U.S. Environmental Protection Agency targets Grenada Mfg. LLC for cleanup guidance, investigation
Beginning Monday, April 11, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will conduct a site investigation at the former Grenada Mfg. LLC facility (now Grenada Stamping), followed by additional sampling in the adjacent Eastern Heights neighborhood the week of May 2, 2016. These new investigations are part of a precautionary approach to protect public health and the environment. The results will help EPA and Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) guide the ongoing cleanup of the facility and surrounding areas.
EPA has determined there is no immediate threat to public health, however, additional investigations are needed to define the extent of trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination at and surrounding the facility, including potential ecological impacts to a wetlands area and Riverdale Creek.
TCE, a common ground water contaminant, is a non-flammable, colorless liquid used as a solvent for cleaning metal parts that can vaporize and migrate into outside or indoor air.
In June 2015, EPA directed Grenada Mfg LLC to conduct environmental sampling in and around the Eastern Heights neighborhood. The resulting investigations in September 2015 and February 2016 identified contaminated groundwater in the southern portion of the Eastern Heights neighborhood. Although the public is not at risk of direct exposure, groundwater sampling results indicated there may be more sources of TCE beyond those previously known to EPA. The public is not at risk of direct exposure to this contaminated groundwater since the community receives its drinking water from the public water supply.
In April, EPA will collect soil, sediment and water samples on the facility’s property. Samples will also be collected from Riverdale Creek and property owned by the city of Grenada. EPA will also conduct a drinking water well survey to identify any private drinking water wells in use in the area.
In May, EPA plans to sample air inside and outside 18 additional homes in the Eastern Heights neighborhood and will seek the necessary access from residents to conduct this sampling. Air samples will be collected inside homes using canisters left in place for a 24-hour period. Additionally, EPA will use its Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzer (TAGA) bus to monitor indoor and outdoor air. The TAGA bus is a self-contained mobile laboratory which allows air samples to be instantly analyzed to determine if contaminants are present. Besides sampling in and around homes, the TAGA bus will collect outdoor air samples around the facility and within the Eastern Heights neighborhood. Lastly, groundwater samples will be collected at several locations in the neighborhood.
EPA has been investigating and directing cleanup actions at the facility under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act since the mid-1990’s. EPA first issued a cleanup permit to the facility in 1998. Cleanup to date includes source control measures in several areas at the facility and the installation of an on-site groundwater treatment technology, a permeable reactive barrier (PRB).
EPA is concerned about the effectiveness of the PRB and the levels of TCE in a monitoring well near the northern property boundary of the Grenada facility next to the Eastern Heights neighborhood. EPA directed Grenada Manufacturing, LLC to further investigate and identify measures to address these concerns, leading to the discovery of additional groundwater contamination. EPA is using additional authorities outside of the cleanup permit to expand investigation of contamination at and surrounding the facility.