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Fact Sheet

August 2013

Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Remedy, Former Townsend Industries Facility, Pleasant Hill, Polk County, Iowa


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 announces a 30-day public comment period for the proposed remedy at the former Townsend Industries facility, 4400 Vandalia Road, Pleasant Hill, Iowa. The public comment period will run from August 15 through September 16, 2013, to enable the public to participate in the remedy selection process.

The Administrative Record file, which contains copies of the decision documents and documents used to determine the proposed remedy, is available to the public during normal business hours at the following locations:

Pleasant Hill Public Library
5151 Maple Drive
Pleasant Hill, Iowa 50327
(515) 266-7815

EPA Region 7 Records Center
11201 Renner Boulevard
Lenexa, Kansas 66219
(913) 551-7166

The Administrative Record is also available on the EPA Region 7 website at www.epa.gov/region7/public_notices.

A public hearing is not scheduled at this time. If a written request is received for a hearing, with a statement of issues to be raised at the hearing, EPA will evaluate any request and hold a hearing if it finds that a hearing will contribute to the decision-making process by clarifying significant issues affecting the proposed remedy.

Written comments can be submitted by mail or email, and must be received no later than close of business September 16, 2013. Comments should be sent to:

Wray R. Rohrman
U.S. EPA Region 7, AWMD/WRAP
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, Kansas 66219
Email: rohrman.wray@epa.gov

Comments received will be summarized in a Response to Comments and responses will be provided to those individuals providing the comments. The Response to Comments will be drafted at the conclusion of the public comment period and incorporated into the Administrative Record. EPA may modify the proposed final remedy or select other alternatives based on new information and comments from the public.


The former Townsend Industries facility is located at 4400 Vandalia Road, Pleasant Hill, Iowa. From 1975 until 1985, the facility was leased from Jacobson Warehouse Company, the owner, by two companies, TH Agriculture & Nutrition (THAN) and Elementis, each operating under the name Thompson Hayward Chemical Company. Business activities included the storage and distribution of agricultural, industrial, and laundry/dry cleaning chemicals, and the storage and management of spent solvents generated by customers. Soil/groundwater contamination occurred at the facility during this period. In 1987, the facility was acquired by Townsend Industries.

In 1991, a RCRA 3008(h) Order on Consent (Order) was issued to THAN; Harcros Chemicals, Inc. (now Elementis); and Townsend Industries, the owner at the time of issuance. Under the Order, the Respondents performed an environmental investigation to determine the nature and extent of hazardous materials in soil/groundwater. As a result of this investigation, particularly when it was confirmed that contaminated groundwater had migrated off-site, the Respondents performed interim corrective action measures in order to control the migration of groundwater contamination from the facility property. These measures included the 1995 construction of a subsurface soil-bentonite containment wall to help prevent groundwater contamination from migrating off-site to neighboring properties, and the 1996 installation of a gradient control/treatment system within the soil bentonite wall to remove groundwater contamination and prevent off-site migration. The Respondents also completed a study to determine whether monitored natural attenuation was a viable remedy for off-site groundwater contamination. Other interim remedial measures included the 2004 pilot testing of an Accelerated Remediation Technologies remediation well; the 2005 installation of the in situ hydraulic treatment conduit; and the 2012 installation of an asphalt cover over an area of on-site soil contamination.


Information and data gathered during field testing of the interim measures installed at the former Townsend Industries facility has demonstrated that they are a viable combination of remedial measures. EPA is now proposing that these measures become part of the final remedy for the facility.

The remedy proposed for the site consists of several components. A soil-bentonite containment wall surrounding the contaminated areas of the site; an in situ hydraulic treatment conduit; a groundwater withdrawal/treatment system; a remediation well system; and an asphalt cover for one area of contaminated soil will help to prevent on-site groundwater contamination from migrating off-site. Monitored natural attenuation will reduce levels of off-site groundwater contamination.

The remedy will also include institutional controls, an environmental covenant under the Iowa Uniform Environmental Covenants Act to prevent exposure to on-site contaminated groundwater/soils, and periodic groundwater and vapor intrusion monitoring.


For more information about the facility or this action, please contact:

Beckie Himes
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA Region 7, Office of Public Affairs
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, KS 66219
Phone: 913-551-7253
Toll-free: 800-223-0425
Email: himes.beckie@epa.gov

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