[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 243 (Monday, December 20, 2004)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 75847-75850]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-27551]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 300

[FRL-7848-7]


National Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution Contingency Plan; 
National Priorities List

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Direct final notice of partial deletion of the Uravan Superfund 
Site from the National Priorities List.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 8 is 
publishing a direct final notice of partial deletion of 9.84 acres 
within the Uravan Superfund Site (Site), located in Montrose County, 
Colorado, from the National Priorities List (NPL).
    The NPL, promulgated pursuant to section 105 of the Comprehensive 
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 
1980, as amended, is appendix B of 40 CFR part 300, which is the 
National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP). 
This direct final partial deletion is being published by EPA with the 
concurrence of the State of Colorado, through the Colorado Department 
of Public Health and the Environment because EPA has determined that 
all appropriate response actions, for the 9.84 acres including two 
historic structures, under CERCLA have been completed and, therefore, 
further remedial action pursuant to CERCLA is not appropriate.

DATES: This direct final deletion will be effective February 18, 2005. 
If adverse comments are received by January 19, 2005, EPA will publish 
a timely withdrawal of the direct final deletion in the Federal 
Register informing the public that the deletion will not take effect.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be mailed to: Rebecca Thomas, Remedial Project 
Manager (RPM), 8EPR-SR, thomas.rebecca@epa.gov, U.S. EPA, Region 8, 999 
18th Street, Suite 300, Denver, Colorado 80202, (303) 312-6552 or 1-
800-227-8917, extension 6552.
    Information Repositories: Comprehensive information about the Site 
is available for viewing and copying at the Site information repository

[[Page 75848]]

located at: U.S. EPA Region 8 Records Center, 999 18th Street, Suite 
300, Denver, Colorado 80202, (303) 312-6473.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rebecca Thomas, Remedial Project 
Manager, 8EPR-SR, thomas.rebecca@epa.gov, U.S. EPA, Region 8, 999 18th 
Street, Suite 300, Denver, Colorado 80202, (303) 312-6552, or 1-800-
toll-free.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents:

I. Introduction
II. NPL Deletion Criteria
III. Deletion Procedures
IV. Basis for Site Deletion
V. Deletion Action

I. Introduction

    EPA Region 8 is publishing this direct final notice of partial 
deletion of 9.84 acres within the Uravan Superfund Site from the 
National Priorities List.
    The EPA identifies sites that appear to present a significant risk 
to public health or the environment and maintains the NPL as the list 
of those sites. As described in Sec.  300.425(e)(3) of the NCP, sites 
deleted from the NPL remain eligible for remedial actions if conditions 
at a deleted site warrant such action.
    Because EPA considers this action to be noncontroversial and 
routine, EPA is taking it without prior publication of a notice of 
intent to delete. This action will be effective February 18, 2005, 
unless EPA receives adverse comments by January 19, 2005, on this 
document. If adverse comments are received within the 30 day public 
comment period on this document, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal 
of this direct final partial deletion before the effective date of the 
deletion and the deletion will not take effect. EPA will, as 
appropriate, prepare a response to comments and continue with the 
deletion process on the basis of the notice of intent to delete and the 
comments already received. There will be no additional opportunity to 
comment.
    Section II of this document explains the criteria for deleting 
sites from the NPL. Section III discusses procedures that EPA is using 
for this action. Section IV discusses the Uravan Superfund Site and 
demonstrates how it meets the deletion criteria. Section V discusses 
EPA's action to delete the Site from the NPL unless adverse comments 
are received during the public comment period.

II. NPL Deletion Criteria

    Section 300.425(e) of the NCP provides that releases may be deleted 
from the NPL where no further response is appropriate. In making a 
determination to delete a Site from the NPL, EPA shall consider, in 
consultation with the State, whether any of the following criteria have 
been met:
    i. Responsible parties or other persons have implemented all 
appropriate response actions required;
    ii. All appropriate Fund-financed (Hazardous Substance Superfund 
Response Trust Fund) response under CERCLA has been implemented, and no 
further response action by responsible parties is appropriate; or
    iii. The remedial investigation has shown that the release poses no 
significant threat to public health or the environment and, therefore, 
the taking of remedial measures is not appropriate.
    Even if a site is deleted from the NPL, where hazardous substances, 
pollutants, or contaminants remain at the deleted site above levels 
that allow for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure, CERCLA section 
121(c), 42 U.S.C. 9621(c) requires that a subsequent review of the site 
be conducted at least every five years after the initiation of the 
remedial action at the deleted site to ensure that the action remains 
protective of public health and the environment. If new information 
becomes available which indicates a need for further action, EPA may 
initiate remedial actions. Whenever there is a significant release from 
a site deleted from the NPL, the deleted site may be restored to the 
NPL without application of the hazard ranking system.

