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Lockwood Solvent Ground Water Plume
|Site Type: Final NPL
Street Address: Lockwood Road
ZIP Code: 59101
EPA ID: MT0007623052
Site Aliases: Lockwood Solvent
Congressional District: At Large
Updated November 2013
EPA and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) approved a Remedial Design Assessment Work Plan to conduct additional investigations around the Soco West Facility in Operable Unit 2 (OU2). The work plan associated with this sampling event is available in the Site Documents section below. The first round of the investigation began in May and included the installation of monitoring wells in multiple locations and a round of groundwater sampling. The intent of this investigation is to evaluate how the source area is contributing to concentrations seen in the groundwater plume downgradient. This will be followed by an investigation of the source areas located on Soco West’s facility in 2014, where soil samples will be taken. The purpose of the soil samples is to evaluate changes in soil concentrations since samples were taken in this area 10 years ago. Groundwater and soil samples will also be collected from the source area for a bench-scale treatability study. The treatability study will look at the types of treatment, such as chemical oxidation and ozone, that may be appropriate to inject into the soils and groundwater to treat the source areas.
EPA and DEQ provided oversight of an investigation of the potential for indoor air contamination emanating from the volatilization (evaporating into air) of the contaminants in the groundwater at select residences in the Lomond Lane area of OU2 in February and June. Outdoor air, groundwater and subsurface soil vapor samples were also taken. The work plan associated with this sampling event is available in the Site Documents section below. The concentration of contaminants measured in the homes was below conservative screening levels for indoor air and are considered to be safe.
A remedy optimization is being undertaken at the site. Optimization studies are a systematic site review by a team of independent technical experts, at any phase of a cleanup process, to identify opportunities to improve remedy protectiveness, effectiveness and cost efficiency, and to facilitate progress toward site completion. A report is anticipated in 2014 and will be posted once it has been finalized.
The Lockwood Solvent Ground Water Plume site spans 580 acres on the outskirts of Billings, Montana. Much of the groundwater at the site is contaminated with the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) PCE, TCE, cis-1,2-dichloroethene (DCE) and vinyl chloride (VC). These chemicals are hazardous to human health. (More information is available in the Integrated Risk Information System database at www.epa.gov/IRIS). The primary sources of contamination are from the Beall Trailers of Montana and Soco West (formerly Brenntag West Inc.) facilities. The VOCs leached from the grounds of the two facilities into groundwater serving as potable water for some of Lockwood’s residents. These VOCs can also disperse as vapor and enter the indoor air of buildings.
Groundwater at the site was found to have levels of PCE, TCE, DCE, and VC above the drinking water standard (the Safe Drinking Water Act Maximum Contaminant Level), which could pose long-term risks to public health and the environment.
|Media Affected||Contaminants||Source of Contamination|
|groundwater, surface water, sediment, soils||chlorinated solvents||bulk storage/cleaning operations|
In response to the imminent and substantial threat posed by the contaminated groundwater, EPA extended the public water supply system, which allowed residents to discontinue use of the contaminated groundwater. The municipal water supply currently provided to residents is safe and is regularly sampled to ensure it is within drinking water standards.
Recently, EPA released the final health assessments for PCE and TCE to the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database. IRIS is a human health assessment program that evaluates the latest science on chemicals in our environment. The final assessments characterize the chemicals as carcinogenic to humans and as a human non-cancer health hazard. These assessments allow for a better understanding of the risks posed to communities from exposure to PCE and TCE in soil, water and air. They will provide federal, state, local and other policy makers with the latest scientific information to make decisions about cleanup and other actions to protect people's health. The new assessments are currently being evaluated by the Lockwood Solvent site team because both PCE and TCE are primary contaminants of concern at the site and can disperse as vapor into the indoor air of buildings. More information is available on IRIS at www.epa.gov/IRIS.
The site was proposed for placement on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) in May 2000. The listing became final on December 1, 2000. Upon discovery of the health threat posed by the release, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) supplied affected residents with bottled water until the EPA Emergency Response branch could extend the public water supply line to the area for potable water and domestic use. On August 16, 2005, following the completion of a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS), a Record of Decision (ROD) was signed by the MDEQ and EPA. The ROD identified the appropriate remedy for the site, expecting to meet all remedial action objectives and Applicable or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements within the shortest amount of time for the lowest cost. The treatment outlined in the ROD would permanently destroy the contaminants of concern to reduce risk to concentrations below proposed remediation goals in all environmental media. Because it would treat both the source materials constituting the principal threats and the groundwater, the remedy would also meet the statutory preference for the selection of a remedy that involves treatment as a principal element.
