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Case Summary: Agreement to Complete Cleanup at Anniston PCB Superfund Site Operable Unit 3 in Alabama

On April 17, 2013, a remedial design/remedial action (RD/RA) consent decree between the United States, Pharmacia Corp. and Solutia, Inc. was approved by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Eastern Division, to complete cleanup work of operable unit (OU) 3 at the Anniston PCB Superfund Site in Anniston, Ala. for an estimated cost of $8.48 million.

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Information about the Companies

Pharmacia Corp. develops, manufactures and markets prescription pharmaceutical products.  The company also operates in other business sectors including bulk chemical sales.  Pharmacia Corp. was formerly known as Monsanto Company.  Solutia, Inc. is a manufacturer of performance materials and specialty chemicals including polyvinyl butyral, ethylene vinyl acetate and thermoplastic polyurethane.  The company was formed as a divestiture of the Monsanto Company.

Information about the Anniston PCB Superfund Site

The Anniston PCB Superfund site is located in and around Anniston, Ala. and surrounding Calhoun County and includes commercial, industrial and residential properties and downstream waterways and floodplains. Solutia’s Anniston plant is located in the center of the site. The plant encompasses approximately 70 acres of land and is located about one mile west of downtown Anniston. The vast majority of the PCBs in the Anniston area were released from the operations of the former Monsanto Corporation’s PCB manufacturing plant. PCBs were produced at the plant from 1929 until 1971.

OU-3 covers approximately 138 acres, with the area of current, active manufacturing operations covering approximately 68 acres.  The OU-3 Interim Record of Decision (IROD) was dated September 29, 2011.

The Site is not listed on the National Priorities List (NPL), but is considered to be an NPL-caliber site and is being addressed through the Superfund Alternative Approach. The Superfund alternative (SA) approach uses the same investigation and cleanup process and standards that are used for sites listed on the National Priorities List (NPL). The SA approach is an alternative to listing a site on the NPL; it is not an alternative to Superfund or the Superfund process.EPA is overseeing the ongoing cleanup of commercial, industrial, and residential properties as well as floodplain soil.

Additional information is available on the Anniston PCB Superfund site web page.

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Pollutants And Environmental Effects

Contaminants of concern include PCBs, dioxins, and dioxin-like PCBs located in soil and groundwater.

The remedy selected in the IROD for OU-3 is soil capping and expanded groundwater extraction.

Summary of the Consent Decree

The consent decree requires the Defendants to perform the remedial design/remedial action (RD/RA) at Anniston’s OU-3 and to reimburse EPA for its future oversight of the work performed pursuant to decree.

The objectives of the remedial action include:

  • reducing risks to area workers and trespassers from direct contact, inhalation of, or incidental ingestion of contaminants of concern;
  • preventing mitigation and leaching of contaminants of concern in subsurface soils;
  • minimizing migration of contaminants of concern in surface soil to surface water, and
  • controlling future releases of contaminants of concern to ensure protection of public health and the environment.

The groundwater remedy includes subsurface and/or groundwater confirmation sampling, execution of an environmental covenant with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to: restrict land and ground water use in the OU-3 area; monitor wells; optimize and expand existing ground water corrective action, carbon filtration, and institutional controls to ensure long-term effectiveness of the remedy.

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Contact Information

For more information contact:

Rudolph C. Tanasijevich
Associate Regional Counsel
Region 4
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
61 Forsyth Street, S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 562-9557

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