The Site is located off the intersection of US Highway 64 and Clifton Turnpike, west of Waynesboro in unincorporated Wayne County, Tennessee. The Site is comprised of the linear area within the creek bed, banks and floodplain of Beech Creek, beginning at the fence near the north end of land Parcel No. 067002.00 (“Parcel A”) and continuing north approximately one half mile, into Parcel No. 046006.00 (“Parcel B”), and the areal extent of contamination emanating there from, which may vary according to local topography and hydrology. The Site is approximately centered at latitude 35.329752, longitude -87.785042
In October and November 2010, the Tennessee Department of Environmental Control (“TDEC”) conducted sampling of groundwater, drinking water wells, sediment and surface water in and around Beech Creek, including within the Site and downstream from the Site. TDEC detected levels of polychlorinated biphenyl compounds (“PCBs”) in the sediment in Beech Creek at 140 mg/kg at a point 200 yards north of the fence on the Site and 130 mg/kg at 3.3 miles downstream north of the Site. As a result, TDEC in May 2011 requested that the EPA follow up with additional sampling of Beech Creek.
At TDEC’s request, the EPA performed a Removal Site Evaluation of the Site in August 2011. The EPA took seven (7) sediment samples in the creek bed and on the banks of Beech Creek beginning about 100 feet north of the fence on Parcel A and continuing about one-quarter mile. All samples exceeded the Removal Management Level (“RML”) for PCBs of 22 mg/kg, with concentrations ranging from 50 mg/kg to a high of 940 mg/kg. Additional sampling further downstream north of the Site detected PCBs in creek sediments above the .22 mg/kg screening level.
In 2012, TDEC and the EPA took additional samples in the creek bed, banks and flood plain of Beech Creek within the Site and continuing north to the confluence of Beech Creek with the Tennessee River. Analytical data from 2012 confirmed levels of PCB contamination above the RML in thirteen (13) of the twenty-one (21) samples within the Site. Samples from locations just north of the fence to .5 mile downstream indicated concentrations ranging from 0.17 mg/kg to a high of 160 mg/kg.
High levels of PCBs have been detected in the creek bed, banks and floodplain soils and sediments at and in the vicinity of the Site since the early 1970s. Beginning no later than the late 1960s and continuing into the 1970s, it became a common practice for industries in the Waynesboro area to dispose of industrial wastes onto two parcels of property used as a landfill.
The on-going contamination of creek sediments by PCBs above RML concentrations within the Site boundaries constitutes a source of potential contamination for downstream areas of Beech Creek and eventually the Tennessee River, and presents an imminent and substantial endangerment to human health, welfare or the environment. The EPA has determined that additional action is necessary to protect human health and the environment.