landfill northeast of downtown Calvert City in western Kentucky. EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1984 because landfill disposal activities contaminated ground water and soil. EPA, the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (KDEP) and 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.

The site shares a border with the B.F. Goodrich Superfund site. Because of their shared history and location, PRPs took Superfund-related cleanup actions at both sites under one approved cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD). EPA approved the plan in 1988. PRPs implemented the cleanup plan in the 1990s. Some cleanup activities, such as ground water treatment and monitoring, are ongoing.

Site contamination does not threaten people living and working near the site. The landfill area is fenced and secured. Waste in the landfill is capped. Local residents and businesses are not using contaminated ground water for drinking water purposes. By treating and monitoring ground water and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA, KDEP and PRPs continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination. The agencies and PRPs are currently evaluating the need for changes to the site’s approved cleanup plan.

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What Is Being Done to Clean Up the Site?

PRPs the Linde Group (formerly Airco) lead site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA in cooperation with KDEP.

The site’s 1988 long-term remedy included installing a system to remove leachate in the landfill area. Leachate is water that collects contaminants as it passes through contaminated material. Additional cleanup activities included constructing a flood protection dike around the landfill, improving the landfill cap, pumping contaminated ground water and treating it by air stripping, monitoring ground water, and placing deed restrictions on the site property to prevent residential development and ground water use.

Cleanup Progress
PRPs started treating contaminated ground water in 1992 by installing five ground water extraction wells to pull contaminated ground water from beneath the landfill and stop it from spreading into the Tennessee River. In 1996, PRPs started several cleanup activities required in the ROD, including constructing the flood protection dike, improving the existing landfill cap, installing the leachate and ground water removal systems, combining surface soil and drainage ditch sediment, and installing site fencing.

The PRPs monitor ground water contamination on a quarterly basis to make sure the system continues to work properly.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

The site’s second Five-Year Review, completed in 2006, found that cleanup actions to date protect people and the environment. In the long term, there was a need for additional work. In response to the issues identified in the 2006 Five-Year Review, the PRP submitted a proposal to EPA in April 2009 to review the effectiveness of the cleanup plan and determine if the landfill on the Airco site is a major source of ground water contamination at the nearby B.F. Goodrich site. In 2009 and 2010, the PRP collected more information to evaluate whether they need to make changes to the cleanup plan and whether they should continue to clean up both sites using the same cleanup plan. The PRP may need to address the sites separately, since each site has different contamination issues. The third Five-Year Review, completed in 2011, was generally consistent with the results of the 2006 review. Because of the inherent related nature of the Airco and B.F. Goodrich sites, a determination regarding the next steps for the Airco site is delayed pending a final decision for the B.F. Goodrich site.

EPA is currently evaluating the report that discusses whether site PRPs need to change the site cleanup plan.

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EPA’s Involvement at the Site

The site is located along Kentucky Highway 1523, one mile northeast of downtown Calvert City in western Kentucky. The site is next to an industrial area in Calvert City that includes several major chemical and industrial plants. The Tennessee River borders the site to the north. Farmland borders the site to the east and the B.F. Goodrich Superfund site borders the site to the west. Some single-family homes are about a half-mile from the southern edge of the site. Apart from ongoing monitoring activities, the site is not currently in use.

From the mid-1950s to 1971, the landfill accepted an estimated 18,000 tons of chemicals, including chemicals that can cause burning or corrosion. From 1971 to 1980, one industry user dumped 14,000 tons of metal-contaminated coal ash as well as other materials at the landfill. The Commonwealth of Kentucky began regulating the landfill in 1968. Parties closed and capped the landfill in 1981. Companies on both the Airco and B.F. Goodrich sites shared a common landfill. In 1984, EPA listed the site on the NPL.

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Enforcement Information

The EPA negotiated legal agreements with PRPs to investigate and clean up the site. The PRPs continue to fund site cleanup, monitoring and oversight activities.

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