United States
                 Environmental Protection
                 Agency
                             Solid Waste and
                             Emergency Response
                             (5502G)
                                             EPA520-F-93-005
                                                 Spring 1993
& EPA     Superfund  At Work
                 Hazardous Waste Cleanup Efforts Nationwide
      Powersville
      Site Profile
Site Description;
A municipal landfill in an agricultural
area of Peach County, Georgia
Site Size: 15 acres
Primary Contaminants:
Pesticides, vinyl chloride, copper,
zinc, and lead
Potential Range of Health Risks:
Direct contact with contaminants
could cause skin rashes or
respiratory problems
Nearby Population Affected:
150 people within one mile
Ecological Concerns:
Orchards, crops and livestock
Year Listed on NPL: 1984
EPA Region: IV
State: Georgia
Congressional District: 3
      Pesticide Contamination At Powersville Dump
  Sand and gravel quarry
  activities for 30 years
                                    Lizzie Chapel Baptist
                                    Church well water
                                    contaminated
Household wastes,
pesticides and chemical
by-prpducts dumped
                    Contaminants migrate into soil and ground water
                          aquifer and wells threatened.
Success In Brief

Pesticide Contamination

Addressed At Powersville

Dump Site

  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encountered
much more than a municipal landfill at the Powersville site in Peach
County, Georgia. Contamination from improperly dumped hazardous
wastes and pesticides tainted an old quarry used for household gar-
bage. Chemicals migrating into area ground water threatened local
drinking water supplies. To address these issues, EPA's Superfund
program designed a cleanup strategy that included:
     Negotiating with the county and chemical companies to contain
     the hazardous wastes on site underneath a protective cover;
     Investigating reports of drinking water contamination and
     extending municipal water lines to affected residents; and
     Conducting a tailored community relations program to inform
     and educate residents about the site.
EPA's Superfund program effectively halted the further migration of
contaminants into the environment and ensured the safety of future
drinking water supplies.

                           The  Site Today
                             A multi-layer synthetic cover was
                           completed in 1992, and is containing
                           wastes at the site. Construction has
                           been completed to extend municipal
                           water lines to homes with affected
                           wells.
                             An alternate drinking water
                           supply will become available hi
                           spring 1993, and final inspection is
                           scheduled for fall 1993.
                       U.S. Ervlrcpmsn^ P--olocl;c. Agency

                       7/V-u Jacksop_LX>._ .-;, . ;.tfj Floor

-------
                  Superfund At Work    Powersville Dump, Peach County, GA     Spring 1993
              A Site Snapshot
  The Powersville landfill
covers 15 acres in Peach
County, Georgia. The sur-
rounding area is  
mainly agri-
cultural, used
for orchards and
raising live-
stock. The Lizzie
Chapel Baptist
Church is
                             pesticides and chemical by-
                             products at the site.
                               The landfill's floor is com-
                              posed mainly of
                                          sand and gravel,
                                          allowing water
                                          and contami-
                                          nants to move
                                          freely through
                                          the soil. Vinyl
                                          chloride, zinc,
adjacent to the site, and about    copper, lead, and pesticides all
150 people live within one mile,  migrated into ground water
  Sand and gravel were quar-   and soil. Fifteen area drinking
 Vinyl chloride, zinc,
   copper, lead and
      pesticides
    migrated into
ground water and soil
ried at the site from the early
1940s to 1969. That year, Peach
County began using the quarry
as a sanitary landfill. For 10
years, the landfill received
primarily household wastes.
An undetermined number of
companies also disposed of
                             wells and the aquifer under-
                             neath the site were threatened.
                               Contact with contaminated
                             soil could cause skin rashes or
                             respiratory problems. Drinking
                             affected water could have led
                             to an increased risk of cancer in
                             both residents and cattle.
                                                               Poweisville Gr<
  For nearly 30 years, the
Powersville site was a sand and
gravel quarry that supplied
construction materials. In 1969,
when other county dumps were
full, Peach County began using
the pit as a landfill for household
and industrial wastes. The site
received wastes daily.
  Disposal and maintenance
activities were monitored regu-
larly by county officials. During
this time, an unknown number of
companies also dumped pesti-
cides, their containers, and chemi-
cals used in pesticide production
at the site. Such practices were
common then, since the dangers
of pesticides were not widely
recognized.
  Powersville  Dump
  Timeline
                                                                       Superfund enacted
                                                    DNR orders landfill closed
                                         Peach County constructs 
-------
                            Superfund At Work
                  Powersville Dump, Peach County, GA
                                           Spring 1993
1 Quany Filled With Hazardous Waste
         Many of these pesticides have   the obvious disposal of pesticides
       since been banned from domestic  at the landfill and recommended
       use. The production, sale and use  that a separate hazardous waste
       of DDT, for example, was banned  disposal section be created so that
       in 1972. At this time,
       a wide range of other
       environmental issues
       was becoming part
       of the national con-
       sciousness.