Operable Unit 1 (OU1) is the Beall Source Area and Operable Unit 2 (OU2) is the Soco West Area. Both OUs were included in the 2005 ROD.
Major components of the ROD are as follows:
- Long-term groundwater monitoring.
- Five-year CERCLA reviews.
- Institutional controls.
- Controlled groundwater area.
- Deed notices/deed restrictions.
- Community awareness/education.
- Risk mitigation measures.
- Continued potable well(s) groundwater monitoring and mitigation measures.
- Indoor air monitoring and mitigation measures.
- Treat with enhanced bioremediation.
- Treat vadose soil with soil vapor extraction.
- Contain and treat with a permeable reactive barrier (or other treatment/containment barrier technology determined by MDEQ and EPA during remedial design to be equally effective in achieving performance criteria as set forth in this Record of Decision).
- Treat with enhanced bioremediation.
- Excavate accessible vadose-zone soil and accessible fine-grain saturated-zone soil and thermally treat on-site.
- Treat inaccessible vadose soil with soil vapor extraction.
- Treat inaccessible saturated zone soil with chemical oxidation.
- Treat with enhanced bioremediation followed by monitored natural attenuation.
On October 3, 2011, the consent decree for the remedial design/remedial action (RD/RA) was entered in Federal District Court for the District of Montana. The court approved the settlement reached by the United States, the State of Montana and Soco West, Inc. for the cleanup of Operable Unit 2 (OU2).
In April 2012, additional chemical and geotechnical data were collected at the Beall Source Area in order to design the remedial action components for OU1. The chemical and geotechnical data are currently being evaluated to determine the best approach for remediating the source of contamination at the Beall property. In October, an aquifer test will be performed to better define the characteristics of the groundwater for remediation of the contaminated groundwater plume. The Remedial Design Supplemental Sampling Program Quality Assurance Project Plan and the Aquifer Test work plan for Beall Operable Unit 1 are available in the Site Documents section below. These documents detail the investigation activities in and around the Beall Trailers property.
EPA approved Soco's Remedial Design Assessment Work Plan and Quality Assurance Project Plan. Both of these documents can be found in the Site Documents section below. Soco plans to collect additional data late winter of 2013 to support the remediation for OU2.
EPA and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality approved Soco’s work plan to investigate the potential for indoor air contamination emanating from the volatilization of contaminants in the groundwater at select residences in the Lomond Lane area. This document can be found in the Site Documents section below. EPA will also be performing a similar investigation near the Beall property later this winter.
Semiannual groundwater sampling will continue on both the Beall and Soco Operable Units in April and October 2013.
Community involvement plays an important role in the Superfund process. EPA uses a number of different tools and resources to promote effective, ongoing, meaningful community involvement. The goals of the Superfund community involvement program are to:
- Keep communities affected by sites informed throughout the cleanup process.
- Provide opportunities for communities to comment and offer their input about site cleanup plans.
- Facilitate the resolution of community issues tied to a site.
An open house/public meeting will be held at the Lockwood School, 1932 Highway 87 East in the Middle School Commons on Thursday, January 24, 2013 to discuss activities that took place in 2012 and plans for 2013 and beyond. A fact sheet containing recent site information is provided in the Site Documents section below.
EPA places a high priority on land reuse as part of its Superfund response program mission. The agency tries to select cleanup options that encourage and support future use of a site. EPA uses two fundamental methods to facilitate reuse of Superfund sites:
- Exploring future uses before the cleanup remedy is implemented, an approach that gives the Agency the best chance of designing cleanup remedies to support the likely future use of a site.
- Working with landowners and communities to remove barriers not considered necessary for the protection of human health or the environment at those sites where remedies are already in place.
One option for reuse is the siting of clean and renewable energy projects on contaminated (or formerly contaminated) lands. As part of this effort, EPA is evaluating the potential for energy projects on these properties and working with landowners and communities to identify ways to remove barriers to such projects.
