EXIDE’S NEGATIVE IMPACT ON OTHER COMMUNITIES: Exide SuperFund-designated plant in Greer, SC, finally being demolished 20 years after lead smelter was closed
The EPA designated this site a SuperFund site — SCD042633859 — but it was not originally placed on the the National Priorities List. In a November 21, 2014, filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Exide was listed as owner of this property, and stated that it is an unencumbered asset.
Former Exide battery plant to be demolished in February
By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Thursday, January 29, 2015
The former Exide battery plant will be demolished and the material removed once DHEC issues its “notice to procede”.
The long-awaited demolition of the former Exide battery plant will begin in mid-February.The 131,000-square-foot plant on Chick Springs Road closed in 1995 but it left behind a contaminated site from the lead produced batteries.
“Demolition won’t start until mid-February,” Ruthie Helms, supervisor of the city’s building, inspections and code enforcement department, said. “Until we receive a (DHEC) notice to proceed we will mobilize the plant. That assures us all environmental issues have been resolved.”
A construction trailer has been set up and meeting with the general contractor and Greer CPW are among the preliminary activities before demolition begins at the 20-acre Brownfield site.
“Demolition and decontamination of the Exide Technologies facility in Greer began on January 19, 2015 and continues. Development of the details and a schedule for remediation are expected to occur following completion of the demolition and decontamination of the buildings,” Exide responded in a statement to GreerToday.com.
Exide will pay the $1.5 million cost for the demolition, cleanup and removal of materials, Helms said. “There won’t be any soil removal,” she said.
Soil sampling would be conducted to characterize the nature and extent of any contamination beneath the building once it’s demolished, Jim Beasley, DHEC spokesman, said.
Greer CPW has water, sewer and natural gas available at the Exide plant. Duke Energy, the power provider, is transferring that utility to CPW, Matthew Brady, CPW spokesman said. CPW will abandon the gas line per normal safety procedures.
About 300 people were employed at the plant in the late 1980s.
Exide spent about $1 million removing 4,500 tons of contaminated soil six inches deep at the former Westgate Mobile Home Park near the plant. It took two tries – 1994 and 1999 – to free the site of excess levels of contamination. The affected soil was replaced with clean dirt and DHEC allowed cement to be pour under 10 of the park’s 52 trailers where the polluted soil was found.
Houses at nearby Kings Acres subdivision were also ordered to be cleaned up.
Beasley detailed facts and dates surrounding the Exide Technologies (aka General Battery) site. The information provides an outline of contamination, as currently known, and efforts to remediate.
• Lead acid batteries were produced from the 1960s until 1996.
• Operations at the facility caused contamination in groundwater, surface water (unnamed tributary of Princess Creek), and soil.
• The primary groundwater contaminants are trichloroethylene (TCE) and sulfate.
• In approximately 1984, Exide began operating a groundwater recovery system. Exide continues to operate the groundwater recovery system today.
• Exide also conducts routine annual sampling of monitoring wells and the unnamed tributary.
• In 2014, Exide installed additional monitoring wells to better define the plume edges. Those wells will be added to the well network included in Exide’s annual groundwater monitoring program.
• The primary contaminant in surface soil is lead.
• In the mid-1990s EPA conducted a soil removal in the adjacent Westgate Trailer Park due to soil contamination that was attributed to airborne deposition from Exide.
• In the late 1990s, DHEC compelled Exide to conduct another soil removal at Westgate Trailer Park.
• Exide is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. DHEC doesn’t know if, when, or how this may affect Exide’s ability to continue cleanup actions.