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AGREEMENT REACHED TO STUDY CONTAMINATION AT THE CALHOUN PARK SITE IN CHARLESTON, S.C.

 ATLANTA, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Under an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the South Carolina Electric and Gas Company, the city of Charleston, and the Housing Authority of the City of Charleston will conduct a comprehensive environmental investigation of the Calhoun Park site in Charleston, S.C.
 These parties have agreed voluntarily to hire a contractor to perform the study and to reimburse EPA for its costs associated with oversight of the study.
 The site, which is bordered by Charlotte Street, Laurens Street, Concord Street and Washington Street, encompasses approximately 18 acres. A manufactured gas plant operated from 1855 to 1957 in the northernmost portion of the site. Sample results have indicated the presence of coal tar residues and a variety of other contaminants.
 Joseph R. Franzmathes, director of EPA Region IV's Waste Management Division, said the study by the three parties is significant because of their willingness to commit resources towards evaluating and proposing solutions to the problem at an early stage, rather than waiting for the regulatory process to require this action.
 "This means that the public will not have to wait for the site to be added to EPA's National Priorities List of hazardous waste sites for cleanup work to begin. In addition to saving time, we will expend fewer Superfund resources at the site and community involvement will occur earlier," Franzmathes said.
 The agreement was reached as part of an EPA initiative to make Superfund cleanups more timely and efficient by focusing on the early stages of the process and by better integrating all Superfund program components.
 Under the terms of the agreement, the parties will begin the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study this spring. The Remedial Investigation will determine the nature and extent of contamination, and will provide information which EPA may use to propose the site for inclusion on the National Priorities List (NPL). The NPL identifies sites that, because of the seriousness of the contamination present, are eligible for cleanup under the authority of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, commonly known as Superfund. The Feasibility Study will evaluate alternatives to address any contamination found during the investigation. EPA will oversee all phases of the study, including approval of work plans, monitoring of field activities and approval of reports.
 EPA will develop a community relations program for the community affected by the site. Citizens interested in providing input, being placed on the site's mailing list, or obtaining additional information should contact Cynthia Peurifoy, Community Relations Coordinator, U.S. EPA, 345 Courtland St. N.E., Atlanta, GA 30365, 800-435-9233.
 -0- 2/9/93
 /CONTACT: Earl Bozeman, project manager, 404-347-5065; Cynthia Peurifoy, community relations, 404-347-7791, or Charlis Thompson, 404-347-3004, all of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/


CO: United States Environmental Protection Agency; South Carolina
 Electric and Gas Company; Housing Authority of the City of
 Charleston; City of Charleston ST: South Carolina IN: SU: EXE


BN-BR -- AT007 -- 4606 02/09/93 11:10 EST
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Date:Feb 9, 1993
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