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Removal Site Evaluation Released for the Wescott Plantation Site in Summerville, SC

Release Date: 10/19/2007
Contact Information: Laura Niles, (404) 562-8353, niles.laura@epa.gov

(Atlanta, Ga. – Oct. 19, 2007) EPA completed a Removal Site Evaluation (RSE) of the Pebble Creek community at the Wescott Plantation residential subdivision in Summerville, S.C., where methane contamination of several homes was suspected. The RSE concludes that while there was a release of methane at the site, corrective actions, removal site inspection investigations, and follow-through monitoring have reduced the danger. The RSE also concludes that levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including benzene, found in homes do not present a public health threat.

In June, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) requested EPA to assess methane levels at Wescott Plantation. Explosive levels of methane had been noted at two homes in previous independent reports, and subsurface venting systems were installed at the homes in 2006 to reduce indoor methane concentrations. In response to SCDHECs request, EPA conducted air monitoring in 19 homes over a two-day period in late June. All homes tested were significantly below the lower explosive limit for methane, including the two original homes of concern.

Concerns were also expressed by some homeowners about the possibility of additional gases, such as benzene, emitted into their homes from the subsurface. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) reviewed both developer-provided historical air sampling results and EPAs air sampling results and found neither total organic nor individual organic concentrations which would present a public health threat. The EPA concurs with ATSDRs findings.

Additional questions concerning the health and safety of air quality at the Wescott Plantation should be directed toward Richard Nickle of ATSDR at 770-488-3430. Lennar, the homebuilder, has agreed to continue to communicate with the homeowners and provide air monitoring and/or sampling where appropriate, with SCDHEC oversight.

To view the complete RSE, please visit the web site for the Wescott Plantation Methane Assessment at http://www.epaosc.org/site_profile.asp?site_id=3271 and select Wescott RSE POLREP under the site documents category.

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