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Congressional District # 18


EPA ID# OHD980509657
Last Updated: August, 2013

Site Description

The Buckeye Reclamation Landfill (BRL) Site is located approximately 4 miles southeast of the Town of St. Clairsville and 1.2 miles south of Interstate 70 in Richland Township, Belmont County, Ohio. The BRL Site occupies approximately 100 acres of a 658-acre tract of land owned by the Ohio Resources Corporation (affiliated with Cravat Coal Company). The site extends 3,700 feet north to south and is 500 to 1,000 feet wide.

The BRL Site is situated in the Kings Run drainage ravine and bordered by Kings Run to the east and an unnamed stream to the west. Surface water in Kings Run flows to the south and empties into Little McMahon Creek. Property to the east and west is hilly and mostly forested. Farmland and a stripe mine are located west of the site. Additional farmland extends to the north and northeast. The original topography of the Kings Run valley and the ridge to the west of the BRL Site have been significantly altered because of coal mine refuse disposal activities and landfilling operations that took place for several decades. Deep underground coal mining occurred in the vicinity of the site until the early 1950s and refuse disposal activities created the northern, middle, and southern impounds. Subsequent landfilling operations resulted in the drainage and filling of the middle and southern impounds by 1972 and 1976.

The BRL Site was licensed in 1971 by the Belmont County Health Department for use as a municipal solid waste landfill and operated by Ohio Resources Corporation under the name of Buckeye Reclamation Company until 1991. The majority of the industrial sludge and liquids accepted by the landfill were received between 1976 and 1979 and deposited in or near the northern impound. Records indicated a total volume of approximately 49,400 tons of solid waste per year were disposed in the landfill. Solid industrial wastes (e.g., asbestos, carbon black, fly ash) were reportedly commingled with municipal wastes. Ohio EPA landfill inspection records also make reference to unspecified industrial wastes being disposed in the southeastern portion of the landfill. Industrial sludge and liquids also were accepted. The total volumes of industrial wastes received are estimated at 2.9 million gallons of liquids and 30,000 tons of industrial sludge. Transporter records show that the majority of the liquids were mixtures of oils, solvents, and/or waste water.

In the early 1980s, EPA and Ohio EPA conducted preliminary investigations to determine whether the BRL site posed potential risks to public health and the environment. EPA placed the BRL Site on the National Priorities List (NPL) on September 8, 1983.

Site Responsibility

The BRL Site is being addressed through federal, state, and potentially responsible parties' (PRPs) actions. EPA is the lead agency overseeing the PRPs’ implementation of the remedy, with support by Ohio EPA.

Threats and Contaminants

Twelve contaminants detected in the waste pit, soils, leachate, groundwater, and surface water were identified as indicator chemicals during the Remedial Investigation (RI). These contaminants accounted for the majority of health-based risk posed by the BRL Site. The inorganics identified as contaminants of concern were arsenic, beryllium, lead, cadmium, chromium, and nickel. The organic compounds identified as contaminants of concern were benzene, trichloroethene, carbon tetrachloride, 1,1-dichloroethene, and carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The immediate threats posed by the site have been addressed.

Cleanup Progress

EPA conducted a PRP search and identified a number of potentially responsible parties, including the landfill operator and several generators. In October 1985, EPA, Ohio EPA, and six PRPs signed an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) that required the PRPs to conduct a Remedial Investigation (RI) and Feasibility Study (FS). During the RI, soils, surface water, sediment, leachate, groundwater, and air were examined. Sampling results identified various levels of contamination in all media except air. Three sources of contamination were observed: 1) industrial wastes disposed in or around the waste pit, 2) solid wastes disposed in the general landfill area, and 3) coal mine refuse which was placed in the area before landfilling operations began.

EPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) on August 18, 1991, that contained the selected cleanup actions for the BRL Site. The cleanup actions, termed a remedial action, included the following work: construction of a solid waste landfill cap; installation of a surface leachate seep and groundwater collection system; monitoring of groundwater, surface leachate seeps and Kings Run stream; and treatment of collected waters by constructed wetlands. In 1992, EPA entered into an AOC with a number of PRPs to design the selected remedial action. 

Based on numerous pre-design studies and a review of site history and applicable regulations, EPA and Ohio EPA agreed to modify the remedy selected in the ROD, and EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) on July 17, 1997. The ESD revised the remedy by reducing the size of the solid waste landfill cap, eliminating the northern impoundment, realigning and lining of Kings Run, and deferring the construction of the groundwater and leachate treatment system until after cap construction.

