MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — After years of work, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will not put a polluted area in downtown Montgomery on its list of the most contaminated Superfund sites in the country, a state agency announced Wednesday.
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management announced the decision in a news release. It credited years of work to monitor and clean up contaminated groundwater and soil in a 50-block area of downtown Montgomery known as the Capital City Plume Superfund.
ADEM said the site will not be included on the EPA’s proposed National Priorities List. The NPL is a list of the most serious sites identified for long term cleanup.
“It couldn’t have happened without all the parties deciding we needed a plan to tackle the problem and agreeing to work together to carry it out. Now, this area of downtown Montgomery that has already seen significant redevelopment and reuse can blossom even more, ADEM Director Lance LeFleur said in a news release.
The contamination was discovered in 1993. A chemical wholesaler, auto repair shops and dry cleaners were identified as possible sources, according to the agency. The site was proposed for listing on the National Priorities List in 2000.
ADEM said that cleanup actions have included emergency soil excavation, groundwater monitoring, abandonment of all affected public water supply wells and closing all private wells in the area, planting trees that help remove contaminants and the use of vapor barriers in some buildings.
“This announcement charts a path forward for our community and is essential to our vision for a stronger, more vibrant downtown core,” Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said