29th and Grove Site
- August 25, 2023 – Union Pacific submitted a Soil Management Plan for the railroad property where the release of trichloroethene occurred. The plan is being reviewed by KDHE.
- August 24, 2023 – Union Pacific submitted an application to place an Environmental Use Control on the railroad property where the release of trichloroethene occurred. The application is being reviewed by KDHE.
- June 30, 2023 – Union Pacific established Financial Assurance in the amount of $13,964,000 to ensure money is available for implementing the cleanup.
- June 21, 2023 – Union Pacific submitted a Remedial Design Work Plan for KDHE review. KDHE completed review of the work plan on August 24, 2023. The revised work plan is expected to be submitted to KDHE on September 25, 2023. If all the requested revisions are made, the work plan should be finalized in September-October 2023.
- June 2, 2023 – Union Pacific submitted a Vapor Intrusion Re-Evaluation Work Plan to KDHE for review. KDHE completed review of the work plan on August 28, 2023. The revised work plan is expected to be submitted to KDHE on September 28, 2023. If all the requested revisions are made, the work plan should be finalized in September-October 2023.
Once the plans are approved, they will be added on the webpage and a print copy will be available in the Maya Angelou Northeast Branch Library.
News & Resources
Resources from the Environmental Protection Agency
The following resources have been provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help explain what the remediation process may look like and how communities may be impacted:
- Pump & Treat (PDF)
- Air Stripping (PDF)
- Granular Activated Carbon Treatment (PDF)
- Bioremediation (PDF)
- Excavation of Contaminated Waste (PDF)
- Vapor Intrusion Mitigation (PDF)
- Trichloroethylene (TCE) FAQs
Public Meeting Schedule
No public meetings are currently scheduled by KDHE.
Resources from Previous Meetings
Fourth Public Meeting
A fourth meeting was held at the Boys and Girls Club on June 24, at 1 p.m. to discuss the next steps on the project and share community resources.
- Slide Presentation - 29th and Grove Public Meeting (PDF)
- Video of Presentation - 29th and Grove Public Meeting June 24, 2023
Third Public Meeting
A third meeting was held at the Boys and Girls Club on May 19, 2023 to discuss outcomes of the Health Study (PDF), available Community Resources (PDF), and next steps on the project. View the following:
- Slide Presentation - 29th and Grove Public Meeting (PDF)
- Presentación - Reunión pública del Sitio 29th y Grove (PDF)
- Video Presentation - 29th and Grove Public Meeting May 19, 2023
Second Public Meeting
A follow-up public meeting was held at the Boys and Girls Club on November 5, 2022. View the following.
- Slide Presentation - 29th and Grove Public Meeting (PDF)
- Video - Presentation and Public Comments from the 29th and Grove Public Meeting
First Public Meeting
On September 8, 2022, a public meeting at the Atwater Neighborhood Resource Center presented the plan to address contamination at the site. The public could also submit written comments on the Corrective Action Decision draft during the public meeting. View the following:
Cruiser Lake Testing
Due to citizen’s concerns about contamination in Cruiser Lake, also known as the K-96 Lake, KDHE collected samples of water and sediment from the lake in December 2022. The samples collected from the lake were tested for volatile organic compounds to determine whether the lake was impacted by the trichloroethene spill that occurred on the UP rail yard.
The Preliminary Assessment Report (PDF) indicates water and sediment samples from the lake did not contain trichloroethene; therefore, the lake has not been impacted by the trichloroethene spill.
KDHE finalized the Health Study (PDF) for the 29th and Grove Site in April 2023. The analysis presented in this report cannot determine if cancers and other health outcomes found in the community are associated with the spill itself or are influenced by other factors. This study can only report on whether an increase was observed, not the cause of the increase.
Key Study Findings:
- The rate of liver cancer was higher in the area of interest than in Sedgwick County or the state of Kansas
- In particular, the rate of liver cancer among non-Hispanic Black persons in this area was more than twice the rate compared to the same population in the state of Kansas.
- Rates of low birthweight among infants in the area of interest were higher than in the state of Kansas, though those rates decreased from 2000 to 2021.
The study reviewed rates of other health conditions, including cancers (kidney and renal pelvis, urinary bladder, myeloma, and lymphomas), birth defects and infants born small for gestational age and found no other notable increases.
Review the Health Study (PDF) online or find a hard copy of the study, which will be available after May 10 at the Angelou Northeast Branch of the Wichita Library at 3051 E. 21st Street, in Wichita, Kansas.
Site Summary & Remediation
The contaminants of concern (COCs) are trichloroethene (TCE) and associated degradation compounds including 1,2-dichoroethene, 1,1-dichlorothene, and vinyl chloride. TCE is a solvent commonly used for metal degreasing. Contamination from the Site was first discovered during investigations conducted in advance of redevelopment of the 21st Street corridor between I-135 and Grove Street. Find information and related documents about the investigation, risk assessment, and feasibility study at the bottom of the page.
In 1999, KDHE and Union Pacific Rail Road (UP) executed an Interim Agreement for a Preliminary Investigation (PI) to evaluate whether a release of trichloroethylene (TCE) had occurred on the UP rail yard right-of-way. Detections of TCE in soil and groundwater at the rail yard confirmed a release had occurred on the rail yard property in the past. TCE is present in the soil at the rail yard at concentrations above the Tier 2 Risk-based Standards for Kansas (RSK) level of 84.2 micrograms per kilogram. TCE is present in groundwater at concentrations above the Tier 2 RSK level of 5 micrograms per liter.