An important part of the Superfund cleanup process is working with communities to promote site reuse after cleanup.
In addition to making the cleanup protective of human health and the environment, EPA is working with the Lockwood community to plan for appropriate future land reuse options within the Lockwood cleanup process. It is possible that all or parts of the Lockwood sites, including the source areas where contamination started, may be sold to new owners during or after the cleanup process. A change of ownership will not affect the Superfund cleanup plan or its quality.
EPA provides guidance to make sure that the cleanup standards are maintained throughout all Superfund property ownership changes. EPA also continues to partner with the community and new property owners to promote safe and productive use planning for Superfund areas.
Lockwood Ground Water Plume site area residents, as well as both source and non-source commercial property owners, are able to refinance and/or sell their properties during and after cleanup. EPA provides assistance, when needed, to facilitate these land transactions. There are several EPA programs in place to help "innocent landowners," those who purchase contaminated property with no prior knowledge of contamination; "contiguous landowners," property owners who have owned land that became contaminated during their period of ownership; and those who inherit contaminated property in refinance and sales transactions.
- Top 10 Questions to Ask When Buying a Superfund Site
- Partnerships between communities, Superfund property owners and EPA have successfully developed many former Superfund properties into effective, positive areas of reuse. Examples of these can be found at: www.epa.gov/superfund/programs/recycle/.
Land Use Controls and Other Institutional Controls
Land use controls are the most common type of institutional control (IC). ICs are administrative or legal controls that help reduce the likelihood for human exposure to contamination. ICs can also help protect the integrity of the remedy. Examples of ICs are:
- Zoning ordinances.
- Environmental covenants.
- Deed notices.
- Well-drilling restrictions.
- Building permits.
- Informational advisories.
The 2005 Record of Decision selected groundwater use restrictions, deed notices/restrictions, and community awareness and education programs as the institutional controls for the site. Soco West is currently working with EPA to file a deed notice with the Clerk and Recorder's Office of Yellowstone County, Montana, on the property it owns in OU2. In 2013, Soco West will also provide the supporting information needed to allow RiverStone Health to prepare a petition to the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to establish a controlled groundwater area under Title 85, Chapter 2, Part 5 Montana Code Annotated. EPA is awaiting the results from the aquifer test at OU1 before working with all stakeholders to get the controlled groundwater area in place.
EPA or the lead agency conducts five-year reviews following the start of a Superfund cleanup when contamination is left on the site. These reviews are repeated every five years. We use these reviews to determine:
- How the remedy is working.
- If the remedy remains protective of human health and the environment.
Five-year reviews are not yet required at this site.
You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.
Remedial Design Assessment Work Plan for Soco West Area (OU2), Revised April 24, 2013
Open House Presentation, January 24, 2013
Site Update Fact Sheet, December 2012
Remedial Design Assessment Work Plan for Soco West Area (OU2), Revised December 14, 2012
Remedial Design Assessment Quality Assurance Project Plan for Soco West Area (OU2), Revised December 14, 2012
Open House Presentation, April 24, 2012
Site Update Fact Sheet, April 2012
Community Involvement Plan, November 2011
Remedial Design/Remedial Action Consent Decree, October 3, 2011
Record of Decision (PDF), August 16, 2005(241 pp, 3.6 MB)
Feasibility Study Report, July 6, 2004
Remedial Investigation Report, June 2003
Remedial Project Manager (for OU1)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Region 8, Montana Office
10 West 15th Street, Suite 3200
Helena, MT 59626
866-457-2690 (toll free)
Remedial Project Manager (for OU2)
U.S Environmental Protection Agency
Region 8, Montana Office
10 West 15th Street, Suite 3200
Helena, MT 59626
866-457-2690 (toll free in Montana)
Remedial Project Officer
Montana Department of Environmental Quality
1100 North Last Chance Gulch
P.O. Box 200901
Helena, MT 59620-0901
800-246-8198 (toll free in Montana)
View Documents at:
Montana State University – Billings
Library – Reference Section
1500 University Drive
Billings, MT 59101
EPA Montana Office
Superfund Records Center
10 West 15th Street, Suite 3200
Helena, MT 59626
Monday-Friday 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
Click on a thumbnail below to view the full size image.
ATSDR Public Health Assessment, July 7, 2003