The City of Gering, Nebraska initiated environmental Site assessments, or ESAs, of the former B&T Metals facility in May 2015. Based on historical information review, the Site was operated as a scrap yard for at least 60 years and included a battery recycling operation for at least 28 years. Other operations involved automobile scrapping and metal salvage. The operators also accepted materials including aluminum cans, white goods, copper wiring, and empty steel. Operations at the Site ceased in 2015 when the business moved to a new location. Subsequent soil sampling events identified Site-wide lead contamination with the average surface soil concentrations ranging from 520 to 8,970 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg). On May 14, 2019 the Nebraska Department of Energy and Environment requested that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provide further evaluation into the nature and extent of contamination, and cleanup alternatives.
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U.S. EPA initiated a time-critical removal action at the Site the week of November 4, 2019. U.S. EPA plans to undertake the following actions to mitigate threats posed by the presence of hazardous substances at the Site:
1) Develop and implement a Site-specific Health and Safety Plan.
2) Further delineate Site-related soil contamination onsite and at adjacent properties.
3) Address lead-contaminated soils at the Site through removal or stabilization in such a way that is protective of human health and the environment.
4) Dismantle and decontaminate process equipment associated with this removal action, as necessary.
5) Transport and dispose of all characterized or identified hazardous substances, pollutants, wastes, or contaminants to a U.S. EPA-approved disposal facility in accordance with the Off-Site Rule (40 CFR § 300.440).