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Philip Services Corporation (a/k/a ThermalKEM) Site - Timeline

Here is a condensed timeline of the Philip Services Corporation (a/k/a ThermalKEM) Site.

    Late 1960s

    Industrial Chemical Company, Inc. and Quality Drum Company, Inc. (operating on separate property parcels) received waste solvents from other facilities. These operators stored the solvents in drums and tanks, and recovered solvents through distillation. Wastes that were left after the distillation process (called still bottoms) were sent to a local landfill.

    1981

    A hazardous waste incinerator was installed to treat still bottoms (distillation waste). The facility also began to process a broader variety of waste streams.

    12/1982

    Quality Drum and Industrial Chemical merged.

    06/1983

    Stablex South Carolina, Inc. acquired all four parcels of the facility property.  At that time, approximately 26,000 drums of waste and 200,000 gallons of bulk liquid waste were stored onsite.

    1986

    American NuKEM Corporation purchased the stock of Stablex.

    11/1986

    Stablex South Carolina, Inc. began operating under the assumed name of ThermalKEM, Inc. ThermalKEM operated as a hazardous waste incinerator and storage facility under RCRA interim status (EPA I.D. No. SCD044442333).

    11/1995

    Philip Services Corporation (PSC) purchased the stock of Stablex/ThermalKEM and its subsidiary, Petro-Chem, and took over operation and management of the facility.

    12/1995

    PSC ceased operation of the hazardous waste incinerator. However, PSC continued to operate the facility as a fuel blending, storage, and transfer facility until 1999. During the years of operation, the facility sustained two large structural fires. 

    1998

    PSC submitted an incinerator closure plan.

    06/2003

    PSC filed for bankruptcy protection.

    12/2003

    DHEC assumed environmental management responsibilities. As part of the bankruptcy action, a custodial trust account was established to provide some funding for environmental activities. It was determined that the funds in the custodial trust account would be inadequate to complete any remedy. DHEC began initial, investigation and cleanup activities.

    2004

    DHEC began a remedial investigation, which included several phases to determine the source, nature, and extent of soil and groundwater contamination. DHEC installed more than 50 groundwater monitoring wells and conducted comprehensive sampling.. 

    09/2008

    DHEC issued its Remedial Investigation Report The findings identified extensive areas of soil and groundwater contamination.

    07/2011

    DHEC completed a Feasibility Study that evaluated cleanup alternatives.

    08/2014

    DHEC identified its preferred cleanup alternative in its Proposed Plan for remedial action.

    08/26/2014

    DHEC's Proposed Plan meeting.

    Extended to 11/26/14

    DHEC's comment period ends relating to the Proposed Plan.

Future activities include responding to any comments received during the Proposed Plan comment period and issuing a Record of Decision, which documents selection of the final cleanup remedy. DHEC expects a group of potentially responsible parties (PRPs) will fund and perform the cleanup with DHEC's oversight.