BMT News: EPA, Chemtronics agree on cleanup of Swannanoa Superfund site

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Remaining cleanup of the Chemtronic’s Superfund site in Swannanoa should begin in spring, though it will be at least 30 years before groundwater there is drinkable, according to a recent report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Remedial work the EPA laid out in a September cleanup plan will cost a little more than $18 million over the next 30 years, to be paid by Chemtronics and the two other parties responsible for the cleanup – Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. and CNA Holdings, LLC – according to Jon Bornholm, the EPA remedial project manager who has worked on the Superfund site since 1984.

Restoring groundwater through the polluted land to “beneficial use” will take at least 30 years, the EPA said in a report it presented at the Swannanoa Fire Department in September. “Groundwater is extremely difficult to clean up, and it takes a very long time,” EPA stated in its report.

Chemtronics, Northrop and CNA – the three “potentially responsible parties” as the EPA calls them – are still negotiating with the federal agency about how the land should be restricted. But they’ve agreed that it should be limited to commercial or industrial use, according to Robert Cork of Altamont Environmental, an Asheville firm that has been retained by the three potentially responsible parties, or PRPs, to support Superfund activities on the site. Its three clients “concur” with the EPA’s September cleanup plan, he said.


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