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The GMH Electronics site, formerly known as the Halifax Road site (the “Site”), is located at 1800 Virgilina Road, three-quarters of a mile northeast of Roxboro in Person County, North Carolina. The Site includes the GMH Electronics building, which is located on the southeast corner of the Halifax Road and Virgilina Road intersection, and a former gas station, which is located on the northwest corner of the intersection. Residential properties are located on the northeast and southwest corners of the intersection, as well as on all sides of the Site. Site surroundings include forested areas and commercial businesses. GMH Electronics operated an electronics facility at the Site.
The sources of contamination associated with the Site likely originated from at least three areas, including the former electronics operations area at the GMH property, a former gasoline station on the GMH property, and a former gasoline station across the intersection. The Site includes a contaminated groundwater plume that extends beyond these two properties.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency placed the Site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 2009 because of contaminated groundwater resulting from facility operations. The EPA, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ), and the U.S. Geological Survey (the USGS) have investigated Site conditions and taken steps to clean up the Site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination. By conducting groundwater studies and preparing a cleanup plan for the Site, EPA, NCDEQ and the USGS continue to protect people and the environment from Site contamination.
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
EPA leads Site investigation and cleanup activities in cooperation with NCDEQ. The USGS has assisted EPA with Site groundwater investigations.
EPA began immediate distribution of bottled water to 17 residences. EPA also installed filter systems at five homes with high levels of contamination in drinking water. NCDEQ installed filter systems at two additional homes.
EPA sampled 89 private drinking water wells near the Site and found contamination in 45 of the wells. In response, EPA provided bottled water to 13 additional homes.
EPA evaluated three cleanup alternatives to prevent people’s exposure to contaminated drinking water. EPA issued an interim Record of Decision (ROD) to mitigate risks at the Site. The ROD included connecting affected or potentially affected residents and businesses as well as residents living in a 500-foot buffer zone around the last contaminated well to the public water supply. If citizens elected to connect to the public water supply, then Site contamination does not currently threaten them.
EPA and Person County completed construction of the water line, connecting 42 homes to the public water supply. Upon completion, EPA removed the Site’s water filtration systems and terminated bottled water service to local homes and businesses. Person County has overseen the abandonment of private wells and several contaminated wells near the Site area.
EPA and the USGS began an on-Site groundwater study using existing wells.
EPA issued a second ROD to mitigate risks at the Site associated with the soil and groundwater contamination.
What Is the Current Site Status?
Based on groundwater sampling events conducted at the Site in 2018 and 2019, the EPA signed an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) in 2019 to modify the first phase of the remedy. The modifications remove Multi-Phase Extraction and Treatment from the treatment process, as well as removing re-injection for the disposal of treated wastewater.
The EPA has completed the design of the treatment systems and will build and begin operating the first phase of cleanup in fall 2019.