Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

MAIN STREET GROUND WATER PLUME
BURNET, TX

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The Main Street Ground Water Superfund Site is located in Burnet, Burnet County, Texas. The site consists of a tetrachloroethylene (PCE) contaminated ground water plume originating from an unknown source that released into the Ellenburger-San Saba Aquifer. PCE concentrations were found in nine groundwater wells, which include two Public Water Supply (PWS) drinking water wells and seven private water wells. Currently PCE contamination levels in PWS wells are below the EPA Clean Water Act’s maximum contaminant levels (MCLs – the health based limit). The two wells just exceeding MCLs are used for irrigation and livestock watering. EPA is presently conducting a remedial investigation to determine the source of the contamination and the extent of the groundwater contaminant plume. City officials are notified whenever EPA is conducting investigative field activities and notified on progress.

 The siteite is centered between County Road 340 and County Road 340 A in Burnet County, Texas, approximately one mile south of the city limits of Burnet. The site consists of a PCE contaminated groundwater plume originating from an unknown source that released into the Ellenburger-San Saba Aquifer. Site contamination was identified through monitoring of the Bertram Public Water Supply in 2010 by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). EPA began investigative field activities in the spring of 2017 to identify the source and extent of the groundwater contamination. As of February 2018, EPA completed five new groundwater monitoring wells to define the vertical and lateral extent of groundwater contamination. EPA c also completed passive soil gas sampling in the city in an attempt to define the surface source which was/is the source for contaminated groundwater. In March 2018, EPA will be conducting active soil gas sampling to determine if the soils area identified by the passive soil gas sampling is a source for groundwater contamination. If the active soil gas sampling indicates source in the immediate soils, EPA will conduct indoor air sampling of strategic buildings to determine if indoor air is an issue.

The state of Texas referred the site to the EPA because without identification and investigation of the source of groundwater contamination and remediation of the contaminated groundwater plume, additional public and private wells may be threatened. Other federal and state cleanup programs were evaluated but are not viable at this time. The EPA received a letter of support for placing this site on the NPL from the state. At present, EPA is conducting the remedial investigation to identify the source of and the extent of the groundwater contamination. Once the remedial investigation is completed, EPA will determine if an active cleanup is needed and propose a path forward for cleanup.

The site was listed to the National Priorities List (NPL) in 2015 and the Superfund Program is now conducting an investigation. The source of and extent of groundwater contamination is being investigated by EPA.

 

 

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

The state of Texas referred the site to the EPA because without identification and investigation of the source of ground water contamination and remediation of the contaminated ground water plume, additional public and private wells may be threatened. Other federal and state cleanup programs were evaluated but are not viable at this time. The EPA received a letter of support for placing this site on the NPL from the state. At present, EPA is conducting the remedial investigation to identify the source of and the extent of the ground water contamination. Once the remedial investigation is completed, EPA will determine if an active cleanup is needed and propose a path forward for cleanup,

The investigation may involve placing several new monitoring wells within the city and also placing drive-points in the shallow subsurface soil to determine the source point for the groundwater contamination. EPA has met with City officials in the past to discuss EPA’s path forward and will meet with the community in the near future to present the investigative approach and how the community and the City can assist in that investigation. Following completion of the RI field work, the EPA will conduct a baseline human health and ecological risk assessment.  The objective of these assessments is to characterize and quantify, where appropriate, the current and potential human health and environmental risks that would prevail if no further remedial action is taken.

 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 6, hosted several information sessions in 2016 at the Burnet Community Center. The purpose of the meetings was to discuss the addition of the Main Street Ground Water Plume site to the National Priorities List (NPL), the EPA Superfund process and the planned remedial investigation activities. The NPL is EPA’s list of uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites identified for long-term cleanup under the federal Superfund program.

EPA adds sites to the NPL when contamination threatens public health and the environment. EPA typically initiates Superfund involvement at a site because states, tribes or citizens ask for EPA involvement. EPA conducts a remedial investigation (RI) to define the extent of soil and groundwater contamination. If EPA determines that a risk to human health or the environment exists, EPA then proposes the cleanup method; EPA holds a Public Meeting to present the proposed cleanup method to the community, and to receive comments. Following proposal and the comment period, EPA develops the Record of Decision, which documents the cleanup process/method. A Remedial Design is then developed and EPA and the EPA contractor conduct the cleanup through the Remedial Action.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 6, hosted several information sessions in 2016 at the Burnet Community Center. The purpose of the meetings was to discuss the addition of the Main Street Ground Water Plume site to the National Priorities List (NPL), the EPA Superfund process and the planned remedial investigation activities. The NPL is EPA’s list of uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites identified for long-term cleanup under the federal Superfund program.

EPA adds sites to the NPL when contamination threatens public health and the environment. EPA typically initiates Superfund involvement at a site because states, tribes or citizens ask for EPA involvement. EPA conducts a remedial investigation (RI) to define the extent of soil and groundwater contamination. If EPA determines that a risk to human health or the environment exists, EPA then proposes the cleanup method; EPA holds a Public Meeting to present the proposed cleanup method to the community, and to receive comments. Following proposal and the comment period, EPA develops the Record of Decision, which documents the cleanup process/method. A Remedial Design is then developed and EPA and the EPA contractor conduct the cleanup through the Remedial Action.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

The EPA is currently conducting a remedial investigation to identify the source of and extent of groundwater contamination. New groundwater monitoring wells have been installed and groundwater analytical data collected. Of the five new monitoring wells installed, only one new well found PCE contamination just above the PCE Maximum Contaminant level (MCL – the health based limit) of 5 ug/L. In March 2018, EPA will conduct active soil sampling to determine if soils are contaminated at the suspected source. If soil contamination is detected, EPA will determine if those soils are a continuing source of groundwater contamination.

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