EPA ID# WAD009624453
EPA Region 10
Clark County

3rd Congressional District

Other Names: Boomsnub/Linde
Last Update: April, 2010

Hide details for Site DescriptionSite Description

The Boomsnub/Airco site covers approximately 49 acres in a light industrial and residential area of Vancouver, Washington. Boomsnub, a 0.75 acre former metal plating facility, and Airco (known as BOC Gases), an 11 acre active compressed gas manufacturing plant, have been combined into one site because contamination from the two facilities resulted in a commingled ground-water plume covering 37 acres that is contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and chromium. The soils at the Boomsnub site became contaminated with chromium as a result of improper handling and disposal of the waste from metal plating operations during the facility's operations from 1967 to June 1994. In late 1989, a water line break released 300,000 gallons of water which likely contributed to the release of chromium to the ground water. In 1991, the State of Washington conducted an investigation of the Boomsnub site which showed the presence of VOCs in the ground-water monitoring wells. The VOCs detected in the groundwater, however, do not appear to be associated with Boomsnub's operations. BOC Gases has been in operation at its location since 1964, manufacturing compressed gas products, including liquid nitrogen, liquid oxygen, and liquid argon. BOC Gases is the source of the VOC contamination. The contaminated ground-water plume overlies the Troutdale aquifer, a regional drinking water source. Clark Public Utilities' wells, which are at risk from the chromium and VOC plume, provide drinking water to more than 60,000 people.

Site Responsibility: This site is being addressed through a Consent Decree. The work on this site is being conducted by a Potentially Responsible Party.

NPL Listing HistoryDates
Proposed Date:01/18/1994
Removed Date:
Withdrawal Date:
Final Date:04/25/1995
Deleted Date:

Hide details for Threats and ContaminantsThreats and Contaminants

Media Affected: Groundwater & Soil
Groundwater is contaminated with high levels of chromium and various VOCs including TCE, PCE, and Freon 11. Soil on the Boomsnub property is contaminated with hexavalent chromium. Direct contact with or ingesting contaminated groundwater or soil could pose a health risk.

Hide details for Cleanup ProgressCleanup Progress

Early Actions: In 1992, the state of Washington installed a treatment plant to cleanup groundwater. In 1994, EPA conducted an early action on the Boomsnub property; 6,000 tons of contaminated soil were excavated to remove the primary source of the groundwater contamination, the main plating building was removed, and an improved pump and treat system for contaminated ground water was installed to treat 100 gallons per minute.

Interim and Long-Term Actions: In 1995, EPA began an investigation into the nature and extent of site contamination to determine whether further interim or long-term cleanup actions are necessary to address site contamination. In order to manage investigation and cleanup activities, EPA divided the Site into three operable units: The Boomsnub Soil Operable Unit, the BOC Gases Operable Unit, and the Site-wide Ground-water Operable Unit. The investigation for the Boomsnub Soil and Site Wide Groundwater Operable Units was completed in 1999. This investigation determined that the existing extraction system was not containing the groundwater contamination at the site. As part of additional interim actions, EPA extended the groundwater extraction network and is now extracting groundwater at 160 gallons per minute.

In 2000, EPA issued a Record of Decision for the Boomsnub Soil and Site-wide Groundwater operable units. The cleanup remedy includes removing (with off-site disposal) remaining chromium-contaminated soil, upgrading the existing extraction/treatment system to 200 gallons per minute and its continued operation for the groundwater contamination. EPA implemented the chromium-contaminated soil cleanup in 2001 to address the Boomsnub Soil Operable Unit. EPA excavated and disposed off-site approximately 2500 cubic yards of chromium-contaminated soil. During the soil cleanup, EPA discovered chromium-contaminated soil above cleanup standards extended under the ground-water extraction/treatment system. This soil was not removed due to its location, but it was further characterized in 2003. There is a relatively small quantity of contaminated soil located under the extraction/treatment system; this placement makes it unlikely that contaminants will leach into groundwater. This layer of soil will be excavated whten the ground water treatment system is removed upon completion of the remediation action for ground water.

The contaminated soil at the BOC Gases Operable Unit is being addressed by in In-Well Stripping and Soil Vapor Extraction system that became operational in February 2004. Since start-up, the ground water monitoring indicates a reduction in the amount of TCE in the source area. In 2006, due to decreased capture, the In- Well Stripping and Soil Vapor Extraction system is undergoing rebound testing as part of potential shut-down.

In 2006, EPA published an Explanation of Significant Differences explaining non-substantive differences from the remediation identified in the Record of Decision. The ESD revised the pumping rate for the pump and treat system focused on site-wide groundwater contamination from 200 gpm to 160 gpm; upgraded both the ion-exchange system and air-stripping units at the ground water treatment plant; allowed treated ground water to be discharged to either the newly constructed infiltration gallery on BOC property or to the Vancouver municipal wastewater treatment facility; and clarified the status of the in-well stripping treatment test.

In October 2007, a well located near the northern boundary of the groundwater plume showed a dramatic increase in TCE concentrations. That increase is being investigated.

Hide details for Regional ContactsRegional Contacts

PHONE NUMBER:206-553-1813
PHONE NUMBER:503-326-6994
Information pertaining to this site is housed at the following location(s):
Fort Vancouver Regional Library (Administrative Records)
1007 E Mill Plain Blvd.
Vancouver, WA 98663-1566

EPA Region 10 Superfund Records Center (Administrative Records)
1200 Sixth Avenue, ECL-076
Seattle, WA 98101