Superfund Site Profile


The Cleburn Street Well site consists of the Cleburn Street well and four source areas in Grand Island, Nebraska. The four separate source areas include three dry cleaning facilities, representing Operable Units (OU) 1 to 4, and a former solvents distribution facility, OU5.  The three dry cleaner source areas include the former One Hour Martinizing (OHM) facility (OU1 & 2), the Liberty Services facility (OU3), and the Ideal Cleaners of Grand Island facility (OU4). The 5th operable unit, formerly operated by the Nebraska Solvents Company, is the responsibility of the Union Pacific Railroad Company because it is the owner. Union Pacific is performing the work at OU5 under EPA’s oversight pursuant to a Consent Decree.  Soil and groundwater contaminants in the source areas include trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), and petroleum hydrocarbons. Parts of the site have been cleaned up. However, environmental risks remain and long-term cleanup is ongoing.


EPA placed the Site on the National Priorities List on October 14, 1992.


For OUs 1-4:  The EPA has been conducting the investigation and cleanup at these areas because no viable potentially responsible parties have been identified to pay for the work. The EPA began extracting contaminated groundwater at the OHM facility in July 1993 under a Removal Action. The EPA continued groundwater extraction and treatment and monitoring as part of the Remedial Action selected in the Record of Decision (ROD) for OUs 1 and 2 in 1996.


For OU 5: The Nebraska Solvents Company had operated on property owned by Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR), which was notified of its potential liability in February 1997.  The remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) for OU 5 was completed by UPRR and a final ROD was signed in September 1991. OU5 is located northwest of the intersection of Lincoln Street and the railroad right-of-way on property owned by the UPRR. In 1986, EPA detected concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in municipal wells in Grand Island.  The city of Grand Island subsequently discontinued the use of the wells located at Cleburn, Lincoln and Pine Streets.


OU5 consists of two parcels—a west parcel and an east parcel.  The west parcel, which was leased by the Nebraska Solvent Company from UPRR from 1936 to 1973, was used for aboveground tank storage and distribution of organic solvents including tetrachloroethene (PCE) for industrial use, primarily in the dry cleaning industry; it is currently unused.  The east parcel, which was used as a warehouse for solvent storage and distribution, is currently leased by the city of Grand Island for equipment storage and vehicle maintenance.  The east parcel consists of a large maintenance office building and a small sign shop.

UPRR, under EPA oversight via a July 1998 Administrative Order on Consent, completed the RI report, and the FS was completed in 2000. The selected remedy included a soil vapor extraction (SVE) system for the soil cleanup, an air sparging (AS) system for the groundwater cleanup, monitoring of both media, petroleum hydrocarbon removal from the groundwater, and an institutional control prohibiting the installation of drinking water wells in the Site area via a city ordinance.  Construction of the remedial action, which included 18 AS wells and 5 SVE wells, was completed in June 2004.  The SVE/AS systems were in operation from June 2004 to November 2007. The systems have performed as expected.  In 2005, the contaminants at the east parcel were below the cleanup goals. In 2006, a permanganate injection program to accelerate the degradation of VOCs in the groundwater was approved by the EPA and the NDEQ and implemented by the UPRR.


By March 2007, groundwater in the east parcel and all but four monitoring wells in the west parcel had met the cleanup goal of 5 micrograms per liter for PCE and TCE.  The groundwater remediation has generally attained cleanup goals outlined in the ROD, however, shallow soils in the west parcel remain a concern.


To address the impacted shallow soil and complete the site remediation, UPRR proposed replacing the SVE system with soil excavation and thermal treatment. EPA determined this change would warrant a ROD amendment, which was signed on March 16, 2009.


The AS/SVE wells and treatment system buildings in the east and west parcels were disconnected and abandoned in October 2010. The EPA determined that the wells were no longer effective in the east parcel and disconnections were necessary in order to complete additional work in the west parcel.