North Industrial Corridor Project
Groundwater contamination was identified in the 1980s near the intersection of 29th and Mead in a highly industrialized area. The 29th and Mead site was declared a Superfund site by the EPA in February 1990. In July 1994 the City of Wichita petitioned the EPA to remove the 29th and Mead Site from the National Priorities List (NPL) in order to implement a local/state/federal cooperative partnership modeled after the successful strategy employed at the Gilbert and Mosley Site to the immediate south.
On November 14, 1995, the City of Wichita signed a Settlement Agreement with the KDHE under which the City agreed to assume responsibility for the completion of an RI/FS effort and the remedial design and remedial action (RD/RA) of the site-wide groundwater contamination. In return for this commitment, the 29th and Mead Site was removed from the NPL and the North Industrial Corridor (NIC) Site was created. The NIC Site is approximately four miles long and 1.5 miles wide (4,011 acres) and is the result of the consolidation of three groundwater contamination sites: 29th and Mead, Northeast, and 13th and Washington. Like the Gilbert and Mosley Site, this site also utilized a Tax Increment Finance (TIF) district within the site boundaries to generate finances to help fund the investigation and remediation. On April 29, 1996, the 29th and Mead site was deleted from the NPL allowing the creation of the North Industrial Corridor site and the TIF district.
The City of Wichita's NIC Project includes the operation of a groundwater treatment system and a pipeline to convey extracted contaminated groundwater to the Gilbert and Mosley Treatment Building. A total of 8,384 feet of 6-inch diameter pipeline and 12,393 feet of 8-inch diameter pipeline was installed in the NIC Site and an additional 6,380 feet of 8-inch diameter pipeline was installed in the Gilbert and Mosley site as a replacement for existing smaller diameter pipeline. In total, 3.9 miles of pipeline were installed within the NIC Site and 1.2 miles of replacement pipeline was installed in the Gilbert and Mosley Site for the remediation effort. The four NIC wells were turned on in January 2022 and extracted just under 155 million gallons of groundwater for treatment in 2022.
The groundwater contamination at the NIC Site is primarily from chlorinated solvents such as PCE and TCE. The overall areal extent and concentration of groundwater contaminants has significantly decreased since the mid-1990s. The reduction in groundwater contamination is largely due to the source control efforts by various companies to reduce the degree of groundwater contamination and, in several instance, contain the contamination within their property. Natural attenuation by biologic activity (bacteria) and abiotic materials (natural minerals) have also helped reduce the overall level of contamination in the groundwater. Between source control efforts and natural attenuation, the overall level of groundwater contamination associated with PCE and TCE contamination has decreased from greater than 1,000 micrograms per liter (µg/L) to less than 100 µg/L. The groundwater extraction wells have been positioned to address the areas of most significant remaining groundwater contamination. The maps show the 2022 groundwater contamination extents in both the upper portion (shallow) and lower (deep) portion of the aquifer within the NIC Site. The 2022 areal extent of contamination exceeding drinking water standards is approximately 139 acres in the shallow aquifer and 695 acres in the deep portion of the aquifer.
Certificate & Release Program
The City of Wichita has reestablished financial lending in the North Industrial Corridor area through a legal agreement with lending institutions.
The Agreement states that the institutions will not refuse to lend on the security of real properties located within the North Industrial Corridor site which are owned or operated by person or entities who have obtained a Certificate and Release for Environmental Conditions.
Certificate and Releases are granted by the City to property owners who have demonstrated through documentation or investigation that they have not contributed to the contamination in the North Industrial Corridor sites.