United States
                  Environmental Protection
                   Solid Waste and
                   Emergency Response
EPA 520-F-94-005
    Winter 1994
vvEPA       Superfund  At Work
                  Hazardous Waste Cleanup Efforts Nationwide
    Seymour Recycling
         Site Profile
  Site Description:
  A former chemical recycling, storage,
  and Incineration facility near
  Seymour, Indiana
  Site Size: 14 acres
  Primary Contaminants:
  Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  and heavy metals
  Potential Range of Health Risks:
  Increased risk of cancer through
  drinking contaminated ground water
  Nearby Population;
  300 people within one mile
  Ecological Concerns:
  A shallow aquifer and ground water
  are contaminated; fish kilis in the
  White River
  Year Listed on NPL: 1983
  EPA Region: 5
  State: Indiana
  Congressional District: 9
 Workers take water samples from a conduit to check treatment plant discharge.
Success in Brief

Model Superfund Cleanup

in Seymour, Indiana

  Leaking barrels of chemicals reacted and erupted into spontaneous
fires and explosions at the Seymour Recycling Corporation in the 1970s.
This poorly managed and overburdened hazardous waste storage and
incineration facility polluted soil and ground water with solvents,
acids, and heavy metals. By 1980, more than 50,000 drums and storage
tanks stood on site, many of them rusted, punctured or leaking.
  Using Superfund authority, the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) negotiated voluntary cleanup agreements with waste
generators to clean up this Jackson County facility. With help from the
Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and the
City of Seymour, cooperative efforts lead to an effective remediation of
the site, including:
  • an immediate removal of drums, tanks and soil;
  • a comprehensive ground water treatment system and extension of
    the municipal water supply to affected residents; and
  • use of two innovative technologies, bioremediation and soil vapor
    extraction, to treat contaminated materials under a multi-layer
    protective cover.
Simultaneous construction activities, clear communication, and harmo-
                            nious resolution of legal issues were
                            key to beating the cleanup schedule
                            by more than two years.

                            The Site Today
                              All construction activities at the
                            site are complete. The site is fenced
                            and a protective "cap" encapsulates"
                            contaminated soil, dredged sedi-
                            ments, and debris. A vapor extrac-
                            tion system is currently removing
                            VOCs from underneath the cap, in
                            conjunction with bioremediation.
                            Precautionary air sampling contin-
                            ues to monitor any potential
                            releases from that system. Ground
                            water treatment will continue for 12
                            to 30 years.

                Superfund At Work  •  Seymour Recycling Corporation Site, Jackson County, IN • Winter 1994
  The Seymour Recycling
Corporation is located on a 14-
acre site two miles southwest
of Seymour in Jackson County,
Indiana. Surrounding land
use is primarily agricultural
except for the Freeman Munici-
pal Airport and Industrial Park,
and a residential community
of about 100 homes located
within one mile of the site.
Drinking water for the airport,
industrial park, and subdivi-
sion was supplied by private
wells until 1985 when the
waste contributors paid for an
extension of the Seymour
municipal water system to
the area.
  The company processed,
stored, and incinerated chemi-
cal waste throughout the
A Site Snapshot

1970s. Wastes accumulated in
drums, bulk storage tanks, and
tank trucks; by 1980,100 storage
tanks and 50,000 drums stood
on the site, many rusted, punc-
tured or leaking. Contaminants
spread over a wide area, releas-
ing toxic vapors and erupting in
small fires until the facility
finally closed in 1980.
  Soil and ground water at the
site were contaminated with
volatile organic compounds
(VOCs) and heavy metals,
including arsenic, manga-
nese, and beryllium. A
shallow aquifer was
'highly contaminated with
various hazardous chemi-
cals, and fish kills have
been reported in the
White River. Although
     area residents have not been
     directly exposed, VOCs and
     heavy metals do not break
     down easily, remain in the
     environment for many years,
     and require long-term
Seymour Recycling site
Jackson County, Indiana
          Seymour Recycling
                                                                               • Site listed on NLP
                                                                               •Site studies begin
                              • First removal conducted
                              * Municipal water supply extended
                               to 100 homes
                                                * Congress enacts Superfund
                                                * State court places site in receivership <
                                                * Site fenced; dikes constructed
          U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
          Region 5, Library (PL-12J)
          77 West Jackson Boulevard, 12th Floor
          Chicago, II  60604-3590
                                            • Owner agrees to institute
                                             management controls
      • Seymour recycling, storage, and
       incineration facility opens
      Explosions and chemical fires

                  Superfund At Work • Seymour Recycling*Corporation Site, Jackson County, IN • Winter 1994
 Treat Hazardous Wastes
Poor Management Practices
  The Seymour Recycling Corpo-
ration accepted waste without
adequate management plans for
inventory, treatment or storage.
Barrels of chemicals were fre-
quently stored without checking
their contents or emptied directly
onto the ground. On several
occasions, chemicals reacted,
causing explosions and fires.
Area residents complained of
offensive odors.
  In 1978, the company agreed to
stop receiving waste and to
institute better controls. But in
1980, the company's failure to
follow that agreement lead an
Indiana state court to place the
site under state receivership for
                  failure to comply with environ-
                  mental laws.

