The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is extending the public comment period regarding a plan to address contamination at the 29th and Grove Site in Wichita to October 16, 2022. The draft Corrective Action Decision details the proposed remediation work and is now available for the public to review at the Angelou Northeast Branch Library at 3501 E. 21st N., Wichita and at KDHE offices and website. KDHE conducted a public meeting on September 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Atwater Neighborhood Resource Center, 2755 E. 19th St N., Wichita, Kansas to present information on the 29th and Grove Site and the proposed remedial alternatives.
Contamination from the 29th and Grove Site was first discovered during investigations related to redevelopment of the 21st Street Corridor. The source of contamination was traced back to a portion of the Union Pacific Railroad rail yard located south of K-96 highway between highway I-135 and Grove Street. The primary contaminant of concern is trichloroethene (TCE), which is commonly used for metal degreasing. TCE is a type of volatile organic compound (VOC). KDHE signed agreements with Union Pacific Railroad to investigate the extent of VOC contamination in soil and groundwater. Investigations indicated the contamination in the groundwater has migrated from the rail yard to the south and extends to the area of Murdock Avenue.
“After investigation of the contamination,” said Mary Daily, Project Manager and Professional Geologist, KDHE “we have identified the following actions as the best way to protect the public health and the environment.”
- 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, remove 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 air stripping technology and/or granular activated carbon technology. After contaminants are removed from the water, the treated water would be reinjected back into the subsurface and/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.
KDHE may modify the preferred remedial alternative identified in the draft Corrective Action Decision based on current information or public comments. Key documents concerning the site, including the draft Corrective Action Decision, will be available for review and copying during the public comment period from August 18 to October 16, 2022 at the following locations:
Angelou Northeast Branch Library
3501 E. 21st N.
Wichita, Kansas 67214
Phone: (316) 688-9580
Kansas Department of Health and Environment
Bureau of Environmental Remediation
Contact: Mary Daily
1000 SW Jackson, Suite 410
Topeka, Kansas, 66612-1367
Visit: 29th and Grove webpage
The public may provide comments on the draft Corrective Action Decision during the 60-day public comment period by submitting them in writing by e-mail or to KDHE by U.S. mail at the address provided, postmarked by October 16, 2022.
Recordings of the September 8, 2022 public meeting and a copy of the presentation given are available to view on KDHE's 29th and Grove webpage.