The Alstom Signaling Operations LLC site, formerly GETS Global Signaling LLC and Harmon Electronics Inc., is located at 2712 S. Dillingham Road in Grain Valley. Since 1973, GETS manufactured electronic signal instruments for the rail transportation industry at the site. In 1988, plant management realized the way they handled their waste circuit board cleaning solvents did not follow existing environmental laws, resulting in spent solvents being periodically poured onto the ground. GETS notified the Department of the release and changed their handling practices.
In 1989, the department notified GETS that the site would be considered a hazardous waste land disposal unit, which GETS sought to close. The waste solvent contained mainly Freon-113, trichloroethylene (TCE), trichloroethane (TCA), acetone, dichloroethylene (DCE), with lesser amounts of other chemicals and 1,4-dioxane.
In 1993, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted a RCRA Facility Assessment to identify and gather information on releases or potential releases from any areas at the facility. No other areas at the site, other than the two areas of the release, required further investigation. In March 1993, GETS entered into a Consent Decree with the department, requiring GETS to investigate and cleanup contamination and work on good faith until a post-closure plan could be approved. As required by the decree, GETS set up a groundwater monitoring program and soil cleanup program using a soil-vapor extraction system (SVE). The department accepted GETS’ closure certification for the hazardous waste disposal area in 1996. In order to protect human health, residential use of the land is prohibited. A Deed Notice, signed by the Jackson County Recorder of Deeds in 1996, was placed on the property in order to inform potential future buyers of the property that it had been used to manage hazardous waste. GETS is subject to the permitting requirements of the Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Law and federal Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments for post-closure care because hazardous waste remained in place after closure.
GETS is subject to corrective action because they completed closure of the hazardous waste disposal area after the effective date of the federal Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments. GETS is conducting post-closure and corrective action activities under two hazardous waste permits, one issued by the department and one issued by EPA, both effective Sept. 30, 2009. The permits were first issued in 1996. The department reissued the Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Facility Part I Permit. EPA reissued the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments Part II Permit. The permits require GETS to continue post-closure care, including groundwater monitoring. The contamination left in place after closure is limited to a small area on the facility property and is now covered with a low permeability asphalt cap. Operation of the SVE system was suspended in 2001, when sampling results indicated the concentration of contaminants in soils were below previously approved site-specific risk levels. The SVE system is still in place and has remained idle since 2001.The department may require GETS to restart the SVE system if groundwater monitoring shows that contaminant concentrations are increasing above applicable levels.