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Abex Corporation


EPA recently approved three final Remedial Design Work Plans for the Abex Corporation Superfund Site (Abex Site) located in Portsmouth, Virginia. The Remedial Design Work Plans outline the designs and plan for action for the site cleanup that EPA chose and described in the Record of Decision. The three work plans address the following cleanup activities:

Soon Abex, under the supervision of EPA, plans to begin the actual cleanup activities outlined in the Remedial Design Work Plans. However, before that part of the cleanup begins, Abex must develop the Conceptual, Pre-final, and Final Designs for excavating and treating the contaminated soil. These designs consist of the following:

Conceptual Design
This part includes cost estimates for the cleanup work and preliminary drawings for construction and demolition activities.
Pre-final Design
This part presents guidelines for construction of the air monitoring system, the onsite soil treatment facility and other aspects of the cleanup program. Details for contract bidding are also included.
Final Design
This part describes EPA's final decision about cleanup activities at the site.

In addition, EPA will include plans to address health and safety issues associated with the cleanup in the Remedial Design activities.


In March 1997, Abex is scheduled to begin demolishing the former Abex Foundry Buildings in order to remove some of the contamination at the site. Also, the five row homes on Seventh Street will be demolished.


During the demolition, EPA will place air monitors downwind of the foundry buildings. EPA will monitor daily wind direction and conduct air sampling activities in order to ensure the safety of residents. EPA will move these sampling and monitoring locations to account for changes in wind direction.

Also, Abex will spray water over on-site dust and install dust barriers to ensure contaminated dust is not carried off-site by wind. One of these barriers will be a tall fence or wall to prevent dust from being blown off-site.

If EPA receives data from its monitoring and sampling locations suggesting contamination is moving off-site, EPA will stop operations immediately and correct the problem.


Before beginning the demolition, EPA will relocate temporarily those citizens living immediately next to the areas where EPA will be working. EPA is relocating residents to ensure their safety during demolition activities. During demolition activities, contaminated dust could be released.

In addition, EPA will relocate other residents if monitoring and sampling data indicate that contamination is threatening their safety. These residents include those who do not live immediately next to, but are downwind of the site where EPA will be conducting cleanup activities.

EPA is preparing a Resident's Guide to Temporary Relocation which will provide information about the temporary relocation process. Once the guide is complete, EPA will send it to residents who will be relocated.


The major cleanup activities at the site will include the following:


In September 1992, EPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD), and amended the ROD in August 1994. The ROD formally outlines the cleanup action for the Abex Corporation Superfund Site. In December 1995, the Abex Corporation, the City of Portsmouth, and the Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority (PRHA) agreed to design and conduct the cleanup work by signing a Consent Decree with EPA.


EPA maintains two information repositories for the Abex Site. An information repository houses public information of all types concerning the Abex Site, the site's cleanup activities, and the Superfund process in general. EPA uses all these documents to make decisions about the site, particularly the cleanup. The locations of the nearby information repositories for the Abex Site are:

Portsmouth Library
Main Branch
601 Court Street
Portsmouth, VA 23704
(804) 393-8501
Contact: Susan Burton

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
629 East Main Street, 4th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 698-4208
Contact: Paul Kohler

As more documents related to the site cleanup are released, EPA will place these in the information repositories for public review. In addition, once the Remedial Design is completed, EPA will meet with the community to discuss the design.


Lisa Brown (3HW43)
Community Involvement Coordinator
(215) 814-5528 or (800) 553-2509

Randy Sturgeon (3HS23)
Remedial Project Manager
(215) 814-3227

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Region III
1650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029

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

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