Emerald Kalama Chemical

Facility Site ID: 1082 Cleanup Site ID: 3686

Site Information

Currently owned by LANXESS, Emerald Kalama Chemical (Emerald) is an organic chemical plant that has operated along the Columbia River in Kalama since 1962. The facility processes toluene into chemical products used as flavorings and preservatives in foods and beverages and as additives in pharmaceuticals, fragrances, surfactants, plasticizers, and other consumer products. The manufacturing plant consists of 40 acres and the remaining 125 acres of the site is wetland.

Current contaminants of concern include benzene, toluene, biphenyl, bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, and diphenyl oxide.

There have been a number of historical releases at the facility. Site investigations found releases of hazardous substances to the soil and groundwater under the plant.
  • Releases in the west area next to the Columbia River came from the former tar residue area, transfer sump, and west tank farm.
  • Releases in the central area were from the facility's sewer system.
  • Contamination in the groundwater flows north toward the wetland and west toward the river.
In the 1990s, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the facility entered into an Agreed Order under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requiring the facility to complete a RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI), a corrective measures study, and an interim corrective measures evaluation to address the contamination.

In the RFI, the facility was divided into different areas where interim corrective measures (ICMs) were designed to address releases of contaminants into groundwater. These included two interceptor trenches, a soil vapor extraction system, and a recovery well network to prevent contamination from reaching the wetland and Columbia River.

Under a 2008 Consent Decree with Ecology, Emerald also installed an oxygen diffusion system to enhance biodegradation of contamination in groundwater.

While still operating, Emerald continues to perform cleanup remedies and groundwater monitoring. Because contamination remains at the facility, an environmental covenant prohibits activities that may interfere with the cleanup action or monitoring.

Site use restrictions called institutional controls are in effect

Institutional controls can be fences, signs, or restrictions on how the property is used. For instance, an institutional control may prohibit installing drinking water wells or disturbing a protective cap that isolates contamination. These restrictions keep the contamination contained and keep people from being exposed to the contamination. The controls are usually listed in environmental covenants recorded with the county.

Periodic reviews are required when institutional controls are required at a site. Ecology conducts reviews to make sure the controls remain effective and the cleanup still protects human health and the environment. We conduct periodic reviews about every five years.

Environmental Covenant

County Recording #: 3363502
County Recording Date: 4/2/2008

Restrictions/Requirements

  • Prevent the Reuse or Relocation of Site Soil
  • Prohibit Soil Disturbance
  • Restrict Domestic Ground Water Extraction/Well Installation
  • Restrict Land Use

Restricted Media

  • Groundwater
  • Soil
Legal 3
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Emerald Kalama restrictive covenant 4/2/2008 Environmental Covenant; Alternative Mechanism
Emerald Kalama Consent Decree 6/30/2004 Consent Decree
Emerald Kalama Agreed Order DE 98HW-S327 11/5/1998 Agreed Order
Public Information 2
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Emerald Kalama Periodic Review Responsiveness Summary 6/8/2016 Responsiveness Summary
Emerald Kalama Fact Sheet Proposed Consent Decree and Permit Modification Comment Period 12/1/2007 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Technical Reports 20
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Fire Mountain Farms Burnt Ridge Final Cleanup Closure Approval 12/30/2022 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Emerald Kalama Burnt Ridge Final Cleanup Closure Approval 12/30/2022 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Emerald Kalama/Fire Mountain Farms Burnt Ridge Final Cleanup Report 12/21/2022 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Emerald Kalama 2022 Periodic Review Final 12/20/2022 Periodic Review (5 Year)
Emerald Kalama Annual Remedial Action Report 8/3/2022 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Emerald Kalama Newaukum Prairie Final Cleanup Closure Approval 10/20/2021 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Fire Mountain Farms Newaukum Prairie Final Cleanup Closure Approval 10/20/2021 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Emerald Kalama/Fire Mountain Farms Newaukum Prairie Final Cleanup Report 9/28/2021 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Emerald Kalama Annual Remedial Action Report 8/3/2021 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Fire Mountain Farms Big Hanaford Final Cleanup Closure Approval 3/25/2021 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Emerald Kalama Big Hanaford Final Cleanup Closure Approval 3/25/2021 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Emerald Kalama/Fire Mountain Farms Big Hanaford Final Cleanup Report 3/16/2021 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Emerald Kalama/Fire Mountain Farms closure plan approval letter 8/14/2020 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Emerald Kalama final Fire Mountain Farms closure plan approval letter 8/14/2020 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Emerald Kalama/Fire Mountain Farms final closure plan 8/12/2020 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Emerald Kalama/Fire Mountain Farms hazardous waste biosolids lagoons closure plan 6/23/2020 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Emerald Kalama Newaukum Prairie Mountain Farms Hazardous Waste Petition 4/23/2018 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Emerald Kalama Burnt Ridge Fire Mountain Farms Hazardous Waste Petition 4/23/2018 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Emerald Kalama Big Hanaford Fire Mountain Farms Hazardous Waste Petition 4/23/2018 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Emerald Kalama Chemical 2016 Periodic Review 4/28/2016 Periodic Review (5 Year)
There may be more documents related to this site. To obtain documents not available electronically, you will need to make a public records request.

Contaminants 5

Contaminant Type
Soil
Groundwater
Surface Water
Air
Sediment
Bedrock
Metals - Metals - Other C RB
Non-Halogenated Organics - Phenolic Compounds C RB
Metals - Arsenic C RB
Non-Halogenated Organics - Benzene C C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Other Non-Halogenated Organics C C
S
Suspected
C
Confirmed Above Cleanup Levels
B
Below Cleanup Levels
RA
Remediated-Above
RB
Remediated-Below
R
Remediated
This contaminant list was based on our best information at the time it was entered. It may not reflect current conditions at the site.