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Buckingham County Landfill


The Love Container-Buckingham County Landfill Superfund Site is located on a 125-acre property owned by Buckingham County.

The Site consists of a 2-acre hazardous waste disposal area. A 7-acre domestic waste landfill is located directly south of the Site. Several companies, including Thomasville Furniture Industries, Inc., used the Site to dispose of various wastes between 1962 and 1983. As a result of these disposal activities, the Site ground water is contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified cleanup actions for the Site in the September 1994 Record of Decision (ROD). These actions include constructing a multi-layered cap over the area of the Site where hazardous wastes were disposed (see map on page 2) and implementing a long-term ground water monitoring program.

The cap will prevent rainwater from coming in contact with hazardous waste and reduce the amount of contamination trickling into the ground water supply. The ground water monitoring program will help EPA determine when and if further cleanup actions are needed (i.e., installing a ground water pump and treat system).


In the Spring of 1996, the contractor hired by Thomasville, Parsons Engineering Science, Inc., completed pre-cleanup activities at the Love Container-Buckingham County Landfill Superfund Site. This work involved developing new topographic maps for the Site and conducting a landfill gas survey. These pre-cleanup activities have provided information needed to design the multi-layered cap. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are acting as EPA's representatives on Site. EPA and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ) will continue to have oversight of all cleanup activities.


In order to determine if a gas monitoring system will be required as part of the multi-layer cap, Parsons conducted a landfill gas survey. This survey is important to the design of the cap because a build-up of gas could potentially damage the cap. In addition, the presence of VOCs and methane in significant concentrations in the landfill gas would require treatment. To conduct the landfill gas survey, probes were driven into the ground in and around the barrel trench area of the Site (see map on page 2).

The landfill gas survey was conducted in two phases. The purpose of the first phase was to determine if landfill gasses from organic decay in the domestic waste landfill were migrating into the Hazardous Waste Disposal Area. Samples collected during Phase I were screened to determine if methane, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and VOCs were present. Phase I of the landfill gas survey was completed on June 26, 1996. Phase II of the survey involved laboratory analysis to determine the concentration of methane and VOCs in the landfill gas. Phase II was completed on July 15, 1996 and the Landfill Gas Survey Report of findings was submitted to EPA on July 31, 1996.

As a result of the landfill gas survey, Parsons offered the following conclusions:

EPA will consider these conclusions when evaluating the design of the multi-layer cap.


The Remedial Design Work Plan, which provides the framework for constructing the multi-layer cap, was approved by EPA in May of 1996.

Parsons submitted the Preliminary Design for the multi-layer cap to EPA and VADEQ on September 16, 1996. EPA and VADEQ reviewed the documents and provided comments to Parsons on October 11, 1996. The Pre-Final Design Documents (90% Design) are due to EPA by November 25, 1996.

Once the final design of the cap is ready for approval, EPA will hold a public meeting in the local community to advise citizens what they can expect during the construction activity phase at the Site. Parsons has submitted a schedule for starting construction of the cap in November 1998. EPA and VADEQ will work toward improving this schedule so construction of the cap can begin sooner than Fall of 1998.


EPA's 1994 Record of Decision required additional study of the ground water at the Site to fully characterize the extent of the ground water contamination. This study is necessary for the development of an effective long-term ground water monitoring system. The additional ground water investigation involves four rounds of sampling which will occur over an approximate twelve month period. The first two ground water sampling events have been completed.

The first ground water sampling event involved sampling 15 existing monitoring wells on the Site. This sampling was conducted from May 13 through May 17, 1996. The results of this sampling event indicate that ground water contamination conditions are similar to the conditions observed during the Remedial Investigation sampling conducted at the Site in 1992. Therefore, it appears that the ground water contamination plume has not migrated since 1992.

The second ground water sampling event involved sampling the 15 existing monitoring wells and sampling 12 additional locations where temporary wells, known as cone penetrometers, were installed. The information gained from the cone penetrometers will not only help to define the extent of the ground water contamination, but will also determine the best locations to install additional permanent monitoring wells. These permanent wells will be sampled during rounds three and four of the additional ground water study. The third sampling round is scheduled for December 1996.


As EPA has expressed to the citizens of Buckingham and surrounding counties at previous public meetings, EPA will not require the taxpayers of Buckingham County or the County to pay any amount of money to EPA in conjunction with the Site cleanup.

EPA drafted a Consent Decree, which is envisioned to be signed by both EPA and Buckingham County officials, to clearly define the County's role in the Site cleanup. This Consent Decree outlines the County's responsibilities (i.e., provide Site road access, maintain the Site fence, etc.) and does not require the County to pay any monetary amount to EPA for the Site cleanup.

Also very important, the Consent Decree will protect Buckingham County from law suits filed by other potentially responsible parties at the Site. It is anticipated that a "draft" of the Consent Decree will be forwarded to the Buckingham County administrators once the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) provides EPA with comments on the draft document. As this draft is reviewed and commented on by EPA, DOJ, and Buckingham County legal staff, a final Consent Decree will be prepared for final approval and signature by all parties, then lodged and entered in Federal District Court.


Information on the Buckingham County Landfill Site is available in EPA's local information repository. This information can be found at the address listed below.

Buckingham County Library
Route 4, Box 530
Dillwyn, VA 23936

If you have any questions about the Love Container-Buckingham County Landfill, please contact:

Christian Matta
Remedial Project Manager
1650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
(215) 814-2317

Patrick Gaughan (3HW43)
410 Methodist Building
Wheeling, WV 26003
Community Involvement Coordinator

If you have a Site-related concern that needs to be resolved, or if you have questions or concerns about other issues, please contact John Armstead, EPA's Ombudsman, at 1-800-438-2474.

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