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Ordnance Works Disposal Area

EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)

West Virginia
Monongalia County
One mile south of Morgantown

EPA ID# WVD000850404

1st Congressional District

Last Update: January 2015

Other Names

Morgantown Ordnance Works

Current Site Status

EPA issued the final Record of Decision (ROD) in September 1999. It required the excavation and off-site thermal treatment of all tar-like material from the Lagoon Area, Scraped Area and from the stream sediments. The final ROD also required the consolidation of soils and sediments contaminated with metals and polyaromatic hydrocarbons into the existing on-site landfill and covering the landfill with a multi-layer impermeable cap. The remedy included the backfilling and restoration of the excavated areas and the restoration of streams and wetlands. Maintenance of the fence, long-term monitoring, and institutional controls to prohibit residential development or installation of schools and child care facilities insured overall protectiveness in both the short and long-term.

Design of the remedy was initiated in 2000 by the Responsible Parties and the first phase was approved by EPA in July 2001. Excavation activities began in the fall of 2001 while the design of the landfill cap was completed. Approximately 5000 cubic yards of tar-like material and additives were sent off site for thermal treatment to the Grant Tower Power Plant which processed the tar by using it as fuel. An additional 40,000 cubic yards of material were placed in the existing landfill and it was graded and compacted throughout 2002. Treatment wetlands, consisting of three ponds, were constructed to treat any leachate from the landfill, and a 1.05-acre replacement wetland was constructed in 2002, along the Monongahela River. Placement of the final landfill cover system began in May 2003 and the final inspection was in September 2003.

A final Operation and Maintenance/Post Closure Plan was submitted in August 2003 and a final Field Sampling Plan for the Operation and Maintenance Phase of the Remedial Action was submitted by the Responsible Parties in September 2003. EPA prepared the first Five Year Review Report in September 2006 to evaluate the protectiveness of the remedy. The Responsible Parties have been conducting the required sampling and operation and maintenance activities and have implemented the institutional controls in the form of a universal environmental covenant, as well as the other recommendations noted in the Five Year Review Report. The 2011 Five Year Review concluded that the remedy remains protective and is functioning as intended. A revised final Operation and Maintenance/Post-Closure Plan was submitted on April 13,2012; it replaces the August 2003 plan.

The Five Year Review Report is aviable online at EPA's Five Year Review site.

Site Description

The Ordnance Works Disposal Areas site, located in Monongalia County, West Virginia, consists of a six-acre disposal area and a manufacturing plant area which is over 100 acres. The site is in a relatively rural location; the population within one mile is approximately 100. The adjacent Monongahela River supplies drinking water to approximately 60,000 residents, and the water intake is less than a mile downstream of the site. Many private companies operated chemical production facilities at this site since 1941, including ammonia and methanol production, operation of a coke plant, and production of various other organic chemicals. These companies became PRPs for the site. Contaminated materials from the manufacturing processes were disposed in the disposal area which includes: a landfill, former lagoons, and contaminated soils and sediments. The disposal area is referred to as Operable Unit 1
(OU1). Evidence of contamination was also found in a number of locations throughout the manufacturing plant area. The manufacturing plant area is referred to as OU2.

Site Responsibility
This site is being addressed through Federal and potentially responsible parties' actions.
NPL Listing History
Proposed Date: 10/15/84
Final Date: 06/10/86

Threats and Contaminants

At OU1, sediments and soils in and around the landfill and the former lagoon area are contaminated with heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Potential health hazards include accidentally ingesting or directly contacting these contaminated media. OU2 consisted of isolated areas of soil and sediment contamination, mostly within concrete lined sumps and pits. Contaminants at OU2 included: PAHs, lead, mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Potential health hazards include direct contact with contaminants and miscellaneous physical hazards.

Cleanup Progress

In 1989, EPA selected cleanup actions in a ROD for the disposal area of the plant, referred to as Operable Unit (OU1). The remedy calls for: construction of a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)-type cap on the landfill; bioremediation of soils and sediments contaminated with (PAHs); solidification of soils contaminated with heavy metals; and post-remediation monitoring to ensure the effectiveness of the cleanup action.

Treatability studies for bioremediation were completed in March of 1997. At that time, it was determined that bioremediation could not meet the cleanup standards set in the ROD within a reasonable time-frame and would not be cost-effective. In the Spring of 1997, the Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) submitted a proposal to conduct a Focused Feasibility Study (FFS) to identify a more effective remedy for OU1. The FFS was approved by EPA in September of 1998. EPA issued a Proposed Remedial Action Plan identifying a new remedy for OU1 on June 7, 1999. In September 1999, EPA formalized the new remedy in a ROD.

A Remedial Investigation (RI) of the manufacturing plant area (OU2) was completed in 1995. The RI report included a proposal to do a removal action. EPA executed a Consent Order for a Removal Action with the PRPs (September, 1996). The removal action work was completed in June of 1997. The removal action included: off-site disposal of soils/sediments; removal of water/debris from on-site sumps and pits; backfilling/re-vegetating excavated areas; and eliminating physical hazards. No further Superfund activity is anticipated for OU2.

An interim action was completed in 1996, in the OU1 disposal area, to address immediate concerns and expedite pre-design activities. This action included: fencing the disposal area; off-site disposal of drummed wastes; soil and sediment sampling for the purpose of volume estimation; and wetlands delineation. Implementation of the design was carried out through a phased approach, with phase 1 being the off-site thermal treatment of the tar-like material and construction of a mitigation wetland. Implementation of Phase II began in mid-August 2002 and included the construction of the RCR-style cap over the on-site landfill, excavation and consolidation of contaminated sediments, and construction of a treatment wetlands for treatment of the landfill leachate. Coal tar related oil contamination was encountered during the final phases of the off-site thermal treatment of tar material and was addressed through an expanded investigation. Construction was completed in September 2003. Currently, monitoring of the groundwater, landfill leachate, and discharge from the treatment wetlands is performed by the PRPs.


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