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Release Date: 01/31/2003
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, EPA Press and Media Relations, 404-562-8421
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has completed a Superfund hazardous waste removal at the Earl Ransom Property Site in Capshaw, Limestone County, Alabama. A removal is a short-term cleanup intended to stabilize or clean up a site that poses an imminent and substantial threat to human health or the environment. The removal was completed under the authority and direction of the Agency's Emergency Response and Removal Branch.

The removal included:

- mobilization and site preparation;

- establishing and maintaining site security;

- containment of drum contents released to ground surface;

- excavation, staging, and sampling of drums (over 600 drums or partial drums were removed);

- segregation of drums by hazard categories;

- excavation, staging, and sampling of contaminated soil;

- removal and off-site transportation of hazardous substances located in drums or other large containers to an approved facility;

- sampling of drinking water wells at homes nearby the site;

- sampling of surface water on site; and

- restoration of the site.

The Earl Ransom Property site consisted of buried drums that were reportedly dumped on the site approximately 25 years ago. Information collected from a previous investigation by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) revealed the presence of hazardous substances in some of the drums. All of the drums on the surface were completely corroded and/or contained holes in them. The contents of some of the had solidified or had been released into the soil. During clearing and grubbing operations, heavy equipment punctured several of the drums causing the liquid contents to be released onto the ground surface. Contaminants of concern included tetrachloroethane, chloroform, and carbon tetrachloride.

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund and the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) authorize EPA to respond to actual or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health, welfare, or the environment.