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EPA in Nebraska

FACT SHEET: Consent Order for Soil and Groundwater Remedy Implementation, BNSF Hobson Yard Facility, Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska, October 2015


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 invites the public to review and comment on the Consent Order for implementation of soil and groundwater corrective action remedies for the BNSF Hobson Yard Facility (Hobson Yard, EPA ID# NED000822767), located at 801 West O Street, Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska. Soil and groundwater contamination still exist onsite at concentrations above risk-based cleanup levels.

The Consent Order requires BNSF to treat and monitor contaminated soil and groundwater on and around the site to remedial action objectives, to restrict access to the property, to limit site use to industrial use only, and to prevent use of and exposure to contaminated soil and groundwater.

The public comment period runs Sept. 28 to Oct. 27, 2015, to enable the public to comment on the Consent Order. Written comments should be mailed or emailed to:

Ruby Crysler
EPA Region 7 (AWMD/WRAP)
11201 Renner Boulevard
Lenexa, Kansas 66219

Comments should be received no later than Oct. 27, 2015.

Comments received will be summarized in a Response to Comments, and responses will be provided to those individuals providing the comments. The Response to Comments will be drafted at the conclusion of the public comment period and incorporated into the Administrative Record. EPA may modify the Consent Order based upon new information and comments from the public.

A public hearing has not been scheduled at this time. EPA will conduct a public hearing, and receive both oral and written comments, if the public requests a hearing in writing. The written request must state the nature of the issues to be raised at the hearing.


Hobson Yard is located at 801 West O Street in Lincoln, Nebraska, and encompasses the northeast portion (approximately 100 acres) of the entire BNSF property. Hobson Yard was originally developed as a freight yard and steam engine terminal by the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad in 1906. Freight trains were assembled and steam engines serviced and fueled in the yard. The old steam locomotives were replaced by diesel switch engines beginning in the 1940s. In 1956, about 95 percent of Burlington’s operations were converted to diesel. Burlington Northern Railroad came into existence when the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy merged with the Great Northern and Northern Pacific in 1970. The facility continues to be used for car switching, storage, repair, diesel engine maintenance, and diesel engine fueling.

In 1992, EPA conducted a compliance inspection that included sampling of sludges within the Filled Lagoon. Several chlorinated solvents were detected at concentrations exceeding EPA’s Toxicity Characteristic Levels. The source of the chlorinated solvents in the sludge is believed to be the historic industrial wastewater discharges to the lagoon system. In 1993, BNSF detected a dense non-aqueous phase liquid in a site-monitoring well located near a 20,000-gallon aboveground storage tank formerly used to store chlorinated solvents (PCE Tank Area). Ongoing groundwater monitoring has revealed widespread groundwater contamination that appears to be sourced from both the contaminated soils and sludges within the Filled Lagoon and the contaminated soils in the area of the former PCE storage tank.

As directed by the 1994 Consent Order, BNSF implemented interim measures in the Former PCE Tank Area and in the Filled Lagoon Area to attempt to reduce contamination in these source areas.

The following contaminants have been detected in soil: chlorinated volatile organic compounds and dense non-aqueous phase liquid. In groundwater, chlorinated volatile organic compounds are present at concentrations exceeding remedial action objectives for on-site groundwater and drinking water standards for off-site groundwater. Chlorinated volatile organic compounds have also been detected in surface water and sediment.


The Consent Order requires the following:

In the PCE Tank Area:

  • Implement in situ chemical reduction in the source area to reduce contaminant concentrations
  • Establish institutional controls (ICs) to limit or control land use to prevent unacceptable exposure
  • Implement monitored natural attenuation (MNA) to verify that natural processes are reducing contaminant mass and preventing further contaminant migration
  • Operate and maintain a system of groundwater monitoring wells to verify that the remedies are preventing contaminant migration and reducing contaminant concentrations

In the South Filled Lagoon Area:

  • Install a funnel and gate system to intercept and divert contaminated groundwater into a permeable reactive barrier gate
  • Establish ICs to limit or control land use to prevent unacceptable exposure
  • Implement MNA to verify that natural degradation processes are reducing contaminant mass and preventing further migration
  • Operate and maintain a system of groundwater monitoring wells to verify that the funnel and gate system and MNA are controlling contaminant migration and reducing contaminant concentrations

In the Diesel Storage Tank Area:

  • Install a system of light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) recovery wells to passively recover LNAPL
  • Establish ICs to limit or control land use to prevent unacceptable exposure


The public is encouraged to review EPA’s investigation reports and other historic information regarding this facility. This information is available at the following locations during normal business hours:

Bennett Martin Public Library
136 South 14th Street
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
Phone: 402-441-8500

EPA Region 7 Records Center
11201 Renner Boulevard
Lenexa, Kansas 66219
Phone: 913-551-7166

If you have questions, or want to join the mailing list, please contact:

Brendan Corazzin
EPA Region 7 (RGAD/ECO)
11201 Renner Boulevard
Lenexa, Kansas 66219
Toll-free at 800-223-0425