Companies to clean Williston site

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Three companies associated with an aging industrial site near Williston, S.C., will finance a $5.4 million cleanup that includes removal of 3,500 cubic yards of sediment contaminated with solvents, heavy metals and mercury, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Under the terms of a U.S. District Court decree filed by the EPA in July, Dixie-Narco Inc., Maytag and Rheem Manufacturing also will undertake cleanup of groundwater at the former Admiral Home Appliances site off County Road 65 in Barnwell County.

The cleanup will involve work in two areas, the EPA said in a news release.

One site remains in use as a soft drink vending machine factory owned by Dixie-Narco. Cleanup in that zone involves removal of buried waste.

The second site east of County Road 65 involves a former septic tank system designed and built for rental homes.

When manufacturing began under the Chill Chest Inc. name in 1966, industrial waste was sent to the tank, which was inadequate for such material. Those waste discharges continued through 1982.

Contamination in the areas includes benzene, carbon tetrachloride, dichloromethane, mercury and nickel in groundwater; chromium, nickel and zinc in soils; and chromium, copper, nickel and zinc in surface water.

Last November, the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry issued the findings of a multi-year study to determine whether the area is a health hazard to nearby residents.

Although varying levels of contaminants were found in private wells in the site's vicinity, the agency concluded the area represents "no apparent public health hazard."

Reach Rob Pavey at (868) 1222, ext. 119, or

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