III. Deletion Procedures

    The following procedures apply to deletion of the Site:
    (1) The EPA consulted with Colorado on the deletion of the Site 
from the NPL prior to developing this direct final notice of partial 
deletion.
    (2) Colorado concurred with deletion of the Site from the NPL.
    (3) Concurrently with the publication of this direct final notice 
of partial deletion, a notice of the availability of the parallel 
notice of intent to partially delete published today in the ``Proposed 
Rules'' section of the Federal Register is being published in a major 
local newspaper of general circulation at or near the Site and is being 
distributed to appropriate federal, state, and local government 
officials and other interested parties; the newspaper notice announces 
the 30-day public comment period concerning the notice of intent to 
delete the Site from the NPL.
    (4) The EPA placed copies of documents supporting the deletion in 
the Site information repository identified above.
    (5) If adverse comments are received within the 30-day public 
comment period on this document, EPA will publish a timely notice of 
withdrawal of this direct final notice of partial deletion before its 
effective date and will prepare a response to comments and continue 
with the deletion process on the basis of the notice of intent to 
partially delete and the comments already received.
    Deletion of a site from the NPL does not itself create, alter, or 
revoke any individual's rights or obligations. Deletion of a site from 
the NPL does not in any way alter EPA's right to take enforcement 
actions, as appropriate. The NPL is designed primarily for 
informational purposes and to assist EPA management. Section 
300.425(e)(3) of the NCP states that the deletion of a site from the 
NPL does not preclude eligibility for future response actions, should 
future conditions warrant such actions.

IV. Basis for Site Deletion

    The following information provides EPA's rationale for partially 
deleting the Site from the NPL:

Site Location

    The Uravan site is located in western Colorado in the western 
portion of Montrose County on Highway 141 approximately 13 miles 
northwest of the Town of Nucla. The town of Uravan was demolished 
during remedial activities at the site and, except for two historical 
structures, no longer exists. The site is located adjacent to the San 
Miguel River which drains into the Colorado River.
    This partial deletion pertains to 9.84 acres containing two 
historic structures remaining on the Site, the Boarding House and the 
Community Center.

Site History

    The Boarding House is located in the former town area of Uravan at 
the intersection between County Roads Y-11 and EE-22, just east of the 
former Uravan Mill site. The structure was built circa 1914 to provide 
meals and housing to employees. In 1971 housing was discontinued, and 
in 1982 meal service was terminated.
    The Community Center is located across County Road EE-22 from the 
Boarding House. It was built in the mid 1930s from a sugar factory 
dismantled in Delta, Colorado. The building served as a multipurpose 
recreation center for company workers, which included a dance hall, 
movie theatre, church, roller skating rink, performance theatre and 
shooting range. Recently, the Community Center has been used to store 
historical artifacts that will be

[[Page 75849]]

displayed after the buildings are deleted from the NPL.

Site Investigation

    Investigations in 1994 indicated that radon levels in the Boarding 
House and the Community Center were below a working level standard of 
0.03 which is the alpha radiation in the atmosphere that is considered 
acceptable for residential structures that are being occupied full 
time.
    A characterization study in 1995 measured both gamma radiation and 
soil concentrations. This study was completed to determine the 
feasibility of preserving the buildings and releasing them for 
unrestricted use. Elevated radium 226 concentrations were identified in 
the soils beneath and surrounding both buildings.
    The Boarding House was sampled for radon in 1996. The results 
showed that concentrations were below a level of concern. Like the 
measurements collected in 1994, the survey indicated that the 
structures were very leaky which prevented accurate measurement of the 
indoor concentrations.
    Elevated radon measurements were obtained from the basement in the 
Community Center in 1997. Also in 1997, an exploratory excavation along 
the east end of the Community Center was conducted to determine the 
depth of contaminated soil and to examine the foundation. After 
exposing a portion of the foundation, it was determined that the depth 
of contamination extended six to eight feet below the surface to a 
point at or slightly below the depth of the concrete footing and stem 
wall which supported the block walls of the basement.

Remedy Decision

    The buildings contained radioactive contamination and were 
constructed on soils exceeding cleanup standards. To preserve the 
structures as an historical resource, and at the same time protect the 
health of the public, and to comply with applicable laws, the following 
remediation plan was adopted:
     Removing the most significant contamination from within 
the structures.
     Removing soils underlying and immediately surrounding the 
buildings without endangering the stability of the foundations.
     Restoring the buildings to the extent that they will be in 
stable structural condition.
     Remediating the soils outside the immediate vicinity of 
the buildings in accordance with the RAP.
     Installing a radon mitigation system in the Community 
Center.

Characterization of Risk

    Radiation risks to members of the general public from residual 
radioactive materials associated with the two buildings were calculated 
using data generated during pre- and post-remediation site surveys. 
These surveys included direct gamma exposure rate measurements before 
and after excavation of contaminated soils around the buildings, 
surface contamination surveys, and laboratory analysis of soils 
collected from selected locations outside the buildings. In addition, 
the radon concentrations in air in several locations inside the 
buildings were measured and reported separately.
    Potential risk was evaluated for three types of individuals:
     A staff person working approximately 800 hours per year,
     A volunteer working approximately 120 hours per year,
     A visitor who visits for approximately 4 hours per year.
    Based on the data collected, it was concluded that there is no risk 
to any person from the three occupancy scenarios from gamma exposure. 
In the case of both the Boarding House and the Community Center, gamma 
exposure levels at the present time are so low that they present no 
incremental risk above background.
    Further, based on the radon exposure data, it was concluded that 
the radon exposure under any of the occupant scenarios would be 
acceptable.

