Hazardous Waste Cleanup: GM Bedford Global Propulsion Systems (GPS) - Bedford, Indiana
On this page:
- Cleanup Status
- Site Description
- Contaminants at this Facility
- Institutional/Engineer Controls
- Land Reuse
- Site Responsibility
Congress amended the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) in November 1984, expanding the Act's cleanup provisions and prompting EPA and its state partners to develop the RCRA Corrective Action Program. The program oversees the investigation and cleanup of nearly 4,000 hazardous waste sites across the country, including many with risks comparable to Superfund sites.
Since 2001, the GM CET facility has been investigating and remediating the facility and surrounding properties under the RCRA Corrective Action Program in coordination with other EPA and State of Indiana Environmental Programs. The primary contaminant of concern is Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB).
- As we continue to adjust to the evolving COVID-19 situation, EPA is taking the necessary steps to ensure that decisions about ongoing cleanup activities at RCRA sites are made with the health and safety of communities, EPA and Responsible Party staff and contractors, and state partners as the priority. Due to the Indiana governor’s COVID-19 executive order to stop non-essential work, GM has requested that certain lower priority work at the Bedford facility be postponed. Such requests are being handled on a case-by case basis and in accordance with the terms of the Federally issued Administrative Order on Consent that became effective in 2014.
- The temporary suspension of work is identified below and entails a postponement of a periodic groundwater monitoring event, engineered cover system inspection activity and certain fieldwork activities which involve multiple persons and/or potential direct interaction with the community. EPA and GM will be periodically reassessing these decisions moving forward such that the postponed site work may continue as soon as possible.
- Operation of the facility groundwater water collection and treatment systems will be continued.
- GM will provide a current project status update fact sheet to the interested party mailing list by June 2020. EPA and GM Project Managers will discuss additional outreach opportunities as needed during regular project status calls.
- It is important to know that under the current situation, EPA has maintained its ability to respond to human health or environmental emergencies at cleanup sites, or in any situation where we are called upon to address immediate risks from releases of chemical, oil, radiological, biological, and other hazardous materials.
On-Site - Completed
- Construction of a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Cell (Vault) to contain PCB materials exceeding 50 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) PCB excavated from areas at the plant.
- Construction of a multi-layer RCRA engineered cover system over the approximately 40-acre eastern portion of the site (East Plant Area) after removal of accessible greater than 50 mg/kg PCB soils and placement of less than 50 mg/kg materials from the off-site Bailey’s Branch/Pleasant Run removal action to prevent water infiltration into underlying residual PCB impacted soils and bedrock.
- Construction of a multi-layer RCRA engineered cover system and an asphalt/clay cover over an area west of GM Drive (Area of Interest (AOI) 21-2) after removal of accessible greater than 50 mg/kg PCB soils and placement of less than 50 mg/kg materials from the off-site Bailey’s Branch/Pleasant Run removal action to prevent water infiltration into underlying residual PCB impacted soils and bedrock.
- Installation of PCB impacted groundwater collection systems (Site Source Control Systems):
- Outfall 002 trench collection system.
- Pilot cut of the East Plant Area perimeter bedrock trench groundwater collection system.
- Other interim groundwater collection systems.
- Construction of a water treatment plant for Site Source Control collection systems (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit No. IN0064424 (Outfall 004)).
- Stormwater Pond dredging and upgrading activities (AOI-10).
On-Site - Ongoing
- Investigation of subsurface conditions in WWTP area west of GM Drive.
- Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) renovation with off-site disposal and decontamination of PCB impacted materials.
- RCRA Facility Investigation - primarily at AOI-8.
- Semi-annual groundwater monitoring (Environmental Indicator CA750) - next sampling event postponed until July 2020.
- Inspection and maintenance of engineered Cover Systems at the East and West Plant Areas - next inspection postponed until fall 2020.
- Inspection and maintenance of TSCA Vault – leachate monitoring continues. Cover System inspection postponed until fall 2020. Gravel Underdrain System Sump Pump Evaluation delayed until work can be safely accomplished.*
- Site Source Control groundwater collection system and Vault collection system treatment at the NPDES permitted water treatment plant.
- Removal of mobile PCB contaminated Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (DNAPL/heavy oil) from bedrock at AOI-8.
- Investigation of subsurface conditions in WWTP area west of GM Drive: GM continues to develop work plans to investigate the presence of Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (LNAPL) and DNAPL from bedrock at this portion of AOI-8. Additional investigative field work will be conducted when work can be safely accomplished.*
On-Site - Pending
- Design of additional sections of East Plant Area perimeter bedrock trench groundwater collection system.
Off-Site - Completed
- Remediation of PCB contaminated materials from approximately 5 miles of the Bailey’s Branch/Pleasant Run creek system and properties adjacent to the creek system is complete. Restoration of the final downstream properties is complete.
- Remediation of PCB contaminated materials from unnamed tributaries west and north of the Plant and restoration is complete.
- Spring 18 Semi-Annual Spring Water Sampling – completion report pending.
- Performance monitoring for pilot cut of East Plant Area perimeter bedrock trench groundwater collection system including dye trace studies - postponed until July 2020.
- Excavation and off-site disposal of PCB impacted fill materials at off-site Parcels 400/430/431.
* EPA and GM will maintain regular communications to determine when field work may commence.
The Facility is bordered: to the north by residential and undeveloped areas; to the south by the White River Port Authority (former Canadian and Pacific Railway railroad tracks have been removed) and Bedford Recycling (formerly IMCO, a Kaiser Aluminum recycling facility) and residential properties; to the east by residential property and undeveloped areas; and to the west by the abandoned railway, church, residential
properties, commercial properties, and a cemetery. The Facility was historically utilized as a stone mill circa 1890 to 1942, at which time the U.S. Government acquired the Facility and leased it to GMC for operations as an aluminum foundry. GMC purchased the property in 1946 and the Facility has been operated by GMC and GM as a foundry since that time. Surrounding areas include zoning for industrial, commercial, and residential land use.
GM prepared a Current Conditions Report to describe the current and historical conditions at the Facility resulting from treatment, storage, or disposal of hazardous waste or hazardous constituents. Those areas with the potential for a release to the environment were identified as Areas of Interest (AOIs).
Facility is located on the northeast side of the City of Bedford at 105 GM Drive, Bedford, Shawswick Township, Lawrence County, Indiana 47421. The Facility contains approximately 1,080,000 square feet of floor space and is located on 152 acres of land on either side of GM Drive and extending north along Bailey Scales Road and currently employs approximately 600 to 700 people.
Twenty-four on-Facility AOIs were initially identified on the basis of past treatment, storage, or disposal of hazardous waste or hazardous constituents having a release or the potential for release to the environment. Subsequent Off-Facility AOIs were identified at later dates during the investigation activities.
The primary contaminant is PCB; however other organic and inorganic contaminants have been detected (e.g. Vinyl Chloride, Lead).
The site is currently zoned for Light and Heavy Industry. As part of the RCRA Corrective Action, an additional Environmental Restrictive Covenant will be recorded for the property.
Various engineering controls are in place including groundwater collection systems, a DNAPL/heavy oil recovery system, and engineered cover systems.
The property is to remain an active manufacturing facility and will be restricted to industrial use in perpetuity.
RCRA Corrective Action activities are currently taking place under U.S. EPA lead via a Federally issued Administrative Order on Consent that became effective in 2014 with support from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
The U.S. EPA Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) program, known also as Superfund, has been involved with this facility primarily to address off-site contamination issues. In 2017, the CERCLA Program negotiated a new Administrative Order on Consent for this facility.