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Site Report: Former Universal Recycling - Fairbanks

Site Name: Former Universal Recycling - Fairbanks
Address: 400 Sanduri Street, Fairbanks, AK 99701
File Number: 100.38.125
Hazard ID: 1922
Status: Cleanup Complete
Staff: ,
Latitude: 64.806806
Longitude: -147.692858
Horizontal Datum:NAD27

We make every effort to ensure the data presented here is accurate based on the best available information currently on file with DEC. It is therefore subject to change as new information becomes available. We recommend contacting the assigned project staff prior to making decisions based on this information.


The site was initially developed in 1985 by Interior Services (IS) as a refuse collection and recycling company. In 1986, a solid waste permit (8631-BA001) was issued for a waste-to-energy treatment facility. The site was a recycling center for paper, scrap metal, glass and plastic, but also recycled batteries, waste oil, and miscellaneous items. According to the ADEC Solid Waste file, complaints about debris storage practices at the site began in 1989. In March 1991, the permit lapsed but was reissued that same year as a waste-to-energy/recycling facility. A site visit by ADEC in March 1991 noted the presence of used-oil on the ground surface from a leaking 55-gallon drum. In 1992, ADEC issued a non-compliance report stating that lead-acid batteries were being improperly stored at the site. In 1993, ADEC observed several more leaking 55-gallon drums that had caused an oil sheen on a surrounding puddle. Later in 1993, the permit was suspended due to non-compliance issues related to waste handling and storage practices. The recycling center experienced a devastating fire and other business travails, became delinquent in property taxes, and ultimately filed for bankruptcy in 1997. It is apparent that recycling operations ceased shortly thereafter and the site has remained dormant since. At the conclusion of the bankruptcy proceedings the property was awarded to a new owner who also failed to pay the property taxes. The FNSB took the property through tax foreclosure proceedings on June 3, 2003. Shortly after ownership transferred to the FNSB, a fire of unknown origin burned portions of the solid waste on site. Recent activity, in conjunction with our volunteer based Emergency Management HAZMAT Response Team, has consisted of over-packing approximately forty 55-gallon barrels of unknown substances and placing batteries and transformers into impervious fish totes. Once contained, items were moved to a cement pad centrally located on site. Debris and approximately twenty additional drums remain scattered around the site. Only one building currently remains on the property of which the age is estimated as less than 20 years of age. Proposed Efforts in 2006: The FNSB has applied for an EPA Brownfield Cleanup Grant. If successful, the assessment and cleanup efforts may be combined to ensure the most efficiencies in addressing site conditions. Non-hazardous drummed waste will be removed from the site. This site was selected for a Brownfield Site Assessment as part of the EPA State Brownfield Cooperative Agreement in 2004. The Fairbanks North Star Borough received notice of an award for an additional Brownfield Assessment Grant from EPA in July 2004 to conduct additional assessment activities at the site.

