The Huff Battery Salvage Site ("Huff Battery" or the "Site") is the location of a former lead-acid battery cracking operation and lead recovery process that operated from the late 1970's until approximately 1984. The Huff Battery Salvage Site is a privately owned property located in a rural portion of Orangeburg County, South Carolina, near the town of Bowman. Access to the site is via Interstate 26, exit 165. The Site is located off of Frontage Road, just west of I-26.
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The facility's owner and operator collected old car and tractor batteries from across the State. During operations, the batteries were sawn open and the lead plates were recovered, smelted and sold off site. Various processes including smelting, washing and shredding were performed on site. These processes resulted in several waste streams including battery casings, chipped battery casings, waste battery acid and lead-acid contaminated rinse water. The chipped casings were initially left in the operations area. Later, both chipped and fully intact casings were land filled in another portion of the site. The battery acid and waste water flowed along a concrete pad and into two partially buried tanks. These operations resulted in residual lead contaminated soils and debris onsite.
The Site was referred to the EPA Region 4 Emergency Response and Removal Branch (ERRB) on October 16, 2001 by the State of South Carolina. During the week of April 15, 2002, EPA conducted a removal assessment at the Site. EPA conducted a walk through of the site to determine the existing condition of the property. EPA found that the spouse of the former operator currently resided on the Site. Behind the residence were the remnants of the lead-acid battery cracking operations area. This area was enclosed within a barbed wire fence. The former process equipment was still on site. Additionally, several waste piles (battery casings and chips) were located throughout the operations area. A separate area of battery casings and chips was identified across the road from the former operations area. This area was used as a landfill for the chipped casings and tractor battery casings which were not chipped. To determine the nature and extent of lead contamination at the site, EPA collected surface soil samples throughout the property. Lead concentrations in soil were detected as high as 161,000 mg/Kg in the waste piles, 22,900 mg/Kg in the operations area, 13,600 mg/Kg in the back yard and 13,700 mg/Kg in the landfill.
Based on the assessment of the Site, EPA determined that a time-critical removal action was required to mitigate the high levels of lead in the surface soils onsite. EPA issued an Action Memorandum in May 2002 which outlined the scope of the removal action at the Site. EPA and ERRS contractors mobilized to the Site on June 17, 2002 to begin the clean-up effort.
The removal action will consist of the following actions:
- Conduct personnel and site air monitoring activities and other health and safety actions as may be required;
- Clearing / grubbing of vegetation and trees to gain access to contaminated areas.
- Excavate, stockpile and re-locate the contaminated surface soil and battery casings from the identified areas (operations area, back yard, landfill, east ditch and driveways). Soil will be excavated until surface soil contains no more than 400 mg/Kg lead and subsurface soil (>2 ft. bls) contains no more than 750 mg/Kg lead (Based on potential industrial exposure scenario).
- Collect and analyze confirmation samples from the excavated areas;
- Restore and backfill excavated areas with clean fill;
- Conduct additional sampling for waste profiling;
- On-site or off-site treatment and off-site disposal of contaminated soils and debris. All off site disposal will comply with the CERCLA off-site rule. Soil disposal options will be further investigated as the nature and extent of soil and debris contamination becomes better defined.