The American Creosote site is an NPL site currently in the feasibilty study phase of RI/FS stage. The Site has a long history of response and removal actions dating back to 1984. The Site was listed following the last removal action, which terminated in 2000. Please see the Action Memorandum for additional Site History.
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Following the emergency response in August of 2005, the On-Scene Coordinator noted that the removal program has the authority to respond to the presence of creosote waste on the Site. The remedial program enlisted the support of the ERRB in order to address the ongoing threat to which they are unable to respond.
Hughes creek runs through the site, parallel to Railroad Avenue. The contamination of Hughes Creek with creosote from the American Creosote site is well documented. Offsite, at the corner of S. Church Avenue and Railroad Avenue (near the City of Louisville Water Work) the City was constructing a bridge that crosses Hughes Creek. During that construction, the creek was diverted and an exacavation pit was dug for the construction of the bridge base. The construction crew piled sediments from the creek bed along side the culvert that diverted the stream.
Construction workers noticed creosote stained soils, complained of creosote odors, and observed a sheen in the rain water that had accumulated in the excavation pit. The construction may have unearthed contaminated sediments. Another possibility is that the diverted stream, carrying creosote, breached the silt fence and berm that separated the excavation pit from the diverted stream. After the rain event, creosote globules in the sediments (and a corresponding sheen on the water) were observed upstream in Hughes creek (from either runoff or the resuspension of contaminated stream sediments). The creek could have deposited creosote when it overflowed the silt fench/berm contruction.
A long term solution that deals with the contaminated sediments in Hughes Creek may be beyond the scope of this removal action. At this time, it is the goal of the ERRB to contain the ongoing release of creosote into the Creek. Once the source is controlled, the contaminated sediments will be remediated.