Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

NORTH RIDGE ESTATES
KLAMATH FALLS, OR

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The North Ridge Estates Superfund Site is a residential subdivision located approximately three miles north of Klamath Falls, Oregon. The site is contaminated with asbestos as a result of the improper demolition of approximately eighty 1940s-era military barracks buildings. North Ridge Estates was added to the National Priorities List in 2011 after annual efforts to remove contamination were not effective for long-term protection of human health.

Asbestos-containing materials and soil will be removed from the old military barracks site during three seasons of cleanup. Additional contamination at the nearby Kingsley Firing Range, also part of the site, will be investigated and completed at a later time.

Clean Up Update:

The remedial construction for Season 1 began in late-July and will conclude at the end of November 2016 as heavy work is unable to be conducted during winter months. Construction staff will remain onsite through the winter months preparing for Season 2. Approximately 2 - 4 feet of asbestos contaminated soil and debris will be excavated and replaced with clean topsoil. The contaminated soil and debris will be placed in secure on-site repositories.

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What Is Being Done to Clean Up the Site?

The site is being addressed through federal actions.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

Remedial construction has been underway since late July 2016. Construction will take place between May and October for three years and is expected to be complete in 2018. The remedial action plan includes excavation of asbestos contaminated soil and debris, consolidation of contaminated materials in on-site repositories and capping of the repositories with clean fill. Additional cleanup actions will include capping each property with clean fill to bring it back to a natural grade, installing a visible marker layer to indicate the depth to which soil was excavated, implementing institutional controls and ongoing maintenance and monitoring.

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EPA’s Involvement at the Site

To reduce risk to local residents, the EPA emergency response program annually removed asbestos-containing materials and contaminated soil and debris from the site between 2003 and 2009. EPA completed a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study to develop a permanent remedy for the site. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is also actively involved in the site cleanup.

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Emergency Response and Removal

EPA first responded to the site in 2003 at the request of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. From 2003 to 2005, all visible asbestos was picked up to address immediate threats to human health. However, due to a process called "frost heave" when the soil freezes and thaws, new contamination surfaced each spring. EPA temporarily relocated residents during the summer of 2005 and all but a few residents were permanently relocated through a third-party settlement with the polluter in 2006. Asbestos and soil removals continued for several years, but it became clear that the extent of contamination at North Ridge Estates was far more extensive than could be addressed through the removal program.

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