North Industrial Corridor (NIC) Site

The North Industrial Corridor (NIC) site is an area of mixed industrial, commercial, residential, recreational, and agricultural properties that extends over 4000 acres in north-central Wichita, Kansas. A long history of industrialization has left a legacy of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other contaminants in soil and groundwater throughout the area, including chlorinated solvents such as tetrachloroethene (PCE), trichloroethene (TCE), and carbon tetrachloride; petroleum hydrocarbon-related compounds; and others.

  1. Background
  2. Documents

Site Background

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first identified VOCs in groundwater in 1983. Environmental site assessments performed from this time through the mid-2000s determined that contamination was widespread and originated from multiple source areas such as former oil refineries, dry cleaners, manufacturing facilities, and grain elevators.

In 1995, in order to facilitate redevelopment and to delist the Site from the National Priorities List, the City of Wichita and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) finalized the NIC Settlement Agreement. Under the Settlement Agreement, the City of Wichita is responsible for conducting a site-wide Remedial Investigation (RI), a Feasibility Study (FS), develop a Remedial Design, and implement the chosen remedial action in order to address site-wide groundwater contamination. The parties responsible for causing contamination retain responsibility for addressing contamination source areas.

The Settlement Agreement also allows the City to establish and implement a Certificate and Release Program to provide liability relief to innocent landowners. Local lending institutions have become encouraged to finance economic and industrial redevelopment and expansion for properties within the NIC area. Meanwhile, the City and KDHE have spent more than a decade systematically identifying contaminant source areas and their degree of impact across the NIC site. Efforts by individual responsible parties to address source-area contamination are ongoing and have included excavating former waste burial pits and contaminated soil, removing obsolete underground storage tanks, soil vapor extraction, enhanced bioremediation, phytoremediation, groundwater extraction and treatment, and removing non-aqueous phase liquids.

In December 2006, KDHE approved the RI and RI Addendum and approved the Baseline Risk Assessment in March 2007. In August 2011, KDHE approved the City's Site-Wide Groundwater FS which evaluates remedial alternatives. In December 2011 the City submitted a Vapor Intrusion (VI) Assessment Work Plan to KDHE, which was approved in January 2012. VI Data was collected in phases from January to March 2012, and January to February 2014. KDHE approved the VI reports in August 2012 and June 2014.

Based on the FS, KDHE prepared the Draft Corrective Action Decision (CAD) for Interim Groundwater Remediation, which identified and defined KDHE's preferred alternative to address groundwater contamination. KDHE selected a final remedy for interim groundwater remediation after reviewing and considering all information submitted during a public comment period. The final remedy is identified in the Final CAD, and all comments received by KDHE during the public comment period have been addressed in the Responsiveness Summary Section. The Final CAD is available for the public to review below.

The City of Wichita submitted the Remedial Design/Pre-Design Data Acquisition (RD/PDA) Work Plan, which KDHE approved with comments on July 29, 2014. Implementation of the Work Plan was completed and documented in the report dated March 2015. The East of Chisholm Creek Groundwater/Surface Water Interaction Study was completed and documented in a report dated August 1, 2016. Aquifer Testing was conducted and results are documented in the report dated January 11, 2017. Several additional Remedial Design activities were approved in 2018, including the Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) study for GWU-1 and the Remedial Design Work Plan with construction details. Quarterly groundwater monitoring was initiated in 2021.

Construction of the remediation system was completed in 2022 and is currently operating.  The remediation design was developed to capture and treat contamination that has migrated offsite from its source areas in GWU-2, GWU-3, and GWU-4. Four groundwater extraction wells were installed in strategic locations within the GWUs to capture the impacted groundwater and send it to the City of Wichita W.A.T.E.R (Wichita Area Treatment, Education, & Remediation) Center where it can be treated and safely discharged into the Arkansas River. A Five-Year review of the remediation system will be conducted in 2027.