U.S. GAO - Hazardous Materials: EPA’s Assessment of Sites That May Have Received Asbestos-Contaminated Ore from Libby, Montana (GAO-09-7SP, March 2009), an E-supplement to GAO-09-6R

Hazardous Materials: EPA’s Assessment of Sites That May Have Received Asbestos-Contaminated Ore from Libby, Montana (GAO-09-7SP, March 2009), an E-supplement to GAO-09-6R

Vermiculite of Hawaii Inc., 842-A Mapunpuna Street, Honolulu, Hawaii
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EPA
Region
Location of facility Type of facility Amount
of ore
received
(in tons)
Did
EPA
visit
the
site?
Were
samples
taken?
Results of
evaluation
9 842-A Mapunapuna Street, Honolulu, Hawaii Former exfoliation facility 6,100.2 Yes-March 29, 2000 Yes According to an EPA database compiled from W.R. Grace shipping invoices, 6,100.2 tons of vermiculite ore from the Libby mine were shipped to this site between January 1967 and August 1983. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's health consultation report for this site, Vermiculite of Hawaii exfoliated vermiculite at this site from 1954 through 1983. The exfoliated vermiculite produced was used as insulation, in agricultural products, and in plaster and concrete aggregate. Other businesses had leased the site since 1983. The site consisted of four buildings on approximately 0.8 acres of land. Most of the site was covered by the buildings and paved surfaces, although some areas of grass and uncovered soil were located at the edges of the property. Land use surrounding the site was primarily commercial and industrial, with a military housing area a few hundred yards west of the site. This residential development existed for at least part of the time when the facility processed vermiculite. In March 2001, EPA collected 4 air, 14 soil, 2 product, and 4 dust samples from this site. Of the 14 soil samples, 7 contained less than 1-percent of the type of asbestos found in Libby ore (2 of these 7 samples also contained 1-percent and 2-percent of chrysotile asbestos which is not found in Libby ore). The remaining 7 soil samples did not contain detectable levels of asbestos. The two product samples contained trace levels of the type of asbestos found in Libby ore. Two of the dust samples contained levels of Libby asbestos that were greater than 10,000 asbestos structures per square centimeter of wiped surface (the level at which a cleanup action may be needed). All four of the dust samples contained levels of chrysotile asbestos that were greater that 10,000 asbestos structures. No asbestos structures were found in the four air samples. The soil samples were analyzed using polarized light microscopy (PLM) and the air and dust samples were analyzed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Because the amount of asbestos present in the soil and dust samples was above levels that trigger a cleanup action, EPA determined the site needed to be cleaned up. The site was cleaned up by the responsible party (owner of the site) under an agreement with EPA. The cleanup began on December 3, 2001, and was completed on December 19, 2001. The ATSDR's health consultation report for this site can be found at ATSDR.

GAO-09-6R