A chemical corporation has agreed to pay $2 million to clean up the site of an old fertilizer plant in Spartanburg.
The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg reported the details were discussed in a hearing Thursday. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is reviewing the project that is underway to neutralize highly acidic metals found in the soil at the old International Mineral and Chemical (IMC) fertilizer plant.
The plant closed in 1987, but potentially harmful levels of arsenic, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), lead, and other metals were found in the soil. Tons of contaminated material were removed from the site in 2011. Officials said nearly 2,900 tons of limestone are being used to neutralize acid levels in the soil.
EPA Project manager Giezelle Bennett says residents in the area get water from the city of Spartanburg rather than wells, so the groundwater situation is not considered to be a safety issue.
Illinois-based IMC will pay the estimated $2 million needed to further clean the site. The newspaper reports the EPA and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control have proposed using a series of 8-10 foot trenches with pipes containing sodium carbonate to help neutralize the soil and groundwater.
The EPA estimates it will take 15 years for the soil to be completely neutralized.