Superfund Site Profile

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The 135-acre Carrier Air Conditioning Co. site is located in Collierville, Tennessee, 21 miles east of downtown Memphis. The site is near the intersection of U.S. Highway 72 and Byhalia Road. The Carrier Corporation has operated a manufacturing plant at the site since the 1960s. EPA placed the site on the Superfund program's National Priorities List (NPL) in 1989 because of contaminated groundwater, sludge, and soil due to plant operations.  EPA, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), and the site's potentially responsible party (PRP) have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination.  Through ongoing groundwater and soil treatment, groundwater monitoring and the required Five Year Review, EPA, TDEC and the site's PRP continue to protect people and the environment.

Since the late 1960s, the Carrier Corporation (Carrier) has manufactured residential heating and air conditioning units at the site. During assembly of air conditioning units, the plant stamps aluminum sheeting and assembles it with copper tubing to form air heat exchangers. Carrier removes stamping and forming oils and dirt from these parts prior to final assembly. Until about 1986, trichloroethylene (TCE) was the primary solvent, or substance used to dissolve other substances, used to degrease and clean these parts.

In 1979 and 1985, solvent storage systems released trichloroethylene (TCE) into an area just south of the main manufacturing building. In addition, behind the facility, a wastewater lagoon operated by the plant from 1972 to 1979 received TCE- and zinc-contaminated wastewater that contaminated lagoon sediment.