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LA Clarke & Son

Current Site Information

EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)

Virginia
Spotsylvania County
Fredericksburg
1/4 mile north of Massaponax Creek

EPA ID# VAD007972482

7th Congressional District

Last Update: March 2014

Other Names


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 work 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. The floodplain and on-site ditches were sampled in the summer of 2012 to determine whether any have become re-contaminated. Also performed in the summer of 2012 was an investigation to determine whether ground water contamination and/or DNAPLs are present on the south side of the creek. EPA anticipates finalizing the cleanup standards for surface soil in the summer of 2014. This will be followed by the selection of a ground water remedy.

Site Description

The 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 Responsibility

Cleanup of this site is the responsibility of the federal government and parties potentially responsible for site contamination.

NPL Listing History

This 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 surface water are contaminated with creosote compounds and by-products including polynuclear aromatics (PNAs) and benzene.

Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.

Cleanup Progress

A final cleanup decision for soils and sediments was reached between EPA and Virginia in March 1988. Shortly after, operations at the facility were terminated. In July 1989, EPA and the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac (RF& P) Railroad entered into a Consent Decree to conduct the design and construction of the remedy. The cleanup decision was amended in December 1989 to reflect the planned demolition of the process buildings. Actual demolition was completed in 1993. 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. In regards to surface soil, EPA plans to propose revising the exposure scenario since the time of the original cleanup plan from residential to industrial and plans to revise the soil cleanup level, utilizing an up-to-date scientific method. Commonwealth Atlantic-Spotsylvania Inc. (CASI) is now the party responsible for fulfilling RF& P's obligations under the Consent Decree.

Contacts

Site Contacts

Administrative Record Locations

Region 3 | Mid-Atlantic Cleanup | Mid-Atlantic Superfund |EPA Home | EPA Superfund Homepage


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