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The former Seven Out facility (“the site”) is a water treatment facility located at 901 Francis Street, Waycross, Ware County, Georgia, on about 2.36 acres. The site consists of a small service building and a tank farm containing dozens of vertical and horizontal tanks, with associated piping and valve works. The site is bounded by Francis Street to the north, Folks Street to the east, and property owned by CSX railroad to the south and west. Site stormwater discharges into a small drainage trench at the southeast corner of the site and flows into a drainage ditch along the southern site boundary. The drainage ditch flows west for about 1,100 feet before discharging into a drainage canal.
The Seven Out site previously received industrial wastewater for on-site treatment, but failed to meet effluent discharge requirements and subsequently lost their discharge permit in March, 2004 (see Figure 1 of Appendix A). However, the facility continued to accept waste until full storage capacity was reached. At some time later in 2004, the owners abandoned the facility, leaving approximately 350,000 gallons of liquid waste and 150,000 gallons of sludge or solids stored on site.
In August, 2004, Tetra Tech, at the direction of EPA, performed a removal assessment at the site to characterize waste liquid, sludges, and solids present on site. Detectable concentrations of organic and inorganic chemicals were found in the tank samples, but not at levels that would qualify any of the materials as hazardous. Three soil samples were collected from the site during the removal assessment. One soil sample, SO-SW, collected directly outside of the southern containment wall, contained benzo(b)fluoranthene at a level exceeding the Region 9 Preliminary Remediation Goal (PRG) for residential soil. Benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, dibenz(a,h)anthracene, and indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene were detected at levels that exceeded the Region 9 PRGs for residential and industrial soil. All of the chemicals with detections above PRG levels are part of a group of organics known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Sample SO-SW was the only samples that contained PRG exceedances, indicating that contamination was not a widespread concern. Furthermore, a soil sample collected the same day from a location downgradient of sample SO-SW did not contain contaminants at levels exceeding PRGs. Contamination levels detected in SO-SW also did not exceed EPA Regional Screening Levels (RSLs) or Removal Action Levels (RSLs), which are levels used to provide guidance during an emergency response or time-critical removal. For these reasons, the contaminated soil was not remediated.
In January, 2005, EPA mobilized to the site to conduct an emergency removal action to address wastewater that was observed overtopping the on-site secondary containment walls and flowing into a nearby drainage ditch. EPA removed approximately 350,000 gallons of wastewater and other liquid wastes. The solids and sludge located within the treatment area were not addressed at that time.
EPA cost-recovery activities identified several entities as potentially responsible parties (PRP) for the site. In 2008 the PRPs entered into an Agreement and Order on Consent (AOC) with EPA to conduct removal activities in accordance with the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan. These removal activities included removing all process solids and sludges from the site and decommissioning the tanks. The removal concluded in late 2009 and EPA issued a Notice of Completion letter on November 16, 2009. The building, tanks, and associated piping and valves remain on site, though the property remains vacant.
In 2013, local residents expressed concerns regarding possible contamination coming from the site. A sediment sample collected on behalf of a resident from the drainage canal at Folks Park contained PAHs above EPA RSLs for residential soil. In response to these concerns, EPA is conducting a soil and sediment assessment to determine if residual contamination from the site is contributing to contamination within the drainage ditch and drainage canal. Based on previous analytical results, PAHs are the chemicals-of-concern.