                  Superfund Reduces
                  Immediate Risks
                    In the spring of 1980, leaking
                  chemicals caused an explosion
                  and fire at the site, and shortly
                  thereafter, the state turned to EPA
                  for help. Congress had enacted
                  the Comprehensive Environmental
                  Response, Compensation, and
                  Liability Act (CERCLA) that year,
                  establishing the Superfund pro-
                  gram to address thousands of
                  hazardous waste sites nation-
                  wide.  CERCLA empowered EPA
                  to compel those responsible for
                  contaminating sites to undertake
                  prescribed cleanup actions. EPA
quickly identified a group of
waste contributors who removed
some of the drums and con-
structed levees to prevent the
hazardous waste from spreading.
EPA then relocated several area
residents and fenced the site to
restrict access.
     50,000 drums and 100
     storage tanks were
   abandoned on the site
  In 1982, EPA entered into a
cleanup agreement with a small
group of the hazardous waste
contributors. Between 1982 and
1984, this group removed and
1 EPA selects final remedy following
public comment
                         * Temporary ground water treatment system
                                   •Waste contributors sign consent decree
                                                   • Protective cap installed
                                                   * Bioremediation and soil vapor extraction
                                                   systems begin
                                                                «Vapor extraction completed (planned)
                                                                * Ground water treatment, bioremediation,
                                                                 and site monitoring (ongoing)

                  Superfund At Work  •  Seymour Recycling Corporation* Site, Jackson County, I
                                     Winter 1994
disposed of 50,000 drums, 100
storage tanks, and contaminated
soil to a depth of one foot from
about 75 percent of the site. The
excavated areas were covered
with clay and clean soil to immo-
bilize the underlying contami-
nants. These efforts cost about $2
million; subsequently, this group
of waste contributors was released
from future liability at the site.
  Agreements between EPA and
additional parties in 1982 and 1983
established an escrow account of
approximately $10 million. This
account was used in 1985 to
complete the soil cleanup and to
extend the Seymour municipal
water system to 100 residents of a
nearby subdivision and on a farm.

EPA and Indiana Select
Final Remedy
  In 1983, EPA placed Seymour
Recycling on the National Priori-
ties List (NPL), a roster of uncon-
trolled or abandoned hazardous
waste sites requiring comprehen-
sive cleanup under the Superfund
  Between 1983 and 1986, EPA
investigated the nature and extent
of the remaining contamination
and evaluated appropriate
cleanup technologies. The inves-
tigation indicated a moving pool
of contaminated ground water
extending three-quarters of a mile
from the site as well as 150,000
cubic yards of contaminated soil
and sediment.
  Following a period of public
comment on various cleanup
strategies, officials from EPA and
the Indiana Department of Envi-
ronmental Management (IDEM)
selected the final remedy for the
site in September 1986. The plan
had four major components:
treatment of ground water, a
multi-layer protective soil cover,
bioremediation, and vapor
extraction for treating soil and

Waste Contributors
Establish Trust Fund
  After two years of negotiations,
150 waste contributors signed a
settlement document called a
consent decree with EPA and
IDEM to conduct the selected
remedy. During negotiations, the
waste contributors installed a
temporary ground water pump
and treatment system to mini-
mize the movement of contami-
nated ground water and to test
the effectiveness of the treatment
technology being considered for
the final cleanup.
               continued on page 5
 Solvents, acids, and heavy metals from leaking barrels polluted soil and ground water over a 12 - year period,

                 Superfund At Work  •  Seymour Recycling Corporation Site, Jackson County,
                                    Winter 1994
continued from page 4
  In 1988, the waste contributors
established a trust fund of almost
$30 million for cleaning up the
site.  A selected trustee managed
the fund and directed construc-
tion activities.