Response Actions

    Radiological and non-radiological contaminants were removed from 
the Community Center and Boarding House starting in 1993. Excavating 
contaminated material from the exterior perimeter of the Boarding House 
and Community Center was conducted in 1998. The grading plan prescribed 
removing contaminated material from the perimeter of the buildings so 
that excavation would not adversely affect the structural stability of 
the foundations. The soil directly in contact with the foundations was 
left undisturbed and fully supported the buildings during the removal 
of contaminated soil. Material removal continued away from the 
buildings until the soil cleanup level was achieved. The depth of 
excavation varied from three feet to approximately 15 feet.
    After the contaminated material was removed, geotextile fabric was 
placed over the soils remaining against the buildings to identify the 
contact between the undisturbed foundation support soils and the 
uncontaminated backfill soils.
    Restoration of the exterior of the Boarding House was completed in 
2000. The porch, east side concrete staircase, and landing slab were 
removed. Underlying contaminated soils were excavated and the area 
backfilled. The concrete landing was replaced and the porch and 
staircase were rebuilt. In general, the remedial activities conducted 
within and around the Boarding House and Community Center successfully 
removed and isolated radioactive materials. These actions have 
mitigated potential radiological hazards and have provided a safe 
environment for future uses of the structures.
    An active radon mitigation system was installed in the Community 
Center. This system will remove radon gas from the soils beneath the 
basement and vent it outside by small fans. This system is designed to 
be operational 24 hours per day, seven days per week and has a built-in 
alarm system should the fans stop working.

Cleanup Standards

    The cleanup standard for the historic structures is 0.03 working 
levels. A working level is the concentration of alpha radiation in the 
atmosphere that is considered acceptable for residential structures 
that are being occupied full time.

Operation and Maintenance

    Institutional controls, in the form of an environmental covenant 
granted to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 
(CDPHE), will prevent activities that might cause contact with 
radioactive materials on both the exterior and interior of the historic 
structures. The environmental covenant also requires an annual 
inspection of the radon mitigation system.

Five Year Review

    Since waste has been left in place at concentrations that do not 
allow for unrestricted and unlimited use, the Environmental Protection 
Agency will continue to conduct Five Year Reviews of the Site. The next 
Five Year Review is scheduled for completion in 2005.

Community Involvement

    Public participation activities have been satisfied as required in 
CERCLA section 113(k), 42 U.S.C. 9613(k), and CERCLA section 117, 42 
U.S.C. 9617. Documents in the deletion docket which EPA relied on for 
recommendation of the deletion from the NPL are available to the public 
in the information repository.

[[Page 75850]]

V. Deletion Action

    The EPA, with concurrence of the State of Colorado, has determined 
that all appropriate responses, for the 9.84 acres containing two 
historic structures, under CERCLA have been completed, and that no 
further response actions, under CERCLA, other than O&M and five-year 
reviews, are necessary. Therefore, EPA is partially deleting the Site 
from the NPL.
    Because EPA considers this action to be noncontroversial and 
routine, EPA is taking it without prior publication. This action will 
be effective February 18, 2005, unless EPA receives adverse comments by 
January 19, 2005. If adverse comments are received within the 30-day 
public comment period, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of this 
direct final notice of deletion before the effective date of the 
deletion and it will not take effect and, EPA will prepare a response 
to comments and continue with the deletion process on the basis of the 
notice of intent to delete and the comments already received. There 
will be no additional opportunity to comment.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 300

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Chemicals, 
Hazardous Waste, Hazardous substances, Intergovernmental relations, 
Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Superfund, Water 
pollution control, Water supply.

    Dated: December 6, 2004.
Max Dodson,
Acting Regional Administrator, Region 8.


0
For the reasons set out in this document, 40 CFR part 300 is amended as 
follows:

PART 300--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 300 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1321(c)(2); 42 U.S.C. 9601-9657; E.O.12777, 
56 FR 54757, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p.351, E.O. 12580, 52 FR 2923, 3 
CFR, 1987 Comp., p.193.

Appendix B--[Amended]

0
2. Table 1 of Appendix B to Part 300 is amended by revising the entry 
for ``Uravan'' by adding a note ``P'' so that it reads as follows:

                   Table 1.--General Superfund Section
------------------------------------------------------------------------
    State          Site name          City/county          Notes(a)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
CO..........  Uravan Uranium      Uravan............  P
               Project (Union
               Carbide).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(a) * * *
* * * * *
P = Sites with partial deletion(s).


[FR Doc. 04-27551 Filed 12-17-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P