Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

MCGAFFEY AND MAIN GROUNDWATER PLUME
ROSWELL, NM

Redevelopment

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About the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative

This nationally coordinated effort provides EPA and its partners with a process to return Superfund sites to productive use. Learn more at Superfund Redevelopment Initiative.

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Redevelopment at the Site

The 550-acre McGaffey and Main Groundwater Plume Superfund site is located in the City of Roswell, New Mexico. From 1956 to 1976, several dry cleaning businesses operated on South Main Street. These former businesses used perchloroethene (PCE) in their daily operations. In 1994, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) discovered contaminants in groundwater samples. Further studies linked the contaminated groundwater to the former dry cleaning operations. NMED performed immediate cleanup actions, including connecting affected residents to the public water supply. NMED also installed groundwater monitoring wells. In September 2002, EPA added the site to the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL). EPA selected a cleanup plan in 2008 to address risks from chemical vapors entering buildings through the soil. The cleanup plan also aims to restore groundwater quality to drinking water standards. To date, EPA built a system to reduce chemical vapors in buildings. EPA also built a system to remove vapors from soil and a central treatment facility. The site’s cleanup program successfully controls human exposure to remaining contamination. Land uses at the site include commercial businesses, public services, residential areas and agricultural use. Commercial and municipal uses at the former dry cleaning properties continue.

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Economic Activity at the Site

As of December 2017, EPA had data on 12 on-site businesses. These businesses employed 98 people and generated an estimated $4,244,641 in annual sales revenue. View additional information about redevelopment economics at Superfund sites.

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Activity and Use Limitations

At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup. For more background, see Institutional Controls.

For soil and soil vapor, the ROD identified termporary institutional controls (TICs) that should be implemented to protect against inadvertent exposure to soil and soil vapor contamination during the timeframe between remedial construction and achievement of RAOs. These ICs consist of amendments to the City building code that requires any future buildings in the Source Area to be constructed with vapor barrier or control systems until RGs are achieved. The ICs identified in the ROD also call for notifications to be filed with deed/property records for Source Area parcels that identify COC concentrations in the soil and soil vapor underlying the properties. The FYR site inspection (described in Section IV) included a review of the status of the ICs. This review found that no notifications had been filed with the County Clerk’s office, and there were no changes to the City building codes in the Source Area.

For the alluvial aquifer ground water, the ROD identified TICs that should be implemented to protect against inadvertent exposure to contaminated alluvial aquifer ground water. These TICs included notification to new well permit applicants in the GWP area, by the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer (NMOSE), identifying the location and depth of the COCs. The TICs also included the development and implementation of a City/County ordinance that would prohibit installing new wells within the GWP area.

On May 2, 2016, the NMOSE granted NMED’s request to implement a temporary well drilling moratorium for new wells located within a designated area, which includes the entire area within the contaminated GWP boundary. NMED used the NMOSE database to inventory the private wells located within the GWP.

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