PCB Remediation

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were domestically manufactured from 1929 until manufacturing was banned in 1979. In general, PCBs are a group of man-made organic chemicals consisting of carbon, hydrogen and chlorine atoms. The number of chlorine atoms and their location in a PCB molecule determine many of its physical and chemical properties.

Due to their non-flammability, chemical stability, high boiling point and electrical insulating properties, it was commonly divided into closed and open applications.

Products that may contain PCBs in closed applications include:

  • Transformers and capacitors
  • Electrical equipment, including voltage regulators, switches, re-closers, bushings, and electromagnets
  • Oil used in motors and hydraulic systems.
  • Old electrical devices or appliances containing PCB capacitors
  • Fluorescent light ballasts

Products that may contain PCBs in open application include:

  • Cable insulation
  • Thermal insulation material including fiberglass, felt, foam and cork
  • Adhesives and tapes
  • Oil-based paint
  • Caulking
  • Plastics
  • Pesticides extenders
  • Carbonless copy paper
  • Floor finish
  • Flame retardent

The Site Remediation Program (SRP) has established residential and non-residential direct contact Soil Remediation Standards (RDCSRS and NRDCSRS) for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) based upon a legislatively mandated 1 X 10-6 cancer end-point. The Residential Direct Contact SRS (RDCSRS) is 0.2 ppm and the Non-residential Direct Contact SRS (NRDCSRS) is 1 ppm.

The USEPA Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) does not regulate PCBs at concentrations less than 1 ppm. Above 1 ppm PCBs, TSCA stipulates a range of self-implementing cleanup levels based upon future high and low occupancy scenarios that are identified in 40 CFR 761.61(a)4. Along with some other factors, the disposal requirements for the self-implementing regulatory option vary based on the type of contaminated material and concentration of PCBs in the materials. Responsible party must notify EPA if they are intend to utilize the self-implementing option.

ENVOCARE provides responsible site remediation services, which include the risk-based options. A low-levels of PCBs are found in the historic fill and historical industrial sites. The remediation services include, excavation and disposal of waste containing PCBs, and encapsulating.