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Atlantic Wood Industries, Inc


On September 29, 1995, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Atlantic Wood Industries Superfund Site located in Portsmouth, Virginia. Atlantic Wood Industries operated a wood treating facility at the site from 1926 to 1992. The ROD announces EPA's cleanup plan for soils, sediments, and heavy liquids contaminated with creosote and other contaminants. Creosote is a chemical used in the wood treating industry. Cleanup plans for groundwater will be handled by a separate ROD.

EPA held a meeting on June 27, 1995 to discuss the results of previous investigations and studies at the site. This information is summarized in EPA's Proposed Remedial Action Plan, dated June 9, 1995. The Proposed Plan also outlined several cleanup options for each area of soil, sediment, and heavy liquid contamination. This plan also explains which cleanup option EPA would recommend, and why.

At the meeting on June 27, 1995, EPA addressed the community's questions and concerns about the site and the cleanup. In addition, a public comment period was held from June 9 to August 7, 1995. During this time frame, community members could comment and provide input on EPA's cleanup recommendations. EPA reviewed and responded to all of the comments and questions during the comment period before selecting a final cleanup action. These responses are included as part of the ROD and can be found at any of the three information repositories listed in the box to the right.


After carefully reviewing all of the cleanup options and comments, EPA selected the following courses of action.

On-site Soils and Sediments: Excavating an estimated 20,000 cubic yards of soils and 564 cubic yards of sediments; biologically treating the soil and sediments in an on-site treatment plot to break down the contaminants; and returning the treated soils and sediments back to the area from which they were removed. If the required cleanup levels are not reached, a back-up system involving low-temperature thermal treatment will be used.

The contaminated soils are located in the areas of the property known as the former Wood Treatment East Area, Wood Treatment West Area, Historic Disposal Area, and Wood Storage Area. Contaminated sediments are located in the Inlet Area, Storm Water Runoff Ditch, and Western Runoff Ditch.

Heavy Liquids (Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids): Installing new recovery wells and using existing wells to pump and retrieve the heavy liquids for reuse or disposal at off-site locations.

Southeast Ditch Sediments and Waste Lime Area Soils: Excavating an estimated 2,370 cubic yards of soil and 250 cubic yards of sediment; disposing of the excavated materials in an approved off-site landfill; and backfilling the excavated areas with clean soil.

During cleanup work, a groundwater and surface water monitoring program will be implemented to ensure that the cleanup efforts are effective. In addition, restrictions will be placed on the use of groundwater at the site, as well as restrictions on future site usage.


EPA soon will begin the next step in the cleanup process, which includes negotiating with the responsible parties to begin cleanup planning and implementation. Upon finalizing the cleanup design, and prior to beginning actual work, EPA will hold a public meeting in the local community. At this meeting, EPA will provide local residents with information on the upcoming work and its potential impact on the community. Prior to the meeting, a notice announcing the date, time, and location will be published in the Virginia Pilot & Ledger Star.

Other areas potentially affected by the site, including the ground water and the Elizabeth River, will be investigated separately. Once these studies are complete, EPA will again release a Proposed Plan and solicit community input.


Community members are encouraged to review and photocopy site-related material at any of the local information repositories. Each repository contains all of the site-related documents EPA used to select the cleanup methods for the site.

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

Kirn Memorial Library
301 E. City Hall Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23501
(804) 664-7323

Chesapeake Library
298 Cedar Road
Chesapeake, VA 23320
(804) 547-6592


EPA is available to answer questions or provide information on the Atlantic Wood Industries Site to local community members. Vance Evans, EPA's Community Involvement Coordinator, keeps residents, local officials, and the media updated on the progress of clean-up actions at the site. He can be reached at the address and phone numbers listed below.

Vance Evans
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA Region III - 3EA30
1650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
(800) 553-2509 or (215) 814-5526
e-mail: Evans.Vance@epa.gov

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