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Atlantic Wood Industries, Inc


This spring, Atlantic Wood Industries will carry out a removal action at the Atlantic Wood Industries Superfund Site (Site), located in Portsmouth, VA. A removal action is a short-term project that either takes away contamination or helps to stop contamination from moving. The removal project will seal up cracks and gaps in a storm sewer pipeline that is adjacent to the Site.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined the need for this removal action. It is one of many stages in cleaning up the Site. In the past as well as to date, Atlantic Wood Industries has financed its efforts required for investigating and cleaning up the Site.


The storm sewer pipeline is adjacent to the Site. It runs along Elm Avenue (see map) and discharges into the Elizabeth River. Part of the sewer will be lined in order to prevent Site contamination from entering it and discharging into the river. The contaminants are substances that were used in the wood-treating process, such as creosote and its by-products.

The project will take about two weeks to complete. Atlantic Wood Industries, owner of this Site, has hired Chester Environmental to carry out actions to address Site contamin-ation. EPA will monitor work done by Atlantic Wood's contractors.

All affected manholes, catch basins, and sewer mains will be inspected. If needed, they will be cleaned. All debris and water flushed from the sewer lines during cleaning will be stored and treated at the Atlantic Wood site. Stormwater flow will be managed so that the liner can be installed.

The storm sewer liner is a large, flexible tube. It is made of poly-ethylene and various resins (such as polyester, vinyl, and epoxies), sandwiched between polyester fiber felt. Water pressure is used to force the liner through the sewer pipes. The liner is then fitted in place by sealing the ends and then filling it with pressurized hot water. The high temperature causes the resins on the outside of the liner to react. When complete, the process results in a new and completely leak-free pipe liner encased in the existing sewer pipeline.


The company that manufactures the pipe liner has provided Atlantic Wood Industries and the EPA with a video that shows how the liner is installed.

If you would like to view the video, copies are available at the Craddock Public Library, and also at the three Information Repositories (see next page for addresses). Community groups can also obtain a copy of the video by calling Lisa Brown, EPA's Community Involvement Facilitator, at the (800) number listed on the next page.


Spring 1995: Community Involvement Interviews.
These interviews allow EPA to obtain your input on how we can best meet your needs for information. They also give you a chance to voice any concerns or questions you might have. Identities of interviewees are kept confidential. Call Lisa Brown if you would like to participate in an interview.
Spring: Community Meeting.
Meeting to explain the upcoming sediment removal action and answer questions.


Atlantic Wood will remove contaminated sediments from the inlet that is in the northeast corner of the Atlantic Wood property. Approximately 520 cubic yards (or, 9400 square feet of surface area) will be excavated. These sediments are contaminated with creosote, a substance used in the wood-treating process.

Creosote is a complex mixture of many chemicals. The type of creosote present at the Atlantic Wood Site is coal-tar creosote. It results from high-temperature treatment of coal. Coal-tar creosote is the most widely used wood preservative in the United States. It is used to treat wood products so that they are decay and weather resistant. The major chemicals in coal-tar creosote that can cause harmful health effects are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Coal-tar creosote is usually a heavy, oily liquid that is typically amber to brown in color. Mixtures of creosote and other coal-tar products are black. The creosote found at hazardous waste sites is most often a black, heavy liquid. It has a sharp smoky odor and a burning taste. It burns easily, but does not dissolve readily in water.


The Administrative Record is a compilation of legal and technical documents. It provides information and data which EPA used in deter-mining the need for a removal action.

The Record is updated as Site studies and investigative work progress. EPA encourages community members to review the Administrative Record.

Copies of the Record are available at the following libraries. Each of these Information Repositories has evening and weekend hours, is handicapped-accessible, and has photocopying facilities.

Portsmouth Municipal Library
Court Street
Portsmouth, VA  23704
(804) 393-8501

Kirn Memorial Library
City Hall Avenue
Norfolk, VA  23501
(804) 441-2579

Chesapeake Public Library
Feeder Street
Chesapeake, VA  23320
(804) 547-6592

CALL EPA TOLL-FREE AT (800) 553-2509

EPA has set up an (800) phone number so that it is more convenient for community members to contact us. Call us on the (800) number to ask questions about the Site, get information sent to you, or add your name to our mailing list. When calling the (800) line for information on the Atlantic Wood site, ask for Vance Evans, EPA's Community Involvement Facilitator.


The following team members can be contacted for more information.

David Iacono (3HW41)
Project Manager
(215) 814-3231

Vance Evans (3EA30)
Community Involvement Facilitator
(215) 814-5526

You can also reach David or Vance by mail. Please include the code that follows the contact's name on any written correspondence. Their mailing address is:

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


EPA can grant up to $50,000 for citizen's groups to obtain assistance in interpreting information related to cleanups at Superfund sites. Grants are used to hire technical advisers to help them understand site-related information for the duration of response activities. Information on these Technical Assistance Grants (TAGs) can be found in the three Information Repositories. The repositories contain documents that explain: the purpose of TAGs, obligations of grant recipients, eligibility requirements, and how to apply for a grant. If you have any questions after reviewing these documents, please contact Vance Evans. Vance can provide your citizen's group with a grant application or further details.


The 47 1/2-acre Atlantic Wood Industries Site operated as an active wood-treating facility from 1926 to 1992. Contaminants from the wood preservatives used by Atlantic Wood have been found in soils, sediments and groundwater. In addition, 20,000 cubic feet of landfilled wood chips and other debris are contaminated with creosote and pentachlorophenol (PCP).

According to the State, contaminants at the site have entered the groundwater. This groundwater is infiltrating a city storm sewer that discharges into an intertidal drainage ditch. The drainage ditch is part of the South Branch of the Elizabeth River. The upcoming storm sewer pipeline removal action will prevent contaminated groundwater from entering this sewer.

The site is situated on the bank of the Elizabeth River, about seven miles from the Chesapeake Bay. Approximately 14,000 people work within a 1/2 mile radius of the site. The water supply for a three-mile radius area is provided by public utilities. Groundwater within this three-mile radius is not used as a water source.

In 1985 and 1986, leaking above- ground storage tanks containing 350,000 gallons of creosote and creosote-contaminated water were removed.

The Site was added to EPA's National Priorities List (NPL) in 1990. Sites listed on the NPL are eligible to receive Superfund funds for hazardous waste cleanup.

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

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