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Fact Sheet

February 2010

EPA Opens the Public Comment Period and Announces a Public Meeting on the Proposed Plan for Interim Remedial Action at the Garvey Elevator Site, Hastings, Adams County, Nebraska


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 has released the Proposed Plan for interim remedial action, which describes the Agency's preferred alternative to address soil and ground water contamination at the source area designated as Operable Unit (OU) 1 at the Garvey Elevator Superfund Site (Site), located in Hastings, Nebraska. The Proposed Plan is now available for public comment. EPA is issuing this Plan as part of its public participation responsibilities under Section 117(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, as amended, (CERCLA), and Section 300.430(f)(2) of the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP). Following the comment period, EPA, in consultation with the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ), will select an interim remedy after reviewing and considering all comments and information submitted by the public about the Proposed Plan. The decision will be published in an Interim Record of Decision (ROD). The Interim ROD will include a summary of EPA's responses to the comments received during the public comment period.


EPA will hold a public meeting to present cleanup options and take public comments. Meeting information follows:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Hastings Public Library
4th and Denver Streets
Hastings, Nebraska

EPA staff members will be available to discuss site activities and answer questions.

The 30-day public comment period will begin on February 11, 2010 and end on March 13, 2010.

Send Written Comments to:

Jan Lambert
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
901 N 5th Street
Kansas City, KS 66101
e-mail:  lambert.janette@epa.gov


The Site is located at 2315 W. Highway 6, approximately 0.5 miles southwest of Hastings, Nebraska. The contamination associated with the Garvey Elevator Site consists of soil and ground water contaminated with carbon tetrachloride
and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). A ground water contaminant plume approximately three miles long extends from the facility in an east-southeasterly direction.

The 8-million bushel capacity facility was formerly owned by Garvey Elevators, Inc. from its construction in 1959 until 2005, when it was purchased by AGP Grain Marketing, Inc. Carbon tetrachloride, a common fumigant, was used at the facility until the mid-1980s. The facility first came to the attention of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) in 1994, when Garvey Elevators, Inc. notified NDEQ of a spill of fumigants and the presence of ground water contamination at its facility.

On March 27, 2008, Garvey filed a voluntary petition for liquidation pursuant to Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Carbon tetrachloride has been found at high levels (29,943 parts per billion) in ground water beneath the facility. Carbon tetrachloride has also been found in numerous private drinking water supply wells and in Municipal Well 13 above EPA's drinking water standard of 5 parts per billion. Municipal Well 13 has since been designated for emergency use only.

Prior to their declaration of bankruptcy, Garvey Elevators Inc. performed initial investigations and installed and operated a soil and ground water treatment systems at the facility. According to Garvey Elevators, Inc. estimates, the systems removed approximately 11,600 lbs. of carbon tetrachloride from the soil and ground water between January 1999 and June 2002. These actions were performed under Nebraska's Voluntary Cleanup Program. After Garvey's bankruptcy, EPA initiated fund-lead removal actions in May 2008, to address the immediate threat to human health
posed by the contaminated private wells and to implement source control measures to prevent further impacts to the ground water at the facility. To date, EPA has extended approximately 1.25 miles of water main lines and connected more than 13 residences whose private wells were impacted.

In December 2008, EPA began the federal-lead Remedial Investigation/ Feasibility Study (RI/FS) to fully characterize contamination at the site and to evaluate potential remedies.

The Site covers a large geographical area and encompasses both contaminated soil and ground water at the source area and a large ground water contaminant plume.   EPA has organized the site into two operable units:  OU 1 is the soil and ground water contamination at the former Garvey Elevators, Inc. facility; OU 2 is the plume of ground water contamination east-southeast of OU 1.

This Proposed Plan addresses OU 1 and is intended to address the risk posed by the contaminated ground water migrating from OU 1.

A summary of all remedial alternatives is listed in the Proposed Plan, along with EPA's criteria to compare the alternatives.

The RI/FS for OU 1 and OU 2 is underway. After implementation of this interim action on OU 1 and upon completion of the RI/FS for OU 1 and
OU 2, EPA will issue a Proposed Plan recommending a remedial action that addresses OU 1 and OU 2. The interim action in this Proposed Plan will be consistent with the remedial action that addresses OU 1 and OU 2.


The interim remedial alternatives evaluated by EPA are summarized below. A full description and comparison of the alternatives appears in the Focused Feasibility Study Report and the Proposed Plan which can be found in the Administrative Record for the Site.

Alternative 1: No Action.

Alternative 2: Continued operation of the existing soil vapor extraction and ground water extraction and treatment systems.

Alternative 3:  Continued operation of the existing soil vapor extraction and ground water extraction and treatment systems with expansion of existing ground water extraction system.

All three alternatives share the common element of institutional controls to restrict Site OU 1 uses to prevent exposures to the contaminated ground water. Alternatives 2 and 3 share the common element of beneficial reuse of the extracted and treated water for irrigation, and/or other purposes.


EPA's Preferred Alternative is Alternative 3; continued operation of the existing soil vapor extraction and ground water extraction and treatment systems, with expansion of the existing ground water extraction system. This alternative would reduce leaching of contaminants in the soil to the ground water and would intercept and prevent the migration of ground water contamination from the OU 1 source area. The alternative includes periodic monitoring of ground water and soil vapor to determine the performance of the remedy. It also includes institutional controls at the former Garvey Elevator property and beneficial reuse of the treated ground water for irrigation.

Alternative 3 was selected over the other alternatives because it implements proven technologies, has the ability to meet the remedial action objectives, and will be consistent with a final remedial action for OU 1


EPA encourages public participation and will not make any final decisions on a cleanup alternative until thoroughly reviewing all comments received from the public. The 30-day public comment period will begin on February 11, 2010 and end on March 13, 2010. Upon completion of the public comment period, all comments will be reviewed and compiled into a Responsiveness Summary, which will become a part of EPA's Record of Decision for the Site.

Comments may be made at the public meeting or sent to EPA at the address below:

Jan Lambert
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA - Region 7
Office of Public Affairs
901 North 5th Street
Kansas City, KS  66101
E-mail: lambert.janette@epa.gov


For additional details, EPA's Proposed Plan and the supporting documents for the Garvey Elevator Superfund Site can be found at one of the following repositories:

Hastings Public Library
4th and Denver Streets
Hastings, Nebraska 68901
(402) 461-2346

EPA Region 7 Records Center
901 North 5th Street
Kansas City, Kansas  66101


EPA Region 7 is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in one of the public meetings, please notify the EPA Reasonable Accommodations Coordinator, Jonathan Cooper at 1-800-223-0425, or by e-mail at: cooper.jonathan@epa.gov at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting. Speech or hearing impaired individuals should e-mail or call using the local relay service

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