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Potomac Yard

EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)

The City of Alexandria and County of Arlington
2900 Jefferson Davis Highway

EPA ID# VAD020312013

8th Congressional District

Last Update: December 2004
No future updates

Other Names

Richmond, Fredricksburg and Potomac

Current Site Status

All work has been completed at this site. EPA’s requirements made the site safe for people and the environment. By closing and re-grading existing outfalls and re-routing stormwater drains to the Four Mile Run, threats to the ecology were removed.

EPA found that all the work required by the Order has been satisfactorily completed with the exception of the continuous obligation for a stormwater-monitoring program, which continues.

Site Description

The Site served as a railroad switching and maintenance yard for over 85 years. Located in the City of Alexandria and the County of Arlington, Virginia, the site spans about 342 acres of land. This area is bordered by 27th Street to the north, Braddock Road to the south, U.S. Route 1 (Jefferson Davis Highway) to the west and the George Washington Memorial Parkway to the east. This is a very densely-populated area which continues to be developed for residential and commercial use.

Site Responsibility
An EPA Superfund Removal Order with Commonwealth Atlantic Land V Inc., a Potentially Responsible Party (PRP), is addressing the cleanup of the site.
NPL Listing History
This Site is not on the National Priorities List.

Threats and Contaminants

The Site was contaminated with metals - arsenic, lead and copper, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH). An underground plume of free product (diesel fuel and oil) continues to be recovered under the supervision of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

Cleanup Progress

The Site was used as a railroad switching yard by Norfolk Southern Corporation, Delaware and Hudson Railway, CSX Transportation, Consolidated Rail Corporation, and RF&P Railway. Locomotive engines were fueled at the Site from four 25,000 gallon above ground storage tanks (ASTs). Diesel fuel from these tanks was pumped through underground piping to a dispensing system in the fueling area of Potomac Yard. The Site has undergone extensive dismantling, including the removal of most of the switching track, locomotive maintenance facilities and associated buildings, and has subsequently been redeveloped.

In September 1992, EPA and RF&P signed a Consent Order requiring RF&P to study the extent of site contamination. This order also required RF&P to assess the risks that could be posed to people, plants and animals coming into contact with the site. EPA approved the contamination study and risk assessment in September and October 1995, respectively.

The pertinent findings of the risk assessment showed that Site contamination could lead to a lowered abundance and diversity of aquatic and bottom-dwelling species in Four Mile Run and the Potomac River. EPA required RF&P to conduct an Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA). This study evaluated actions to lessen the pollution threats to ecological receptors. The EE/CA was approved by EPA in June 1996. EPA also required RF&P to conduct an Off-Site Ecological Risk Assessment to assess potential risks to ecological receptors in Four Mile Run and the Potomac River. A public review period for the EE/CA and Administrative Record was available from July through September 1996. Based upon the results of the EE/CA, EPA and RF&P entered into the February 18, 1998 Consent Order.

All work is now completed.


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

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