The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed to add a site to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) based solely on the vapor intrusion pathway. The Rockwell International Wheel & Trim site, located in Grenada, Mississippi, is a 76-acre site previously used as a wheel cover and chrome-plating facility. While there are other soil and groundwater impacts associated with the facility, the EPA chose to score the site under the Hazard Ranking System only on the subsurface intrusion component of the soil exposure and subsurface intrusion pathway. The EPA determined that there was likely a complete pathway from the subsurface source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to the over 200 occupants of the building. Indoor air samples contained trichloroethylene (TCE), dichloroethylene (DCE) and other VOCs "at concentrations significantly greater than background levels in indoor air samples collected from the main plant building. . . ."
James P. Ray is a partner in the Hartford, Connecticut, office of Robinson & Cole LLP.