Even though only a limited number of groundwater samples were even analyzed for dioxin, this highly toxic contaminant was detected at elevated levels in widely spaced locations, including test wells on the eastern side of Bayou Texar.
Dioxin typically remains attached to soil particles rather than leaching down into groundwater, but large amounts of napthalene present at Escambia Treating Company are the likely cause for dioxin to be spreading in groundwater here.
The plume also contains high levels of napthalene, pentachlorophenol, carbazole, isopropylbenzene, benzene, vinyl chloride, xylene, chromium, lead, arsenic and other contaminants.
EPA is currently developing plans for groundwater cleanup; however, these plans do not include removing dioxin from groundwater, which serves as the drinking water aquifer for Escambia County. The plume also discharges into Bayou Texar, which is heavily used for recreation and fishing.
CATE has requested that EPA include dioxin removal in the groundwater cleanup plan, which the agency expects to present to the community in early 2008.