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Fact Sheet July 1996

What's Happening at the Avtex Fibers Site?

EPA and FMC Continue Joint Study

EPA and FMC, a potentially responsible party for the site, are conducting a joint study of the Avtex Fibers Site. As you may remember from the previous fact sheet issued in December 1994, EPA and FMC have divided the areas at the site that need to be examined. Both EPA and FMC are conducting sampling and testing to find out what contaminants are present and in what amounts. The information from these studies will be incorporated into separate reports.

EPA's major objectives for this investigation are to examine the site's sewer system and the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. EPA is sampling wastes from selected locations throughout the sewer lines. EPA plans to take samples from miles of sewer lines. The area where sampling will be done extends from the existing main plant facilities all the way to the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. EPA also is taking soil samples in areas down hill from the major sewer lines. This work will help EPA better understand the sewer system and how much it contributes to the contamination of the subsurface soils and ground water.

EPA also will sample surface water and sediment from the South Fork of the Shenandoah River and will examine fish tissue samples. This sampling will help EPA determine if contaminated ground water, discharges, or run-off from the site have affected the river, fish, and other plants and animals living there.

FMC to Sample Additional Areas

FMC Corporation completed a summary report in August 1994 that describes the types and amounts of contaminants at the site obtained from the first round of sampling and whether more investigation of the contamination at the site was necessary. EPA and FMC found several gaps in the data about the contaminants at the site. EPA asked FMC to perform additional sampling and to write a second report on their findings to fill in the data gaps.

On May 15, 1995, FMC submitted a Field Sampling Plan to EPA for review. This plan details the additional work that needs to be performed at the site to identify and describe more fully the contamination in the soils, ground water, surface water seeps, and sediments at the site and in the ground water away from the site.

FMC Examines Open Areas

In a separate effort, FMC Corporation is investigating three open areas at the site. The first area, Area A, is the open area southeast of the guardhouse and north of shipping warehouse #3. Area B is the open field southwest of the guard house and Area C is the facility parking lot. (Please see the diagram for further information.) FMC began the work at the three areas during the week of June 19, 1995. The Warren County Redevelopment Corporation is considering these open areas for future development. EPA cannot legally allow access to these areas to the community until they are certain that the areas are considered safe for future workers. FMC's investigation will move this process forward.

Upcoming Work at the Site

Currently, EPA is looking into demolishing buildings at the Avtex Fibers Site. There are approximately 30 acres of buildings at the site that are in poor condition. Many of these buildings still contain chemicals that were used at the site when it was active. EPA fears that if any of the buildings collapse, the chemicals stored there could be released into the environment. EPA will finalize plans to conduct the demolition shortly.

Along with demolishing the buildings, EPA is proposing to place the debris from the destroyed buildings into a landfill on the site. This landfill is a basin at the site that currently is used to hold fly ash from the former site power plant. If EPA decides to use the basin to hold building debris, adjustments would be made to it to comply with state regulations.

Because not all of the building debris would be contaminated, EPA is evaluating different landfilling options. These options include:

Regardless of which option is chosen, EPA assures the community that the landfill(s) will comply with state regulations and will protect human health and the environment. In order to comply with the regulations for a landfill (or portions of a landfill) EPA may need to install a liner, leachate collection system, and monitoring wells. EPA would use samples from the monitoring wells to make sure the enclosed debris is not affecting the environment.

After EPA completes a thorough investigation of the landfilling options, EPA will send an additional fact sheet that explains landfill containment in greater detail to all residents on the mailing list. Residents will receive this fact sheet in the next few months.

In the near future, EPA plans to conduct soil sampling in wooded areas near the site. EPA first must get permission to access these areas. EPA used a computer-generated report to determine if the Avtex Fibers Plant possibly affected areas near the site. The areas EPA will sample have not been disturbed or sampled since activities began at the site. EPA will use the results of this sampling to determine whether site contamination affected areas outside of the site. EPA also will determine whether additional sampling is needed. If necessary, EPA will add these outside areas to the overall clean-up process.

For More Information

Remedial Project Manager
Bonnie Gross

Community Involvement Coordinator
Richard Kuhn

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

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