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Fact Sheet

September 2015

EPA Provides Update on Cleanup Action at 10th Street Superfund Site, Columbus, Platte County, Nebraska


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 is providing this update of information related to the cleanup of the 10th Street Superfund Site in Columbus, Nebraska.


The 10th Street Superfund Site first came to the attention of the Nebraska Department of Health, now the Nebraska Health and Human Services System, in November 1983 when trichloroethene (TCE), a volatile organic compound (VOC), was detected in the city’s municipal wells. Since that time, studies have been conducted to determine the source and how to address the contamination. A total of three source areas, including present and former dry cleaners, have been identified.

EPA has conducted various cleanup actions to address the contamination. An air sparging/soil vapor extraction (AS/SVE) system was installed pursuant to a removal action in 2000. A groundwater extraction and treatment (GET) system was installed pursuant to a 2001 interim Record of Decision (ROD) to protect the city’s southern municipal well field.

In addition, a 2005 ROD also called for in-situ chemical oxidation injections to be performed in various portions of the groundwater plume.

These previous cleanup actions have been effective in reducing contamination in the soil and groundwater. The city’s drinking water supply is safe.

However, to achieve safe drinking water levels throughout the groundwater plume, EPA has been investigating methods to speed up addressing the contamination in the source areas.


In late September 2015, EPA will begin demolishing three buildings at the site to facilitate future cleanup efforts. These buildings are the former Prestige Dry Cleaners on Highway 30, the former Jackson Services building/recycling center, and the former Liberty Dry Cleaners building.

After the buildings are demolished and removed, contaminated soil beneath the buildings will be excavated to approximately 15 feet below surface and disposed off-site at an approved landfill. After excavation, chemicals will be placed at the bottom of the excavation to assist in destroying any residual TCE that may remain.  The excavations will be backfilled with clean soil and vegetated with a grass cover.

Sometime after the excavations have been completed, EPA will inject chemicals in other contaminated areas at the site to destroy TCE contamination in groundwater. In addition, several groundwater monitoring wells will be installed so that EPA can monitor progress of the groundwater cleanup in future sampling events.


Site documents for the 10th Street Superfund Site are available for the public to review at the following locations:

U.S. EPA Region 7
11201 Renner Boulevard
Lenexa, Kansas 66219

10th Street Public Library
2504 14th Street
Columbus, Nebraska 68601

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact:

Pamela Houston
Community Engagement Specialist
U.S. EPA Region 7
11201 Renner Boulevard
Lenexa, KS 66219
Phone: 913-551-7699
Toll-free: 1-800-223-0425

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