       Early Efforts
       Protect Environment
       and Citizens
         During a routine
       inspection in October
       1972, Environmental
       Protection Division (EPD) officials
       from Georgia's Department of
       Natural Resources (DNR) took a
       new look at the Powersville
       dump. EPD voiced concern over
                 pesticides could be moni-
                   tored and controlled.
                       In the summer of
                       1973, following EPD's
                        specifications, Peach
                          County officials
                            designated a
                              separate one-
                              acre area for
                             the hazardous
                            wastes. They
                          lined it with five
                          feet of clay and ran
            trenches through the area to
            collect runoff and prevent pesti-
            cide migration.
               Without these precautions,
            contaminated rain water could
  Powersville
Peach County, GA
either have seeped into the soil
and ground water or run off the
site onto surrounding land. The
county also enclosed the area
with a cyclone fence, and posted
warning signs.
  In March 1977, EPD recom-
mended that further disposal of
these pesticides at the site be
prohibited and asked the Peach
County Board of Commissioners
to close the landfill. The EPD
expressed concern that despite
the precautions taken, the sand
and gravel floor could still permit
chemicals to filter into soil and
ground water, threatening drink-
ing supplies. In early 1979, the
county stopped accepting all
wastes at the site.
           Residents complain of odors, strange taste of water
           Well at Lizzie Chapel Baptist Church contaminated
           State requests EPA assistance
                Site listed on NPL
                  fe- CDC reviews drinking water report
                                Site studies completed
                                Cleanup plan proposed
                                Public meetings held
                                  r
          Cleanup design completed

                           Construction of cap begins

                                Cap completed
                                                             /  Alternate water
                                                                 supply constructed
                                                                 (planned)
      1983  1984 1985
1987 1988
                 1991  1992 1993

                   Page 3  	

-------
                     Superfund At Work
     Powersville Dump, Peach County, GA
   Spring 1993
   On The Horizon  An expansive vista of cleanup activities at the
   Powersville site. The white building visible near the site is Lizzie
   Chapel Baptist Church.
 State Officials Detect
 Ground Water Problems
   While the Powersville dump
 was still accepting wastes, local
 residents complained to EPD
 about foul odors and wastes
 blowing from the site. They also
 reported that their drinking water
 tasted bad and was often discol-
 ored. In 1983, EPD began sam-
 pling area wells for contamina-
 tion, and found that a well at the


       By August 1983,
         EPD officials
      recommended that
    church members stop
     using their well water

 church next to the site was con-
 taminated with trace levels of
 pesticides.
   In May 1983, EPD sampled
 several other wells in the area, but
 none showed evidence of con-
 tamination. EPD analysts re-
 tested the church well, and found
 that the contamination levels had
 increased. Contaminated ground
water was moving from under-
neath the site and affecting the
church's drinking supplies.  By
August 1983, EPD officials recom-
mended that church members
stop using their well water.
   EPD then contacted the EPA
Superfund program for assis-
tance. This national cleanup
program had been launched in
1980 in response to widespread
concern about hazardous waste
sites around the country.

EPA's Site Study
Assesses Threats
   In response to the state's
request, EPA proposed
Powersville to the National
Priorities List (NPL), the nation's
roster of hazardous waste sites
eligible for cleanup under the
Superfund program. In Septem-
ber 1983, EPA began studying the
ground water problem by moni-
toring the site and the surround-
ing area to determine whether the
contamination was spreading,
and if so, how fast. Samples from
monitoring wells confirmed that
ground water beneath the site
was contaminated with pesti-
cides, metals and vinyl chloride.
Based on these findings, the site
was officially listed on the NPL in
September 1984.
EPA's Community Relations
Allay Local Concerns
   Concerned by the sampling
results, residents asked that their
wells be re-tested and EPA
complied. Samples revealed
extremely low levels of contami-
nation in some private wells.
   The levels of contaminants
were within the safety standards
set by the Safe Drinking Water
Act. Nevertheless, Superfund
staff wanted to reassure the
community as to the accuracy
of the testing. Thus, EPA re-
quested that the Centers for
Disease Control (CDC) review
sampling results to ensure that
the drinking water posed no
threat to residents.
   In April 1985, CDC confirmed
EPA's findings; there was no need
to provide an alternate water
supply to the community.
   This outside analysis was just
one of the many extra steps
Superfund staff took to satisfy the
concerns  of area residents. Parties
responsible for the contamination at
the site also played a role in ad-
dressing community concerns.
Their efforts led to community
support for Superfund activities at
Powersville (see Community
Relations on page 5).
                                              Page 4

