Current Site Information
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)Virginia
2 miles west of Salem
EPA ID# VAD980712970
6th Congressional District
Last Update: October 2005
No future updates
Current Site StatusThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in conjunction with the Commonwealth of Virginia determined that the site contamination no longer posed a threat to human health or the environment, and EPA deleted the site from the National Priorities List on December 27, 1988. EPA completed its second and final five-year review of the Site in September 2004. EPA has concluded that the site should pose no unacceptable risk to the health of the local residents or the environment.
Site DescriptionThe Matthews Electroplating Site located in Roanoke County, Virginia (6th Congressional District) was a 1.7-acre site that plated automobile bumpers by a process using chromium and nickel from 1972 until 1976. In response to complaints of discolored drinking water from local residents in November 1975, the Virginia State Water Control Board (SWCB) confirmed groundwater contaminated with chromium and soil contaminated with chromium, nickel, and cyanide were a result of poor waste management practices. Liquid waste from the plating operation had been discharged directly onto the ground and drained to a sinkhole beneath the property. In 1976, the SWCB issued an Emergency Order that prohibited the further discharge of electroplating waste from the plant. The facility went out of business in 1977 and was then used as a small-scale pig farming operation. Subsequent investigations performed by the SWCB and EPA determined that the on-site well and ten local residential wells were contaminated with hexavalent chromium. The population within 3 miles of the site is approximately 3,000.
Site ResponsibilityCleanup of this site was the responsibility of Federal and State governments.
NPL Listing HistoryThis site was proposed to the National Priorities List of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites requiring long term remedial action on December 30, 1982. The site was formally added to the list on September 8, 1983, making it eligible for federal cleanup funds. The site was deleted from the list on January 19, 1989.
Threats and Contaminants
Groundwater was contaminated with chromium residues from the former electroplating operations. Soil was contaminated with chromium, nickel, and cadmium. Potential threats included accidental ingestion or direct contact with contaminated ground water or soil. As a result of the cleanup, EPA in conjunction with the Commonwealth of Virginia determined that the site no longer posed a threat to human health or the environment.
Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.
n 1979, the owner of the property removed waste materials, constructed diversion ditches, and covered parts of the area with clay cap. In the spring of 1983, EPA selected a remedy to protect local ground water users from drinking contaminated ground water. The selected remedy provided for extending the municipal water supply from the water treatment plant in nearby Salem, VA to residences near the site. The EPA constructed the water line and 28 homes were connected in 1986. In 1987, EPA conducted soil sampling and additional groundwater sampling which demonstrated that no further cleanup actions were needed. In 1988, EPA removed approximately 1,500 gallons of chromium and mercury waste solution and sludges that were contained in drums and tanks. Subsequently, EPA in conjunction with the Commonwealth of Virginia determined that the site no longer posed a threat to human health or the environment, and EPA deleted the site from the NPL. EPA completed its second and final five-year review of the Site in September 2004. EPA has concluded that the site should pose no unacceptable risk to human health under a residential exposure scenario.