South McPherson - US Alt 81
(Former El Paso Terminal) Site
The former El Paso terminal property occupies approximately 96 acres southeast of the National Cooperative Refinery Association (NCRA) Refinery along south Main Street, McPherson, Kansas. NCRA owns several surrounding properties while remaining land in the immediately vicinity is used for agriculture and a Kansas Department of Transportation right-of-way.
The site was the location of a bulk, refined petroleum storage and terminal facility operating from 1933 to 1982. The terminal was razed in 1992. Currently El Paso is leasing the site to NCRA and intends to sell the property to NCRA in the near future.
Groundwater contamination was first identified in the late 1970s after private land owners adjacent to the site noticed gasoline-like odors and taste in their well water. NCRA's initial response was to install deeper replacement domestic water wells.
One petroleum product spill on March 2, 1973, adjacent to the former loading rack released approximately 100 to 150 gallons of diesel product. While there was a spill response at the time, there is no information available regarding the scope or performance of cleanup activities. There are reports of other, undocumented releases in and around the loading rack, dumping of pipeline samples on-site, and numerous leaks in the facility piping.
Phased investigations conducted between 1993 and 2007 identified BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene), total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) as gasoline and diesel range organics (TPH GRO and DRO respectively), naphthalene, ethylene dibromide (EDB), 1,2-dichloroehtane (1,2-DCA), and lead in soil and groundwater above KDHE's Risked-Based Standards for Kansas (RSK) Tier 2 screening levels. Benzene and TPH are the most widespread and thus provide a basis for evaluating the overall distribution of the other site-related contaminants. Soil data identifies the highest TPH concentrations between 26 and 28 feet below ground surface. The remaining contaminants, especially benzene, have a similar distribution pattern. Benzene impacts in groundwater constitute the largest area where RSK Tier 2 is exceeded and are in general consistent with the data set for soil contaminant distribution. Light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) has been detected in monitoring wells ranging between 0.8 to 4.5 feet.
On June 11, 2012, KDHE issued a letter outlining the recommended path forward for addressing the contamination. The letter was based in part on site-specific and current conditions, environmental investigation results, and the outcome of a May 15, 2012, meeting between El Paso, NCRA, and KDHE. The meeting participants agreed that the Draft Interim Corrective Action Decision (CAD) for this site would address LNAPL in the near term. Residual soil and dissolved-phase groundwater contamination will be addressed as part of the overall remedy for the NCRA Refinery site, to be determined through the forthcoming Corrective Measures Study process.
KDHE has prepared a Draft Interim Corrective Action Decision (CAD) which identifies and defines the preferred alternative remedy. KDHE is now preparing the Final CAD to select a final remedy after reviewing and considering all information submitted during the 30-day public comment period that ran from February 25, 2013, to March 27, 2013.
The Draft Interim CAD and other key site documents are available for the public to review online here at KDHE's South McPherson - US Alt 81 webpage at http://www.kdheks.gov/remedial/site_restoration/elpaso_mcpherson.html, the KDHE offices in Topeka, Kansas, and at the McPherson Public Library, 214 West Marlin St., McPherson, KS 67460. To review the documents in Topeka, please contact John Cook at 785-296-8986.
Public comments on the Draft Interim CAD are now closed. All comments that were received by KDHE prior to the end of the public comment period will be addressed by KDHE in the Responsiveness Summary Section of the Final CAD.
For additional information, please contact:
- John Cook KDHE-BER Project Manager, 785-296-8986
Portions of these reports may have been removed in order to make them web-ready. Complete copies are available by contacting John Cook.
KDHE Site Documents
- Draft Interim Corrective Action Decision, February 2013 (.pdf)
- Corrective Action Study, Approved September 2012 (.pdf)
- Remedial Investigation and Soil Vapor Extraction Pilot Test Report, July 2007 (.pdf)
- Final Site Investigation Report, April 2004 (.pdf)
- Final Phase I Interim Comprehensive Investigation Report, September 1995 (.pdf)
- Evaluation Report, October 1994 (.pdf)
- Final Site Assessment, August 1994 (.pdf)