Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

35TH AVENUE
BIRMINGHAM, AL

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The 35th Avenue site is located in a mixed industrial and residential area of Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, within the area historically known as North Birmingham. The site consists of an area of lead, arsenic, and benzo(a)pyrene (BaP)-contaminated soil from multiple possible sources, including nearby coke oven battery emissions. The 35th Avenue site and surrounding area include two coke oven plants, asphalt batch plants, pipe manufacturing facilities, steel producing facilities, quarries, coal gas holder and purification system facility, and the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

The 35th Avenue site is focused on parcels located within the 3, North Birmingham communities of Collegeville, Fairmont and Harriman Park. These communities are currently documented as having some contaminants in the soil as a result of the release of hazardous substances from nearby facilities. However, these releases may extend to areas outside the identified properties in these communities. They may extend to other surrounding areas - in every direction . Five Mile Creek flows along the northern portion of the site; Walter Coke, ABC Coke, U.S. Pipe, and Alabama Gas Corporation (Alagasco) facilities are within or near these impacted communities.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is using its Superfund authorities to assess nearby communities for the possible presence of pollutants. This Superfund assessment will be based on sound science, identify potentially responsible parties, and determine appropriate next steps in the community. The Superfund Program is focused on identifying and addressing contamination within the Superfund Site area referred to as the 35th Avenue Superfund Site. EPA is currently seeking access agreements and sampling approximately 2,005 properties in the three neighborhoods.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

The Superfund program has conducted residential soil sampling for lead, arsenic and benzo[a]pyrene at over 1,900 out of approximately 2,000 properties in the 35th Avenue study area. Of the properties sampled, nearly 700 properties are contaminated above the Superfund Removal Management Levels (RML). The removal program has begun addressing the properties that pose the greatest threat to human health. To date, 400 properties have been remediated by the removal program, in four different phases. More than 50,000 tons of contaminated soil have been excavated from the three communities and sent to an approved, off-site landfill.

EPA is currently in Phase 4 of the removal.  Phase 1 addressed the most contaminated residential properties.  Phase 2 addressed residential properties where children and pregnant women reside - along with sampling three schools, including Hudson K-8 School, and two apartment complexes for low-income residents.  Phase 3 addressed residential properties with elevated carcinogens found in the soil.  Phase 4 is addressing all remaining properties identified for removal activities.

The Site was proposed to the NPL on September 22, 2014. 

The Removal Program continues to remediate the residential properties that are contaminated above RMLs. The Removal Program is also sampling additional residential properties as access is obtained. The Removal Program is also sampling additional residential properties as access is obtained. EPA is seeking access to an additional 100 properties. For more information, please visit the On Scene Coordinator's website at OSC 35th Avenue.

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