Wednesday, June 13, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 will begin the Remedial Action phase at the Cleburn Street Well Superfund Site in Grand Island, Nebraska. EPA is conducting thermal treatment at the site to address soil and groundwater contamination by trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), and petroleum hydrocarbons.

“Innovative remedies, such as thermal treatment, allow us to clean up sites more quickly and with less public disruption than previous technologies,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford.“Thermal treatment at the Cleburn Street Well Site can eliminate up to 99 percent of the contaminants at the site.”

Thermal treatment of the contamination at the site will allow EPA to address the source area of contamination without the need for extensive excavation that would disrupt traffic on a popular road at the site. Additional benefits of thermal treatment include greater energy efficiency, less long-term cost, and the ability to address non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) at the site, such as TCE, which other technologies are unable to effectively treat.

Thermal treatment heats the soil and groundwater to near boiling temperatures. The heating mobilizes the contaminants, which are collected through an extraction system for safe disposal.

Due to the depth, location and extent of the contamination, thermal treatment technology represents the only feasible remedy to address the source area of TCE/PCE at the site. Excavation is not feasible due to the location of the Eddy Street underpass and the long-term disruption to city traffic. Previous efforts to address the source area through a soil vapor extraction system were successful in removing the contamination above the water table, which is approximately 20 feet below the surface. The thermal treatment will target the remaining contamination, which is 20 to 60 feet below the surface.

EPA expects the thermal treatment of the source area to last until the end of 2018, at which point EPA will conduct confirmation sampling to ensure the effectiveness of the remedy.

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