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EPA approves final remedy for Del Monte Superfund Site

Release Date: 5/3/2005
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711

HONOLULU - The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced its final remedy to clean up the soil and groundwater at the Del Monte Corp. Superfund Site in Central Oahu.

"This represents the most effective cleanup plan for both soil and groundwater contamination at the Del Monte site," said Keith Takata, director for the EPA Pacific Southwest Region's Superfund Division. "We are even incorporating an innovative process to remove contamination from the shallow groundwater using Koa Haole plants."

Cleanup crews will clean up soil at Kunia Village using soil vapor extraction and carbon filters. The extracted vapor will be treated with a carbon filter to remove the contaminants before the vapor is released to the atmosphere. A vegetated soil cover will be placed over the contaminated Kunia Village area soil. This cover reduces the amount of rainwater that moves through the ground and prevents contaminants from reaching the deep groundwater.

The shallow groundwater is being cleaned using plants. Extracted groundwater is delivered to a lined treatment cell planted with Koa Haole plants. Data collected since the system began operating in 1998 shows that contaminants are effectively degraded in the treatment cell.

The deep groundwater in the Kunia Village area will be pumped and cleaned using air stripping and carbon filters. Monitoring wells will help determine whether controlling the source in the Kunia Village area and natural breakdown reduces contaminants down slope to drinking water standards.

If there is no evidence of natural breakdown, more pumping wells will be added to insure that all the contaminated groundwater is treated. The treated water will be used for irrigation. Construction of the deep groundwater treatment system began in August 2004 and is expected to be completed in August 2005.

The cleanup plan will restrict land use to prevent exposure to the contaminated groundwater and prevent activities that might interfere with the effectiveness of the cleanup.

The EPA placed the Del Monte site on the national Superfund list in December 1994, because of concerns about contamination to groundwater, a source of drinking water. Officials discovered contamination from sampling of the Kunia Well in 1980. The Kunia Well is no longer being used. It was immediately disconnected from the drinking water supply system when the contamination was discovered.

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