In 2002, UP entered into a Consent Order with KDHE to conduct a Remedial Investigation to determine the nature and extent of contamination and a Feasibility Study to evaluate remedial alternatives that could be used for cleanup. The Remedial Investigation was completed in 2006 and determined the plume of contaminated groundwater extended from the UP rail yard to the south to Murdock Avenue.
A risk assessment determined the current and future effects of contaminants on human health and the environment if no cleanup action was taken. Results of the risk assessment indicated that exposure to contaminated soil at the UP rail yard does not present a significant health risk to workers or residents. There is some potential health risk to people who contact contaminated groundwater. Most of the risk was associated with ingestion of or dermal contact with contaminated groundwater. It should be noted that homes and businesses in and near the contaminated area have been provided with a safe drinking water supply and that current workers are not normally exposed to the contaminated groundwater. The risk assessment did not identify any significant ecological risk related to Chisholm Creek which runs south of the UP rail yard.
Several interim remedial measures (IRMs) for soil and groundwater have been implemented to reduce the mass of contamination at the UP rail yard and shorten the time to achieve overall cleanup goals. The list of IRMs implemented at the source area in chronological order include:
- 2004 to 2010 - accelerated remediation technology wells,
- 2010 to 2011 - soil excavation,
- 2010 to 2011 - in-situ chemical oxidation injections;
- 2018 to present - enhanced reductive dechlorination (also known as bioremediation).
An IRM to establish hydraulic control of the groundwater plume was implemented in 2009 by installation and operation of six groundwater extraction wells along Murdock Avenue, south of Murdock Park.
The groundwater extraction system was installed to prevent the contaminated groundwater plume from continuing to spread in the subsurface.
Consent Order Update
The legal agreement that KDHE has with Union Pacific Railroad Company, called a Consent Order, was amended on April 27, 2023. The original Consent Order (PDF) dated October 4, 2002 required Union Pacific Railroad Company to complete the investigation of the nature and extent of contamination, evaluate the risks to human health and the environment, and evaluate cleanup options for the contamination.
The Amendment to the Consent Order (PDF) requires Union Pacific Railroad Company to design and implement the selected remedy that was described in the February 2023 Corrective Action Decision.
KDHE finalized the Corrective Action Decision (PDF), also known as CAD, for the 29th and Grove Site on February 2, 2023. The Final CAD identifies and describes the remedy selected for cleanup of the contamination and also documents public comments on the draft CAD and KDHE’s responses to the comments.
- At the source area, enhance the natural process of bioremediation of the contaminants by adding nutrients and other amendments to the soil and groundwater so that bacteria can degrade the contamination.
- At the source area, removing remaining shallow contaminated soil present under a concrete pad for a storage area.
- Pump contaminated groundwater to the surface and treat the water to remove contaminants. The water would be treated by either air stripping technology granular activated carbon technology. After contaminants are removed from the water, the treated water would either be reinjected back into the subsurface or discharged to a nearby stream by permit.
- Establish an environmental use control to restrict the use of the rail yard where the release of TCE occurred to prevent exposure to contaminated soil and groundwater.
- Evaluate the performance of the remedy by monitoring groundwater and surface water.
- Prevent installation of new domestic-use wells in areas with groundwater contamination.
- Conduct periodic reviews of receptors and potential exposure pathways to ensure that the remedy remains protective of human health.
- Consent Order, October 4, 2002 (PDF)
- Plume and Well Map with Concentration Trend Graphs (PDF)
- Previous Indoor Air Testing Locations (PDF)
- First Amendment to Consent Order, April 2023 (PDF)
- Corrective Action Decision, February 2023 (PDF)
- Preliminary Assessment Report for Cruiser Lake, January 2023 (PDF)
- Feasibility Study – Source Area and Mid-Plume Area, part 1/6, December 3, 2020 (PDF)
- Feasibility Study – Source Area and Mid-Plume Area, part 2/6, December 3, 2020 (PDF)
- Feasibility Study – Source Area and Mid-Plume Area, part 3/6, December 3, 2020 (PDF)
- Feasibility Study – Source Area and Mid-Plume Area, part 4/6, December 3, 2020 (PDF)
- Feasibility Study – Source Area and Mid-Plume Area, part 5/6, December 3, 2020 (PDF)
- Feasibility Study – Source Area and Mid-Plume Area, part 6/6, December 3, 2020 (PDF)
- Revised Remedial Investigation Report part 1/11. June 16, 2006 (PDF)
- Revised Remedial Investigation Report part 2/11. June 16, 2006 (PDF)
- Revised Remedial Investigation Report part 3/11. June 16, 2006 (PDF)
- Revised Remedial Investigation Report part 4/11. June 16, 2006 (PDF)
- Revised Remedial Investigation Report part 5/11. June 16, 2006 (PDF)
- Revised Remedial Investigation Report part 6/11. June 16, 2006 (PDF)
- Revised Remedial Investigation Report part 7/11. June 16, 2006 (PDF)
- Revised Remedial Investigation Report part 8/11. June 16, 2006 (PDF)
- Revised Remedial Investigation Report part 9/11. June 16, 2006 (PDF)
- Revised Remedial Investigation Report part 10/11. June 16, 2006 (PDF)
- Revised Remedial Investigation Report part 11/11. June 16, 2006 (PDF)
- Groundwater Cleanup Plan Concept (PDF)