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In Situ Vitrification at the Parsons Chemical/ETM Enterprises Superfund Site, Grand Ledge, Michigan

Site Name:

Parsons Chemical/ETM Enterprises Superfund Site


Grand Ledge, Michigan

Period of

May 1993 to May 1994


Full-scale cleanup


James E. Hansen
Geosafe Corporation
2950 George Washington Way
Richland, WA 99352
(509) 375-0710

In Situ Vitrification
- 9 melt cells, each 26x26 ft square and 16 ft deep
- Air emissions controls included an off-gas collection hood, quencher, water scrubber, and thermal oxidizer
- 8 melts required to vitrify the soil
- Melts ranged from 10 to 19.5 days
- Melts required approximately one year to cool sufficiently to sample

Cleanup Authority:
- Action Memorandum Date 9/21/90
- Fund Lead

SIC Code:
2879 (Agricultural Chemicals, NEC)
Point of Contact:
Len Zintak
USEPA Region 5
77 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60604-3507
(312) 886-4246

Pesticides, heavy metals, and dioxin
- Pesticide concentrations ranged up to 340,000 mcg/kg (4,4'-DDT)
- Zinc concentration 150,000 mcg/kg
- 2,3,7,8-TCDD concentration 1.13 mcg/kg

Waste Source:
Manufacturing Process

Type/Quantity of Media Treated:
Soil and sediment
- 3,000 cubic yards (5,400 tons)
- Silty clay

Purpose/Significance of Application:
First application of ISV at a Superfund site

Regulatory Requirements/Cleanup Goals:
- Cleanup requirements identified for both soil and off-gasses
- Soil cleanup requirements were as follows: chlordane: 1 mg/kg; 4,4"-DDT: 4 mg/kg; dieldrin: 0.08 mg/kg; and mercury: 12 mg/kg

- Confirmation coring samples indicated that vitrified materials met soil cleanup requirements for pesticides and mercury
- Pesticides and mercury in vitrified material and soil beneath vitrified material were below detection limits
- Stack gas emissions met off-gas cleanup requirements

Cost Factors:
Contractor's costs were specified in terms of a ceiling of $1,763,000
Of this total, approximately $800,000 were for activities directly attributed to treatment
The unit cost for activities directly attributed to treatment was $267/yd3

The Parsons site is a former agricultural chemicals mixing, manufacturing, and packaging facility. Soils and sediments at the Parsons site were contaminated with pesticides, heavy metals, and dioxins. ISV treatment of approximately 3,000 yd3 of contaminated soils and sediments at the Parsons site, consisting of eight melts, was performed from May 1993 to May 1994. This was notable for being the first full-scale application of ISV treatment at a Superfund site.

Confirmation coring sampling could not be performed until after the ISV melt had cooled, approximately one year after treatment was completed. Three corings, or drill holes, were performed in locations selected to represent the ares with potential residual contamination. The confirmation coring sampling results indicated that the vitrified material in all three drill holes had mercury and pesticide concentrations below detection limits, and therefore that the vitrified material met the cleanup goals for this application. Also, analytical data for volatiles and semivolatiles in the containment soil beneath the three drill holes were reported as below detection limits, indicating that volatiles and semivolatiles were not present in the soil beneath the vitrified material.

This application demonstrated that final sampling of vitrified material needs to allow adequate time for the melt to cool (e.g., one year). In addition, the vendor identified several operational issues (e.g., decomposition of particle board forms, irregular melt shapes) during treatment of the first few cells at Parsons. The cleanup contractor's cost ceiling for the ISV treatment application at Parsons was $1,763,000, including $800,000 for vitrification, which corresponds to $267 per cubic yard of soil treated.