Black Hills Plating

Notices  Posted Category
Site Description 9/17/2019 01 Background

The Site is in Rapid City, Pennington County, South Dakota off County Road T218. Local area is mixed residential, commercial and agricultural properties. Located in the Ashland Heights neighborhood (population estimate of 800 people). The Site consists of 2.5 acres with one main residential property with two large garages with the remainder of the property filled with staged cars, RVs, trailers and various other items. There are several residents within proximity of the site with children.

Initial Response 9/17/2019 01 Background
On September 6, 2019 the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) contacted U.S. EPA Removal Program to assist the state in addressing plating waste on a residential property. DENR requested EPA to assess, cleanup and dispose of the stockpiled chemical waste.

Black Hills Plating and Polishing closed shop several years ago. When the company closed, the owner of the business moved equipment and chemical waste to a storage garage on a residential property. The waste has been staged in the garage since 2015.

Reports from the state and waste owner indicated there are waste solutions composed of acids, bases, cyanides, and chromates. The owner of the waste has made attempts on arranging proper disposal but does not have the financial means. The stored chemical waste is a risk to both human health and environmental.

U.S EPA Removal Program deployed OSCs Valeriy Bizyayev and Craig Giggleman to conduct a Removal Site Evaluation and coordinated disposal on September 16, 2019.

Response Objectives 9/18/2019 02 Sept. 16-18
  1. Assess, sample and characterize all waste on-site.
  2. Prepare, segregate and stage all waste for off-site disposal.
  3. Keep stakeholders informed of response actions.

Response Operations 9/19/2019 02 Sept. 16-18

OSCs Valeriy Bizyayev and Craig Giggleman mobilized to the site on September 16, 2019. Two START contractors and one ERRS contractor were also enroute. EPA, START and ERRS met on site with the owner of the waste and the owner of the garage to start the initial investigation and plan site logistics.


START was able to assess, sample and hazard characterize all containers and drums on site.  A total of 68 containers, drums or tanks were found on-site that contained chemical waste. Waste chemicals from initial assessment include: sulfuric acid (93% solution), sodium cyanide, sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid, hexavalent chromate solutions and many unknowns. There are an additional 5 plating basins/tanks on-site. The tanks were indicated to be empty but after inspection were found to contain various amounts of residues.

DOT Class  Drums  Tanks  Containers  Total 
5 13 2 6 21
6 6 2 - 8
8 - - 14 14
9 6 - 20 26
Total 25 4 39 69
Notes: Drums are 55 gallon steel or poly, tanks vary from 200 to 450 gallon, and other containers are various sizes and shapes. One of the 450 gallon is empty. 


ERRS was able to mobilize additional crew members to help operate machinery and move drums on-site.

Planned Activities 9/19/2019 02 Sept. 16-18
  1. Finalize container inventory for disposal.
  2. Perform compatibility testing for lab packs.
  3. Over-pack compromised drums.
  4. Stage drums and containers for disposal pickup.
  5. Clean-out chemical waste in tanks.

Response Objectives 9/21/2019 03 Sept. 19-21
  1. Finalize chemical waste inventory for disposal purposes.
  2. Over-pack, solidify and stabilize all chemical wastes on-site.
  3. Secure chemical wastes for staging.
  4. Keep stakeholders informed of response actions.

Response Operations 9/24/2019 03 Sept. 19-21

EPA START contractors finalized chemical wastes inventory, hazard characterization and compatibility testing. START demobilized from the Site on September 19, 2019.

EPA ERRS contractor over-packed compromised drums, lab-packed compatible containers for temporary storage and setup a secure staging area.

Chemical wastes and residues were removed from five steel tanks. The internal components of the tanks were heavily contaminated and could not be salvaged. Tanks were cleaned and staged outside for recycling by the waste owner.

Once all waste had been properly consolidated and packaged for temporary storage, ERRS secured the staging area. All chemical wastes have been stabilized and secured in a temporary storage are on Site. The State of South Dakota has agreed to monitor the the Site periodically until EPA can secure a waste transportation and disposal contractor. Once EPA has been able to do so, EPA will re-mobilize to the site.

EPA and ERRS contractors demobilized from the Site on September 21, 2019.

Planned Activities 9/24/2019 03 Sept. 19-21
  1. Secure a waste disposal contractor.
  2. Re-mobilize to site for off-site transportation of chemical wastes.
  3. Keep stakeholders informed of response actions.

Response Objectives 10/22/2019 04 Oct 21-22
  1. Re-mobilize to site for off-site transportation of chemical wastes.
  2. Conclude on-site activity. 
  3. Keep stakeholders informed of response actions.

Response Operations 10/22/2019 04 Oct 21-22

EPA and EPA ERRS contractors re-mobilized to the Site on Monday, October 21, 2019. ERRS loaded all chemical waste containers and drums for off-site disposal. 


All incident derived waste was collected and disposal arrangements made. 


During final walk through with the property owner, an additional set of tanks were identified. These tanks did not hold any chemical waste and were left on site. 


EPA and EPA contractors demobilized from the Site on Tuesday, October 22, 2019. 

Planned Activities 10/22/2019 04 Oct 21-22

There are no additional on-site activities planned after the end of this operational period.  


EPA will keep stakeholders informed of any changes that may arise pertaining to this response action.  


Site Update (as of November 11, 2019): EPA plans on remobilizing to Site in early Spring of 2020 to conduct further evaluation of the process tanks found on-site during the final walk through. An additional evaluation performed by State of South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources revealed the tanks contents have varying pH and cannot be verified.