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Created July 31, 2008

Hercules Toxaphene Plant
Removal Underway
 

   

Removal of the toxaphene plant is underway, according to Hercules reports to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD).  The concrete foundation and contaminated slabs were removed to prepare for excavation of contaminated soils.  A sludge pit, unknown wastes, and old sumps were found as activities got underway.  The unknown wastes are being analyzed and the sumps are being removed.

Sampling of the removed materials indicated that the concrete would have to be disposed of as a hazardous waste.  Rail transport is being arranged for transport of the concrete to an approved landfill.  Soils tested and found to be leaching chemicals, which changed plans for disposal to a landfill designed for toxic wastes.  

 
 

Confirmation sampling in the bottom of the excavated areas still found chemicals present.  Additional excavation down to the water table is scheduled for these contaminated areas.

The N Street ditch next to the toxaphene plant is being excavated and a revetment lining installed.  Water sampling is being conducted during removal activities in the toxaphene plant and N Street areas to monitor for chemical releases to the estuary and St. Simons Sound. 

Toxaphene, a chlorinated camphene pesticide, was manufactured at the Hercules Brunswick Plant from 1948 to 1980.   The pesticide was banned world wide under the Stockholm Convention and is commonly known as one of the "toxic twelve" or "dirty dozen" chemicals.  Due to toxaphene's long life and ability to readily transport through the environment and far from where it was used  is being found world-wide.  Higher levels are commonly found in northern latitudes and in Arctic animals.

The GA-EPD calls the toxaphene plant Solid Waste Management Unit #5, or SWMU #5 for short.  It is one of 39 identified toxic waste sites on the Hercules Plant.  Removal of SWMU #5 will be followed by investigations and plans for the remaining 38 hazardous areas.

 
         

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