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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
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 Williston,  Vermont
 Chittenden County
 Street Address: Commerce Street
 Zip Code: 05495

 EPA ID #: VTD098352545
 Site ID #: 0101470
 Site Aliases: Mitec

 Site Responsibility: Federal, Potentially Responsible Parties

 Proposed Date 09/23/2004
 Final Date 04/27/2005

Site Description
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The Commerce Street Plume is located at an industrial park in Williston, Chittenden County, Vermont. The property formerly leased by Mitec Systems Corp. (Mitec), one of the known plume contributors, occupies one acre at 96 Commerce Street and currently includes one 6,000 square foot building. Various manufacturing and electroplating operations occurred on the property since 1960. The two primary sources of contamination on the property are an unlined lagoon and a leach field, which were both created to dispose of liquid waste. Plating rinsewater and sludge wastes containing heavy metals and solvents were disposed of into the unlined lagoon and the leach field intermittently through 1984.

From 1979 to 1986, Mitec leased the property for manufacturing of electronic and microwave components. Between 1979 and 1984, Mitec discharged an undetermined quantity of rinse waters and sludge wastes containing chromium, cadmium, cyanide, nickel, and industrial solvents associated with electroplating operations into the unlined lagoon. After a Mitec employee expressed concern to the Vermont Agency of Environmental Conservation (VT AEC) in March 1982, the State found the company in violation of hazardous waste regulations for the disposal of chromium contaminated wastes.

In 1984, monitoring wells detected chromium in ground water downgradient of the lagoon. In July 1985, sampling by Vermont Department of Health (VT DOH) showed six residential private drinking water wells downgradient of the lagoon and leach field to be contaminated with TCE up to 190 parts per billion (ppb) and PCE up to 12 ppb, concentrations above federal Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs). In addition, indoor air samples collected in residences down gradient from the property showed VOCs at levels posing unacceptable risk to humans. The drinking water wells were subsequently closed, and residents were provided with an alternate drinking water supply.

Numerous ground water, surface water, sediment, residential indoor air, and soil sampling events occurred between 1984 and 2002. In 1987 and 1988, concentrations of TCE and PCE were detected in ground water up to 3,300 ppb and 660 ppb, respectively. In 1996, soil samples collected by Vermont Agency for Natural Resources (VT ANR) indicated TCE concentrations up to 1,790 ppb directly downgradient of the leach field. Additional studies detected DCE up to 180 ppb, chromium at 3.4 ppb, TCE at 170 ppb, and vinyl chloride at 11 ppb in wetlands and the nearby unnamed stream, which flows into Muddy Brook and ultimately the Winooski River. In 1999, ground water samples taken by the VT ANR found TCE in ground water at levels as high as 90,000 ppb downgradient of the former Mitec facility. In 2002, EPA detected elevated levels of 11 VOCs and 13 total metals in monitoring wells located throughout the industrial park and surrounding residential area.

There are no State-designated threatened species at the Site. An unnamed stream along the eastern edge of the Site flows into a tributary of Muddy Brook about a mile south of the Site; the Muddy Brook flows into the Winooski River which is a known fishery. Ground water contamination continues to be detected directly downgradient of the property and has the potential to migrate to private and public water supplies serving approximately 1,575 people within 4 miles of the property.

Threats and Contaminants
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Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) tetrachloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), dichloroethylene (DCE), and metals including chromium, cadmium, and nickel have been detected in soil and ground water throughout the property and TCE and PCE have been detected in nearby drinking water wells above health-based standards. In addition, elevated levels of contaminants linked to the property have migrated to nearby streams and wetlands via ground water to surface water recharge.

Cleanup Approach
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None at this time, pending completion of the remedial investigation and feasibility study.

Response Action Status
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Initial Action EPA initiated a fund-lead remedial investigation (RI) on August 11, 2008.

Remedial Investigation Groundwater samples and water level measurements taken across the site in 2008, 2010 and 2011 confirm the presence of a groundwater plume of contamination, primarily TCE, across the study area (Commerce Street, Kirby Lane, South Brownell, Shunpike Road). Human-health and ecological risk assessments were completed in 2014. A final report with the laboratory results and a conceptual site model is expected to be completed in July 2015.

ATSDR Public Health Assessment By law, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is required to conduct a Public Health Assessment (PHA) on all Superfund sites. The PHA was completed in 2014.

Feasibility Study The feasibility study is expected to be completed in July 2015.

Vapor Intrusion Due to high concentrations of TCE, an investigation into the potential for vapors to accumulate in buildings above the groundwater plume is indicated. EPA completed an indoor air study in 2013.

Proposed Plan EPA will propose a cleanup plan for the Site and hold a 30-day public comment period beginning August 6, 2015 and ending September 4, 2015. This will be followed by issuance of a Record of Decision, currently projected for fall 2015.

Public Comment Period Written comments on the proposed plan must be postmarked by September 4, 2015. Verbal comments on the proposed plan will be accepted at a public hearing to be held on August 12, 2015, at 8:00 pm, at Town Hall, 7900 Williston Road, Williston, VT. See the proposed plan for more details on how to submit a written comment by USPS, fax or email.

