Welch Group Environmental (WGE) operated a business that recovered lead and other metals (ie copper) from spent munitions at firing ranges gathered from around the Southeast. They then melted the lead into ingots.
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The WGE Belton site conducted material separation as well as distribution of recycled material. Approx 1000 containers exist on-site in various conditions. While dozens of metals material separation containers exist, 100s of drums containing 'salt formations' are present in various conditions. The site is approximately 3 acres.
The WGE Fairplay site conducted material seperation as well as melting activities and also has up to 50 drums of uncontained process material. The site is approximately 6 acres and sits within a 22 acre parcel.
Both site operations were conducted without South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) permits. SCDHEC documents that up to 10 WGE employees had significantly high lead levels. SCDHEC ordered the cessation of operations on December 2, 2010. SCDHEC referred the sites to EPA R4 ERRB for removal site evaluation (RSE) on December 22, 2010.
The EPA On Scene Coordinator (OSC) began the removal site inspection during the week of January 31st, 2011 and is coordinating enforcement efforts with SCDHEC using CERCLA response authority. In coordination with AIr, Waste and Land Mangement, Site Evaluation, and Region 1 programs at SCDHEC, the OSC has directed the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to secure the locations, contain and secure open vessels/drums and construct a sediment/soil containment measure such as silt curtain and hay bales where appropriate.
The PRPs have hired a qualified contractor. Both Health and Safety as well as Removal Action Workplans have been submitted and approved by the OSC in consult with SCDHEC. Work will commence on February 8th. Other removal action may be directed by the OSC as appropriate.
The RSE Report was completed in early March and recommends further time critical removal actions. The OSC will continue to coordinate enforcement activities with SCDHEC. In addition, the OSC is coordinating with EPA R4 RCRA to assure that WGE proposed gun range recovery activities meet with applicable federal RCRA standards.
The Agency has issued notice letters and transmitted the final AOC on May 12, 2011. With the exception of selected requests by the PRP to decontaminate equipment for his business, all field work has ceased at this location. The time critical removal action workplan has also been submitted by the PRP and the OSC is working to resolve any outstanding issues.
Site was transitioned from OSC Francendese to OSC Harper in November 2011.