Action Information

Action Date Action Description DEC Staff
7/22/1998 Update or Other Action Letter to RP regarding solid waste and removal of hazardous substances. Renee Evans
8/18/1999 Meeting or Teleconference Held Meeting with Contractor and Kris McCumby regarding what would be needed for a site assessment. Renee Evans
11/24/1999 Site Added to Database Petroleum, possibly hazardous substance. Renee Evans
11/30/1999 Site Ranked Using the AHRM Site ranked but needs to be reranked after site characterization completed. Renee Evans
8/3/2000 Update or Other Action Site Screening - sent to Bill Janes. Renee Evans
7/10/2002 GIS Position Updated Changed the Latitude, Longitude, Method Accuracy, Accuracy and Unit fields. Heather Goldman
5/3/2004 Update or Other Action NTP to conduct Brownfield Assessment on property approved. Contract awarded to Weston Solutions, Inc. to conduct phase 1 and limited release investigation across the property. John Carnahan
5/11/2004 Brownfields Award Site determined to meet Brownfield inclusion criteria by EPA and approved for BF Site Assessment through State Cooperative Agreement funding. John Carnahan
6/1/2004 Update or Other Action Quality Assurance Program Plan (QAPP) approved by the EPA via email to DEC. The QAPP for the Universal property was reviewed by EPA's Quality Assurance Officer, Don Methany, and no deficiencies were noted and overall approval was recommended. John Carnahan
7/23/2004 Preliminary Assessment Approved Received Site Characterization Report for site. Recommendations for additional characterization. GW impacts unconfirmed. Various potential soil contaminants. John Carnahan
6/29/2005 Update or Other Action Phase II Site Assessment work plan received. Kim DeRuyter
8/4/2005 GIS Position Updated Double checked location due to inclusion into potential Brownfield status. Coordinates look good, updated accuracy and datum fields. Torsten Ernst
11/22/2005 Meeting or Teleconference Held Meet with FNSB represenatives to discuss project workplan and status. Discuss potential cleanup grant application. John Carnahan
5/26/2006 Update or Other Action Received call from Tami Sheehan with the FNSB to report that their contractor was going to be ready to move materials from the stie and work with overpacks. They are coordinating with EPA as appropriate. John Carnahan
8/28/2006 Meeting or Teleconference Held Met with FNSB, consultant (Nortech) and teleconference with Susan Morales with EPA to discuss the components of EPA's ABCA requirement (Analyses of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives). The components will generally meet the state requirements for developing a CAP for review and approval. For the most part, CS for the site will result in debris removal and disposal to the availability of funding. John Carnahan
3/20/2007 Update or Other Action Received Analysis of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives (ABCA) from FNSB consultant, dated 3/19/07 (copy to file). Received copy of Community Involvment Plan (CIP). John Carnahan
6/12/2008 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking Initial ranking with ETM completed. John Carnahan
7/28/2008 Site Characterization Workplan Approved Discussed workplan action items with FNSB and consultant regarding excavation and sampling associated with ash pit location, and concrete trench area. Based on sample information to date, excavation and removal of limited amount of potential contamination will be completed, with subsurface discrete sampling at limits of excavation. Sampling will be for DRO and dioxin. Upon successful closure sampling (below DEC MCLs) at these locations, the site will be in position for closure determination. John Carnahan
10/25/2008 Update or Other Action DEC received the Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Site Characterization Report for the Former Universal Recycling Facility. During the assessment over 50 drums and five tons of lead-acid batteries along with other potentially hazardous wastes were identified on the site. As of the date of this report, three primary surface drum and debris removal efforts had been completed. The initial drum field characterization was completed in the fall of 2005 and the drums were removed in May 2007. Disposal of surface wastes and debris were completed in October 2007 prior to the assessment activities to allow access to the entir site. The second set of drums was characterized in November 2007 and removed in March and April 2008. After this work, the consultant recommended that no additional debris or drum removal is necessary. A total of 63 soil borings were installed and 36 samples were collected to determine if contamination remained at the site. Some areas of concern at the site included the following: 1. Cutout area in the concrete slab in the southeastern portion of the site. This area contained levels of DRO and dioxin slightly above cleanup levels. A total of 13 cubic yards of mixed burned debris and ash were excavated from this area. After excavation and sampling, the consultant recommended additional excavation from this area. 2. The presence of surface ash that may be related to burn barrels and/or an incinerator. The larger location with surface ash was located on the east side of the site (450 square feet). Assessment was completed in this area in 2007 and 2008 that included the excavation of 35 cubic yards of surface ash mixed with coal ash. Sampling indicated additional excavation of approximately 5 cubic yards in this area. Two groundwater sampling events have been completed at this site: one in 2004 and 2007. The data from 2004 is unusable because the data was not from the water table. In 2007, the groundwater was sampled at five locations and no contamiants of concern were observed near DEC regulatory limits. Deborah Williams
12/4/2009 Site Visit Drive by site to see status of lot. John Carnahan
1/14/2010 Update or Other Action DEC received the Final Cleanup Report for the Former URI Facility dated December 28, 2009. According to the report numerous waste streams and debris were removed from the property. A 10,000-gallon tank, 7 plastic totes of lead-acid batteries were disposed of properly. A total of 52 supersacks of contaminated soil and ash were disposed of by Emerald as non-hazardous wastes. At the completion of the assessment activities, two locations had contaminant concentrations above DEC cleanup levels. Nortech excavated soil in these two areas: six supersacks of soil was excavated from the former surface ash area and one primary sample and a field duplicat were collected from the limits of the excavation. The metals and dioxin concentrations at this location were below DEC cleanup levels. Three supersacks of soil were excavated from the southern end of the concrete cutout. One sample was collected from the limits of the excavation. The dioxin concentrations were below DEC cleanup levels. No additional excavation or sampling was considered necessary or recommended to address these areas. Deborah Williams
3/30/2010 Meeting or Teleconference Held Meeting with FNSB representatives and consultant on closure determination. John Carnahan
3/31/2010 Cleanup Complete Determination Issued John Carnahan

Contaminant Information

Name Level Description Media Comments
1,2-Dichloroethane < Method 2 Most Stringent Soil
Benzene < Method 2 Most Stringent Soil
RRO < Method 2 Most Stringent Soil

Control Type

Type Details
No ICs Required


Description Details
Advance approval required to transport soil or groundwater off-site.

Missing Location Data

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