The 3M Columbia site is located on 53 acres at 5400 Route B in Columbia. This facility is an active manufacturing facility for electronic interconnects. Since its construction in 1970, the facility has produced Fresnel lenses for overhead projectors, circuit board substrates, electrical connectors and electronic article surveillance product lines. Chemical wastes are stored in drums until they are full and then sent to the 3M incinerator located in Minnesota for disposal, or to a company in Wisconsin for recycling.
The facility used two surface impoundments, operated by the City of Columbia, to treat wastewater from 1970 to 1976. 3M closed the impoundments when the city of Columbia extended sanitary sewer service to the facility. 3M built a clay-lined surface impoundment in 1972 for process wastewater treatment. This impoundment was taken out of active service in June 1982, and wastewaters were discharged directly to the city treatment system. 3M operated the surface impoundment under the “interim status” portions of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
3M closed the clay-lined surface impoundment in 1987. Pre-closure investigations conducted in 1985, revealed chemical contamination in the soil. A Deed Notice, signed by the Boone County Recorder of Deeds in 1988, was placed on the property in order to inform potential future buyers of the property that portions of the 3M Co. site have been used to manage hazardous wastes. Additional investigations indicated that chemical releases have occurred at all three surface impoundment areas and several other areas at the site. The groundwater and soil were contaminated with volatile organic compounds, in particular, 1,1,1-trichloroethane and 1,1-dichloroethylene (1,1,1-TCA and 1,1-DCE).
From 1990 to 2002, 3M performed corrective action activities at the site under a 3008(h) Corrective Action Administrative Order on Consent with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In order to prevent continued migration of contaminants away from the former impoundment and to allow for efficient removal and treatment of the affected groundwater, 3M installed a groundwater withdrawal and treatment system. This system was taken offline in 1996, when it proved to be inefficient. On Nov. 20, 2002, 3M voluntarily entered into a Corrective Action Abatement Order on Consent with the department in order to implement the final remedy approved by the department, in coordination with EPA. The EPA Order was terminated. The approved remedy included installing a low permeability clay cap over one impoundment area to prevent contact with contaminated soils, groundwater monitoring and deed restrictions. In 2003, 3M filed, with the Boone County Recorder of Deeds, a Restrictive Covenant in the chain-of-title for the affected property, which will notify in perpetuity, any potential purchaser of the environmental conditions of the property. The Restrictive Covenant prohibits the disturbance of the capped portion of the site and any other areas in which soils are contaminated above health-based levels and prohibits the use of groundwater and drilling of wells for a potable water supply. In 2011 and 2012, 3M performed in-situ injections to treat the contaminated groundwater plume. 3M is currently performing additional site characterization to help determine future remedial decisions. 3M is also performing another round of injections to reduce contaminant concentration in the groundwater plume.