Ground Water and Soil
Addressed First
  Initial cleanup efforts focused
on addressing contamination in
ground water, soil, and sediments
from a ditch filled with runoff.
Ground water was first exposed
to an air stream that removed
VOCs and then was filtered
through activated carbon. That
water was then pumped to the
city wastewater treatment plant
for further processing and dis-
posal. Private wells in the nearby
subdivision were sealed following
their connection to the municipal
water supply.  Ground water
treatment will continue for at
least 12 and up to 30 years until
cleanup goals are met.
  A seven-layer protective cover
called a "cap"  was constructed
over the remaining contaminated
soil and excavated sediment
from the ditch. Several buildings
on the site also were demolished
and the debris consolidated with
the soil.  The cap provides a
barrier against rain seeping into
the ground water and prevents
direct exposure to the underlying
  EPA is continuing to treat the
soil, sediment and debris under
            Soil Vapor Extraction

      An unusual method of vapor extraction was employed at the
   Seymour Recycling site to remove VOCs from the soil Conven-
   tional vapor extraction systems rely on a series of wells placed
   vertically into contaminated soil. A vacuum is applied to alter-
   nate weHs with those in between left open to the atmosphere to
   allow air circulation. The VOCs are drawn out of the soil and
   sent to an exhaust system. Because of me reliance on air, vapor
   extraction can only be conducted under dry conditions.
      This conventional technique did not work at the Seymour
   Recycling site because the VOCs were buried beneath the multi-
   layered cap and ground water was six feet below ground level.
   Horizonal wells were placed 30 inches below the cap and slot-
   ted and wrapped with filter doth to keep out sand and sol. The
   horizontal wells were men connected to headers at the north
   and south endof the cap. A vacuum puiap hooked to the
   header at on© end draws air from the header at the other end,
   and VOC-kden air from the soil flows through the system to the
   exhaust, fa addition, bioremediation occurring beneath the cap
   puts more VQGs into air spaces in the soil.
the cap using an innovative
technology called bioremediation.
The technology takes advantage
of naturally occurring bacteria in
the soil to "eat" away the contami-
nants. To speed growth of the
bacteria, nutrients were added to
the soil before the cap was com-
    "...government and
    industry have joined
  together at Seymour to
    implement the best
  technology available..."
  The bioremediation technique
complemented another technol-
ogy known as vapor extraction
which acts like a giant vacuum
cleaner, drawing VOCs from the
soil. Together, both approaches
                                             5 *•
  prevent further migration of con-
  taminants into local ground water.

  Construction Completed Early
    The remedial plan for the site
  specified a completion date of five
  years, but a high degree of coop-
  eration among the settling parties
  enabled the effort to be completed
  in 1991, more than two years
  ahead of schedule. Early start up,
  simultaneous work activities,
  team communications, harmoni-
  ous resolution of legal issues, and
  cooperative management decision
  making were key to beating the
  cleanup schedule.  EPA's Regional
  Administrator in Chicago stated,
  ". . . government and industry
  have joined together at Seymour
  to implement the best technology
  available to restore
  the area."
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Region 5, Library (PL-12J)
77 West Jackson BoniwarH  1 9^ p|Mf
                                                                   , IL  60604-3590

                  Superfund At Work  •  Seymour Recycling Corporatiofi Site, Jackson County, I
                                    Winter 1994
Keeping the Community Informed
  Before selecting the final
remedy for the site, EPA held a
public meeting and invited the
residents to comment on different
cleanup alternatives.  EPA repre-
sentatives periodically appeared
on the local cable network chan-
nel to provide updates on site
progress. In addition, EPA,
IDEM, and the waste contributors
conducted open houses and
tours, held early and frequent
meetings with key community
leaders, gave frequent presenta-
tions, distributed newsletters and
information pamphlets, and
designed and displayed an ex-
hibit about the site. During
construction, monthly progress
reports were provided to the
mayor of Seymour.
    If you wish to be added to or deleted from our mailing list or to comment on this bulletin's
   content, length or format, please call (703) 603-8984, or send a letter to Superfund At Work
               (5502G), 401 M Street SW, Washington, DC 20460
       For additional copies of this or other Superfund At Work bulletins, contact the
  National Technical Information Service, U.S. Department of Commerce, 5285 Port Royal Road,
               Springfield, VA 22161, telephone (703) 487-4650.
      Success at



  From early investigations
through completion of construc-
tion, EPA, the state, and the
waste contributors worked in
harmony to reduce risks at the
  Leaking drums, chemical
storage tanks, and contaminated
surface soil were quickly re-
moved and disposed of off site.
Treatment of ground water, soil,
and sediment was completed
more than two years ahead of
schedule and biorahediation
continues to break down con-
taminants under a multi-layered
protective cover.
 v EPA
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Washington, D.C. 20460
                                            Bulk Rate
                                            Postage and Fees Paid
                                            Permit No. G-35
Official Business
Penalty for Private Use $300