In 1998, EPA entered into a Consent Decree with a number of PRPs to implement the selected remedial action.

The following cleanup actions were completed at the BRL Site in September 2001:

In addition to the cleanup actions on the site, groundwater and surface water monitoring activities were performed to characterize water quality and quantity at the southern toe of the landfill. EPA & Ohio EPA agreed to make a number of changes to the remedy described in the 1991 ROD based on the results of the monitoring activities. EPA issued a second ESD for the BRL Site on August 15, 2003. The second ESD revised the remedy by requiring the combined flow from Kings Run and the landfill leachate collection system to be directed for off-site discharge to Little McMahon Creek, updating discharge standards to reflect current Ohio EPA risk and ecological information, requiring two years of monthly monitoring the combined flow, and documenting that no additional groundwater/leachate collection mechanisms were required. The ESD also stated that the results of the two-year surface water monitoring report would determine if discharge standards were being met and whether surface water treatment by constructed wetland was needed. 

Based on an evaluation of the PRPs' monthly monitoring reports, EPA determined that surface water treatment by constructed wetland was needed. On September 16, 2011, EPA issued a third ESD for the BRL Site. The ESD documented a significant change in the design of the constructed wetland component of the remedy from what was described in the 1991 ROD. Based on seven years of surface water monitoring data that was not available when the ROD was issued, the total size and cell composition of the wetland was modified to reflect the actual degree of treatment necessary to address current site characteristics. The major changes to the design of the wetland treatment system included the following:

The 2011 ESD also stated that revisions to the frequency of monitoring and/or the monitoring parameters could be made after a minimum of one year of monitoring following construction of the treatment wetlands if the monitoring results indicate that such changes are appropriate and if EPA approves such changes in writing. 

In early September 2011, EPA approved the PRP’s wetland design plans. The PRPs’ contractor, Conestoga Rovers and Associates (CRA), constructed the treatment wetlands in the Fall of 2011, under EPA and Ohio EPA oversight. In June 2012, EPA approved the Phase II Remedial Action (RA) and Construction Completion (CC) Report (Revision 3). This report documented the remedial construction activities completed for the leachate treatment wetland built at the southern toe of the site.

EPA completed the First Five-Year Review Report for the BRL Site on May 6, 2004, and the Second Five-Year Review Report on May 4, 2009. The purpose of a five-year review is to determine whether the remedy at a site is protective of human health and the environment. The results of the 2009 five-year review indicated that the remedy at the BRL Site currently protects human health and the environment in the short term because exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks are being controlled and monitored.

As recommended by the 2009 five-year review, effective Institutional Controls (ICs) needed to be put in place at the site for the site to be considered protective in the long term. ICs are designed to keep people from using the site in a way that is not safe and/or doing things that could damage the remedy. On February 21, 2013, the property owner recorded an environmental covenant with the Belmont County Recorder’s Office. Four (4) parcels of real property which together contain 440.658 acres are subject to the environmental covenant. The environmental covenant prohibits drilling, digging, and construction on the parcels, restricts the parcels to commercial/industrial use, and prohibits consumption of groundwater. With the recording of the restrictive covenant, the remedy is now considered protective.

Routine operation and maintenance (O&M) activities are conducted at the site. The O&M activities include regular inspections, routine and unscheduled maintenance, quarterly site inspections, and annual explosive gas monitoring and reporting. The BRL Site is enclosed by a 6-foot high, chain-link fence with three strands of barbed wire. Lockable gates have been provided at key access points around the landfill to provide access. Signs posted at 200-foot intervals identify the site as a hazardous area and warn against trespassing. These tactics have proven to be effective measures to limit access to the site and maintain the integrity of the remedy.

Success Story


Community Involvement

EPA hosted a public availability session on August 29, 2012, to provide a site progress report to the community.

The 2011 ESD, along with other site-related documents, are available for review at the site information repository, which is located at: St. Clairsville Public Library, 108 W. Main Street, St. Clairsville, Ohio 43950.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
colleen moynihan (moynihan.colleen@epa.gov)
(312) 353-8196

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
virginia narsete
(312) 886-4359




Site Profile Information

This profile provides you with information on EPA's cleanup progress at this Superfund site.


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