LA Clarke & Son
Current Site Information
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)Virginia
1/4 mile north of Massaponax Creek
EPA ID# VAD007972482
7th Congressional District
Last Update: January 2015
Clarke, L.A. & Son
Current Site Status
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is overseeing the cleanup of the L.A. Clarke & Son site where the wastewater impoundment was decommissioned in March 1997, including removal and off-site disposal of approximately 240,000 gallons of wastewater, approximately 153,000 gallons of emulsion and sludge, 172 tons of liner material, and 96 cubic yards of contaminated soil from underneath the impoundment liner. EPA is reviewing the cleanup levels for the contaminated soil so the levels are consistent with the future use of the site. Excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated sediments from the floodplain and the on-site ditches was completed in October 2001. Dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs) are present and may be mobile in the soils below both the process area, the former surface impoundment, and floodplain area north of Massaponax Creek. Sampling of the floodplain and on-site ditches in the summer of 2012 has shown that several areas have become re-contaminated. Also performed in the summer of 2012 was an investigation indicating ground water contamination is present on the south side of the creek. EPA anticipates selecting a ground water remedy in 2016.
Site DescriptionThe L.A. Clarke & Son site, located in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, is a 44-acre former wood treating facility which operated from 1937 until 1988 (with an inactive period from 1979 to 1980), using creosote to preserve wood. EPA detected soil, sediment, ground water, and surface water contamination of the site and the adjoining property during the Remedial Investigation. The contamination consists of the by-products of creosote: polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, benzene, and dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPL). Contamination at the site resulted from facility operations, spills, waste streams entering drainage ditches, and on-site disposal of waste products. From at least 1953 to 1975, wastewater was disposed of in two concrete-lined pits. Overflow from the concrete pits was stored in an earthen pit. Excess water was also discharged to drainage ditches and was sprayed on the ground to control dust. In 1979, a wastewater impoundment (lagoon) was constructed to separate creosote from process wastewater. As of 1988, sixty-three homes were located within a 4,000-foot radius of the site, and 1,500 people lived within one mile of the site. The shallow contaminated aquifer underlying the site has only limited use at the present time as a source of drinking water but has the potential for wider use, due to increased development in the area. The shallow aquifer discharges to Massaponax Creek.
Site ResponsibilityCleanup of this site is the responsibility of the federal government and parties potentially responsible for site contamination.
NPL Listing HistoryThis site was proposed to the National Priorities List of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites requiring long term remedial action on October 15, 1984. The site was formally added to the list June 10 1986, making it eligible for federal cleanup funds.
Threats and Contaminants
The aquifers underlying the site are contaminated with creosote derivatives from former site activities. Sediments, soils, and groundwater are contaminated with creosote compounds and by-products including polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and benzene.
Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.