-------
                   Superfund At Work
     Powersville Dump, Peach County, GA
                                             Capping the Site
                                    A protective cover over the site
                                prevents the spread of contaminants
EPA Negotiates at Powersville
  One of the objectives of the
Superfund program is to obtain
private party commitments to
clean up hazardous waste sites.
During preliminary investiga-
tions, EPA identified some of the


        EPA undertook
        investigations
    at the Powersville site

parties who were responsible for
hazardous wastes at the
Powersville site. One was Peach
County; another was Canadyne
Georgia, which owns Woolf oik
Chemicals.
  EPA began negotiations with
them to perform studies at the site
and to develop cleanup options.
However, these negotiations
ended unsuccessfully, so EPA
undertook the site investigations.
The Cleanup Plan
  Following these studies in
September 1987, EPA chose a
cleanup approach which included:
  A multi-layer synthetic "cap"
  to cover the site and to prevent
  rain water from spreading
  contaminants;
 A channel to keep rain water
  off the cover and away from
  the hazardous wastes;
 On-site monitoring wells to
  allow scientists to track the
  nature and movement of
  contaminants; and
 Extension of municipal water
  lines to serve area residents
  with affected wells, even
  though contamination was
  within acceptable drinking
  water standards.
  EPA then successfully negoti-
ated with the responsible parties
to perform the design and con-
struction of cleanup activities.
Under EPA supervision, they
began designing the protective
cover in December 1988, and
completed it in January 1991.
Spring 1993  	

  Community

  Relations At

  Powersville

 A Constant Vigil -
  The site manager oversee-
  ing construction activities
  became an active member
  of the community. He
  interacted with citizens on
  a daily basis.
 The Observation Deck -
  The parties responsible for
  conducting the cleanup
  built a tower from which
  the public could observe
  site activities.
* Discussion of Plans -
  In August 1987, EPA held
  a public meeting to discuss
  the proposed comprehen-
  sive cleanup plan for the
  site. This allowed EPA to
  respond directly to resi-
  dents' questions.
* Community Relations
  Activities -
  A strategy was worked out
  with the public to allow
  easy interaction with EPA
  to obtain information and
  get frequent updates
 Progress Meetings -
  In August 1991, Superfund
  staff held an open house to
  address any questions the
  community had about
  ongoing cleanup activities.
* Face-to-Face Discussions -
  Superfund staff personally
  visited residents through-
  out the cleanup, recogniz-
  ing the importance of their
  problems and concerns,
  and incorporating their
  suggestions in the cleanup
  plan.
                                           Pages

-------
                    Superfund At Work
     Powersville Dump, Peach County, GA
Spring 1993
Cleanup Nears Completion
The Protective Soil Cover
  Following completion of the
protective cover, extra monitoring
wells were installed in 1992.
  Samples are now taken quar-
terly to test the ground water. The
site's future uses will be limited to
ensure that the cover's integrity is
not compromised. The site will be
monitored for 30 years to verify
that no future problems arise.
The Superfund program may enlist
the help of the State of Georgia to
oversee these activities.
The Water Supply
  The parties conducting the
cleanup started installing new
water lines in 1992. Water line
extensions were completed in
March 1993.
   The new lines extend from
the municipal water system of
the town of Byron nearby. All
affected residences had an oppor-
tunity to be connected free of
charge prior to March 1993.
      For additional copies of this or other Superfund At Work updates, contact the
        National Technical Information Service, U S. Department of Commerce,
        5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161, telephone (703) 487-4650.
             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.
    Success at

   Powersville

       Dump

   Cleanup actions at the
 site have been completed.
   EPA's efforts resulted in
 successful cooperation with
 the responsible parties and
 the community to address
 the hazardous waste prob-
 lem at the site.
   EPA is working with the
 community to address
 remaining concerns regard-
 ing the site, while simulta-
 neously eliminating health
 threats, and preventing
 further contamination.
vvEPA
United States Environmental Protection Agency
5502G
Washington, D.C. 20460

Official Business
Penalty for Private Use $300
                                            First Class Mail
                                            Postage and Fees Paid
                                            EPA
                                            Permit No. G-35
  Printed on recycled paper

-------