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Abex Corporation

Demolition Begins of 20 Vacant Houses on Abex Site

Demolition is underway for 20 vacant houses in the Effingham Residential Area (ERA) of Portsmouth, Virginia. These houses are on the Abex Superfund Site and are currently owned by the Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority. The houses are being demolished to allow future construction of a municipal building. This project includes proper disposal of debris that will result from the demolition. Last spring, the houses were examined for asbestos. Asbestos was found in half of the homes, and was removed.

Conti Environmental, Inc. (Conti), an experienced cleanup firm, is the prime contractor for the demolition.

Pre-Demolition Activities

During the week of July 20, Conti began installing an eight-foot high chain-link fence around the perimeter of each of the two blocks surrounding the ERA houses. (See map.) Henry Street will be temporarily closed during the demolition and debris disposal operations.

Demolition Activities

Figure 1 The dotted lines on this map show the traffic patterns that the trucks and trailers will use to remove the debris from the site during the demolition phase.

Conti will begin the demolition at the block between Henry Street and Effingham Playground. All heavy equipment that Conti uses during the demolition will remain in the work areas until the project is complete. All demolition activity will take place between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. The City of Portsmouth noise ordinance restricts hours that construction can take place within the city.

During the demolition activities, Conti will apply water to each house being torn down to keep any dust from escaping into the air. Spraying the houses with water is the most effective and common way to ensure that dust is not released into the air. The water used for this procedure will be pumped from a water truck and/or fire hydrant.

After the houses are demolished, Conti will load the debris into trucks for disposal. Loaded trucks will follow the haul routes as shown in the map. The haul routes were chosen to minimize the impact of truck traffic and noise on the community. To protect public health and safety, any truck that has come into contact with contaminated soils will be properly cleaned before it leaves the site.

Post Demolition Activities

After the demolition, Conti will place a layer of clean soil over the ground surface enclosed by the footprint of any house that did not have a concrete slab underneath it. This will cover up any lead- contaminated soil exposed by the demolition of homes. Grass will be planted in the clean soil. The grass cover will prevent any lead migration until the municipal building is constructed.

Key Information About the Demolition

Abex Site Gets New EPA Remedial Project Manager

In June, Randy Sturgeon became EPA's Remedial Project Manager (RPM) for the Abex Corporation Superfund Site. Randy replaces Dave Iacono, who recently was promoted to another position within EPA. Randy will work closely with Community Involvement Coordinator Lisa Brown to ensure that the Abex community remains informed of site activities.

"I look forward to helping clean up this site, and providing a cleaner neighborhood for the community." said Sturgeon.

For More Information...

For more information about the Abex Corporation Superfund Site, please contact one of the following EPA representatives:

Randy Sturgeon (3HS23)
Remedial Project Manager
U.S. EPA, Region III
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029

Lisa Brown (3HS43)
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA, Region III
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029

To Review Site Records

Information about the Abex Site is available for review in the Administrative Record File, EPA's official collection of documents, data, reports and other information that supports EPA's decision on cleanup of the site. You may review the Administrative Record at the following locations:

Portsmouth Library
Main Branch
601 Court Street
Portsmouth, Virginia
Contact: Susan Burton

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
629 East Main Street, 4th Floor
Richmond, Virginia
Contact: Paul Kohler

Visit EPA on the World Wide Web

EPA maintains a location on the World Wide Web that you can access through the Internet. The Web site houses information for all ten EPA regions. To access information about EPA Region III, follow these instructions:

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

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