Administrative Record The Administrative Record which contains the documents that formed the basis for the proposed cleanup plan will be available shortly before the start of the public comment period at the Site repository located in the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, 21 Library Lane, Williston, and at the EPA Region 1 Records Center, 5 Post Office Square (1st floor), Boston, MA.

Enforcement HighlightsGeneral notice letters of potential liability and demand for reimbursement of past costs in the amount of $600,000 were sent to Mitec Telecom, Inc (May 15, 2007), Meyer Bentob (May 15, 2007) and the Beatrice P. Alling Trust (June 20, 2007). Special notice letters seeking voluntary performance of a remedial investigation and feasibility study were sent to the three aforementioned parties on September 28, 2007.

Environmental Progress
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In 1984, VT AEC filed suit against Mitec for alleged contamination and submitted a 6610a Administrative Order to Mitec issuing a formal notice of violation, charging Mitec with illegal disposal of hazardous waste. Contaminated soil was removed from an unlined wastewater disposal lagoon located behind the building in 1985. Manufacturing operations on the property ceased in 1986. The State of Vermont reached a settlement with Mitec and with the funds collected pursuant to the settlement, conducted a groundwater monitoring program. More contaminated soil was removed from the unlined lagoon in 1989. With support from the State of Vermont, EPA proposed the site for the Superfund National Priorities List in September 2004 and finalized the listing in April 2005. In 2007, EPA notified three parties of their potential liability for the site clean up and invited those parties to voluntarily perform the remedial investigation and feasibility study. In August 2008, EPA initiated a hydrogeologic investigation of the site, which is one aspect of the remedial investigation. The full nature and extent of the contamination was delineated in several phases of work, from 2008 to 2014.

Current Site Status
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EPA collected groundwater quality samples and water level measurements across the study area in 2008, 2010 and 2011. The study confirmed the presence of a plume of contamination, primarily TCE, with two hot spots -- along Commerce Street and near the intersection of South Brownell and Shunpike Road. Although there is a clean layer of groundwater across the study area that is at least 5 to 10 feet below the water table (in some places it is 15 to 20 feet below the water table), EPA completed a vapor intrusion study, targeting owners of residential and commercial buildings in those areas where the highest levels of contamination are closest to the surface. The remedial investigation, human-health and ecological risk assessments, and feasibility study are complete and will be issued in July 2015 along with other documents that form the basis for EPA's proposed plan for cleanup at the site. EPA will hold a 30-day comment period beginning August 6, 2015 and ending September 4, 2015 during which time the public is invited to comment on that cleanup plan. EPA will consider all comments from the public, and pending concurrence from the State of Vermont, will issue a final plan in the Record of Decision, projected for fall 2015.

Site Photos
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Links to Other Site Information
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Disclaimer Instructions about PDF

Newsletters & Press Releases:
Press Releases about this project  
Fact Sheet: EPA Community Update, Spring 2010 (725 KB)  

Federal Register Notices:
Proposed NPL Listing  

Administrative Records:
Record of Decision (ROD) Proposed Plan Administrative Record (AR) Index, August 1, 2015, (594 KB)  

Reports and Studies:
Proposed Plan, July 1, 2015, (10.1 MB)  
A Citizen's Guide to Bioremediation, September 1, 2012, (1.34 MB)  
A Citizen's Guide to In Situ Chemical Oxidation, September 1, 2012, (1.09 MB)  
Data Summary Report, Remedial Investigation Fall/Winter 2008, June 1, 2009 (20.2 MB)   
2010 Data Summary Report, Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS), June 2011 (43.6 MB)  
2011 Data Summary Report, Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS), November 2011 (46.6 MB)  
Remedial Investigation (RI) Report - Vol. 1 of 2, July 1, 2015, (37.0 MB)  
Remedial Investigation (RI) Report - Vol. 2 of 2, July 1, 2015, (27.0 MB)  
Feasibility Study (FS), July 1, 2015 (7.46 MB)  

Decision Documents:
View Records of Decision (RODS) on-line (EPA HQ)  

Other Links:
Site Progress Profile  

Site Repositories
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Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, 21 Library Lane, Williston, VT, 05495. (802) 878-4918

OSRR Records and Information Center, 1st Floor, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 (HSC), Boston, MA 02109-3912 (617) 918-1440

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EPA Remedial Project Manager: Karen Lumino
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Sq., Suite 100
Mail Code: OSRR07-4
Boston, MA 02109 - 3912
Phone #: 617-918-1348
E-Mail Address: lumino.karen@epa.gov

EPA Community Involvement Coordinator: Pam Harting-Barrat
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Sq., Suite 100
Mail Code: ORA20-1
Boston, MA 02109 - 3912
Phone #: 617-918-1318
E-Mail Address: harting-barrat.pamela@epa.gov

State Agency Contact: Michael B. Smith
Address: VT Dept. Environmental Conservation
One National Life Drive
Davis One
Montpelier, VT 05602-3704
Phone #: 802-249-5826
E-Mail Address: michael.b.smith@vermont.gov


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Last updated on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015
URL: http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/commercestreet