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Dixie Caverns County Landfill

EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)

Roanoke County

EPA ID# VAD980552095

6th Congressional District

Last Update: January 2015 - No Further Updates

Other Names


Current Site Status

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a final close-out report for the Dixie Caverns County Landfill site in 1997. The Site was deleted from the National Priorities List of most hazardous waste sites in 2001. Currently, EPA completed the third five-year review report for the Site in2012 and completed an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) to implement institutional controls (ICs)in January 1013. The County of Roanoke conducts quarterly inspections of the Site and reports are sent to EPA. The county reestablished vegetation within the bare patch ground near the monofill cap and properly sloped the area to allow proper water drainage. EPA is planning a to conduct a general ecological health assessment of the Site.

Site Description

Dixie Caverns County Landfill is a 39-acre site which was operated as an unlicensed municipal landfill. The landfill is currently owned and was operated by the County of Roanoke from 1965 until its closure in 1976. During operation, the landfill accepted an estimated 440,000 cubic yards of municipal and industrial wastes including refuse, scrap metal, fly ash (emission control dust) from an electric arc furnace, and other unidentified industrial waste. In addition to the landfill, the Site included three other disposal areas: a discarded drum area, an organic sludge pit, and a fly ash pile. The sludge pit soils and the drum disposal area were found to be contaminated with volatile organic compounds. Runoff water from the fly ash pile contaminated the drainage area and sediments of a nearby stream with heavy metals. An estimated 1,990 people reside in 525 dwellings within 3 miles of the Site. These are served by private water supply wells.
Site Responsibility
Cleanup of this site was the responsibility of federal and state governments and parties potentially responsible for site contamination.
NPL Listing History
This site was proposed to the National Priorities List of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites requiring long term remedial action on January 22, 1987. The Site was formally added to the list October 4, 1989, making it eligible for federal cleanup funds. The Site was deleted in 2001, as all actions have been completed. Five-year reviews will continue to be conducted to ensure that the remedy is functioning properly and is protective.

Threats and Contaminants

The on-site sludge pit soil was found to be contaminated primarily with aromatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from former disposal practices. Organic chemical contamination was found in the soils in the drum disposal area. Runoff water from the fly ash pile had contaminated the drainage area with metals. In addition, contamination was found in stream sediments immediately downstream of the fly ash pile. Prior to cleanup actions completed in 1997, conditions at the site were a threat to surface water.

Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.

Cleanup Progress

In June 1983, EPA conducted a preliminary assessment of the site and observed four potential sources of hazardous waste contamination, a drum disposal area, a sludge pit, a fly ash pile, and an area of uncontrolled runoff from the site entering a nearby stream. Roanoke County signed a Consent Agreement and Order with EPA to conduct a removal action for the discarded drum area and the sludge pit. In 1991 a Record of Decision (ROD) was issued that selected excavation and high temperature metals recovery treatment at a permitted facility to address the 9,000 cubic yard fly ash pile. EPA negotiated an agreement with the responsible parties to implement the selected remedy. By having the responsible parties implement the remedy EPA saved an estimated $4,000,000 in trust fund money. This response action was completed in 1995.

In a final response action for the site, EPA and the responsible parties signed an Administrative Order on Consent for Removal Action to excavate, treat and dispose of the contaminated stream sediments. The contaminated sediments were treated and stabilized to neutralize the contaminated waste and disposed in a landfill constructed on site. This response action was successfully completed in the summer 1997. In January 2013, ICs were implemented at the Site to ensure that the stabilized waste left in the landfill is not disturbed.

The site was deleted from the National Priorities List in 2001, as all actions have been completed. Five Year Reviews will continue to be conducted to ensure that the remedy is functioning properly and is protective.

EPA is currently preparing the third five-year review report for the site.


Site Contacts

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