Saunders Supply Company
Current Site Information
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)Virginia
EPA ID# VAD003117389
4th Congressional District
Last Update: January 2013
Current Site Status
Long-term ground water cleanup to protect Godwin's Mill Pond Reservoir, located less than 500 feet from the Saunders Supply Company Site, is still ongoing. The ground water collection, treatment, and monitoring system was constructed by EPA in April 1998, shortly before implementing the long-term, or remedial, cleanup. By law, EPA is only allowed to operate long-term actions such as the ground water system for ten years and, at that point, must turn it over to the state. In July 2009, EPA transferred operation and maintenance of the ground water system to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ). VDEQ is planning on an optimization study in 2013. In the meantime, VDEQ will continue treating and monitoring the ground water until the ground water clean-up levels are met.
The second Five-Year Review Report was issued on December 29, 2009. The finding of the second five-year review is the same as the first five-year review, that the remedy for the site is protective of human health and the environment in the short term. All threats at the site associated with ingestion or dermal contact with contaminated soil and sediment have been addressed through excavation and off-site treatment and disposal. There are no exposures to the contaminated ground water because everyone in the vicinity of the site is connected to the city of Suffolk public water supply and the ground water extraction system has prevented contamination from reaching either Godwins Millpond or MW-19D, the EPA monitoring well closest to the pond. The lone issue brought up through the five-year review process is that, in order to achieve long-term protectiveness, EPA must complete efforts to place an institutional control restricting the use of ground water on the Kelly property. EPA completed this action in September 2011. The next five-year review report is due by December 2014.
Site DescriptionThe Saunders Supply Company Site, located in Suffolk County, Virginia, is a 7-1/3 acre former wood treating plant. Although wood treating operations ceased in June 1991, it is still an active lumber yard. Between 1964 and 1984, a mixture of pentachlorophenol (PCP) and fuel oil was used as the wood preservative. In 1974, the chromated copper arsenate process was added. Part of the spent PCP/oil sludge was disposed of by burning it in an unlined pit or a conical burner on site, resulting in the generation of dioxin compounds. In addition, some of the PCP sludge was sprayed around the site to control weeds. The soil at the wood treating facility and part of the adjoining property was contaminated with arsenic, chromium, copper, PCP, and dioxins. The groundwater in the shallow Columbia aquifer is contaminated with arsenic, chromium, and PCP. The groundwater flow in the aquifer is towards Godwin's Mill Pond Reservoir, a primary source of drinking water for more than 30,000 people in the city of Suffolk. Approximately 1,300 people live within three miles of the site, and about 700 people are served by the municipal water systems within a mile of the site.
Site ResponsibilityCleanup for this site is the responsibility of the federal and state governments.
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 January 22, 1987 The site was formally added to the list October 4, 1989, making it eligible for federal cleanup funds.
Threats and ContaminantsThe groundwater is primarily contaminated with PCP from wood-treating process wastes. A localized area with high levels of arsenic in the ground water is also present. The groundwater flow is toward the reservoir, a primary drinking water source. A nearby freshwater wetland may be threatened by site contamination.
Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.