U.S. EPA received a request to conduct a Removal Site Evaluation (RSE) on August 11, at the Trex Properties Site due to the recent discovery of trichloroethene (TCE) in shallow groundwater. TCE was documented as high as 400,000 parts per billion (ppb) next to a church. These groundwater samples were collected by a consultant of Trex Properties. Trex Properties recently purchased the property at 3114 Cullman Ave that was previously owned by Detrex Corporation. Detrex Corp. contracted Parts Cleaning Technologies (PCT) to operate and manage a hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) facility.
The OSC consulted with Region 4's Scientific Support Section who recommended a expedited assessment.
The OSC mobilized to the Site on August 12 to obtain access agreements from the church, Trex Properties, and a scrap leather business to the west.
The assessment work was scheduled to begin August 18, air was analyzed using the Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzer (TAGA).
While conducting the RSE, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources served Trex Properties and PCT with a administrative warrant to search four semi-trailers that they had been trying to gain access to for months. When opening the trailer, they observed several drums of hazardous waste. Some of the drums appeared to be leaking, some of the drums appeared to be under pressure (bulging). NC DENR requested that U.S EPA take control of the Site. EPA initiated a emergency response action at the Site on Wednesday August 19. EPA notified Trex Properties to provide verbal notice, Trex Properties hired SWS to stabilize the site.