Big John Salvage – Hoult Road
EPA ID: WVD054827944
Fairmount, West Virginia 26554
Congressional District: 1st
Other Names: Big John Salvage
Last Updated: July 2014
The EPA is dedicated to providing you with timely and accurate information about our work at this site. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact:
Carrie Dietzel 215-814-5525, 1-800-553-2509
On This Page
- On September 30, 2010 - EPA issued an Action Memorandum which considered public comments on an Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) and selected the response action required to clean up the site.
- The memorandum requires construction of a cap over contaminated soil and upgrades to an existing groundwater containment system on the upland portion of the Site. The cap will be designed in a manner that will allow the site to be safely redeveloped or to provide wildlife habitat.
- The memorandum also requires cleanup measures to protect the Monongahela River portion of the site. These measures include removal of a "hotspot" of industrial waste on the river bottom. This waste is referred to as black semi-solid deposits, or BSD. Stained sediments with high levels of coal tar derivatives surrounding the toxic hotspot will also be removed. The BSD and stained sediments will be excavated and transported to a treatment or disposal facility.
- In October 2012 three companies -- Exxon Mobil Corp., Vertellus Specialties Inc., and CBS Corp.—entered into a consent decree with EPA and WVDEP agreeing to perform cleanup work selected in the action memorandum and reimburse the EPA and the state of West Virginia $11 million for past cleanup costs at the Site.
- September 2013, EPA and WVDEP approved plans and schedules for the completion of pre-design investigations and remedial designs.
- Pre-design investigations began in October 2013 will extend into summer 2014. Engineering Design is scheduled for fall 2014 through spring 2015. Full-scale cleanup work is scheduled to begin in 2015.
- Work is currently ongoing to prevent the release of tar seeps to surface water and the Monongahela River. Since 2001, more than 15.3 million gallons of contaminated water have been captured in a collection system and cleansed in a series of water treatment systems before they could enter the river.
- Early activities included removing piles of crushed fluorescent light bulbs containing mercury and lead and controlling the migration of contaminants from the site with engineering controls, including a sedimentation basin which is periodically cleaned and maintained.
- The Big John Salvage Hoult Road Site is located on approximately 38 acres on the east side of Fairmount, Marion County, West Virginia, near the east bank of the Monongahela River, with deciduous forest surrounding the site to the north and east.
- The Sharon Steel/Fairmont Coke Superfund Site is located on the southern side, Hoult Road borders to the north and the Monongahela River borders the site to the west.
- The area surrounding the site is composed of a mixture of light industrial and residential properties.
- Between 1925 and 1973, the site was owned by Reilly Corporation or its predecessor companies (Reilly, now doing business as Vertellus) and was used primarily in the processing of approximately 12,000 gallons per day of crude tar from the nearby Domestic Coke Corporation (predecessor of ExxonMobil).
- Crude tar was pumped from tank cars to storage tanks, and later separated by distillation and condensation processes. The creosote product was sold as a wood preserving compound. Acid oil was removed and treated in an extraction unit to remove phenol, and the tar was sold for road construction. The oil would then be cooled to remove naphthalene and other compounds which were then sold as a product. Remaining crude acids were usually shipped to other Reilly plants for final processing.
- Wastes from the tar refining process were retained in "ponds" near the southern property line or disposed in various areas on-site. The ponds also received wastes from the three on-site sewers and several drainage ditches. All cooling waters, acid wastes, and tar wastes were supposed to pass through the pond. Discharge from the retention pond flowed through a pipe into an unnamed tributary which emptied into the Monongahela River. Coal tar seeps and constituents of the coal tar refining process were found to be actively discharging from the site.
- In January 1973, Reilly sold its property on Hoult road to Big John’s Salvage, who owned and operated a metal, glass and oil salvaging operation at the site until 1997.
- During this time of ownership, Big John Salvage accepted various scrap and salvageable materials from Westinghouse Electric, including fluorescent light bulbs containing mercury and other hazardous substances, lead dust and mercury-tainted waste oil.
- The property was sold via Sheriff’s sale due to failure to pay property taxes. In 2010 the land was divided and parcels were acquired by Waco Oil and Gas, and ABC Lands.
- On February 4, 2000, the site was proposed to the National Priorities List, a register of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites requiring long-term cleanup.
- On July 27, 2000, the site was formally added to the list, making it eligible for federal cleanup funds.
NPL Listing History
|Status: Final||Added: July 27, 2000|
- EPA is addressing the Site through short-term removal actions and concurrent long-term environmental studies.
- EPA determined that short-term actions were necessary to: 1) prevent heavy metals, such as mercury, from migrating from piles of glass cullet (crushed fluorescent light bulbs), and 2) to prevent continued migration of coal tar-like material into the site tributaries leading to the Monongahela river.
- In 2000, Viacom (successor to Westinghouse) entered into an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) with EPA, wherein they agreed to address the cullet piles and to stabilize other areas so that hazardous materials would not leave the site. The cullet piles were then excavated and sent to appropriately permitted facilities for disposal.
- In August 2001, EPA reviewed and approved the Final Report for the cullet removal, conducted under the AOC.
- Reilly declined to enter into an AOC focusing on the coal tar wastes. Accordingly, EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO) directing Reilly to undertake certain response actions necessary to prevent the release of coal tar-related hazardous substances to the environment. Reilly mobilized to the Site and began to stabilize the site by cleaning out oily wastes from tributaries and installing a collection and treatment system capable of capturing a majority of oily, tar-like, contamination moving down the East and Middle tributary toward the Sharon Steel Run.
- In late 2001, disagreements between the parties concerning response actions caused EPA to take over all the work except the continued operation of the seep collection and treatment system.
- In October 2009, EPA completed the Remedial Investigation and released for public comment an EE/CA evaluating options for cleaning the site up. EPA recommended that the site be capped with an impermeable cap, that contaminated seeps and ground water be captured and treated and that tarry wastes deposited upon the bottom of the Monongahela River be removed. The plan was finalized in September 2010.
- In October 2012 three companies entered into a consent decree with EPA and WVDEP agreeing to perform the cleanup work selected in the action memorandum.
- Specific contaminants detected in the surface water, sediments and soils include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, , inorganic chemicals such as mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic, and semi-volatile polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), such as napthalene and benzo(a)pyrene from former site activities.
- Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.
- To search an on-line database of all documents and reports on the Big John Salvage site, go to EPA’s Administrative Record Database.
- All documents and reports can also be reviewed in person at these locations:
Marion County Public Library
321 Monroe Street
Fairmont, WV 26554
U.S. EPA Region III
1650 Arch Street-6th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Call for an appointment.
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest are accessible below.
ATSDR's Public Health Assessment (PDF) (112 pp, 1.16MB)
Hazard Ranking System (HRS) Documentation Record*
* The documentation record provided is available at the time of proposal for informational purposes. An official copy of the documentation record and the documents referenced in it are available at the EPA Region 3 NPL Public Docket at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for Environmental Information.
HRS DOCUMENTATION RECORD - REVIEW COVER SHEET (PDF) (61 pp, 167K)
Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (PDF) (333 pp, 28.0MB)
- Submit a FOIA Request
Get instructions on how to submit a FOIA request. $Fee$ for requests over 100 pages.
|Coal tar derived wastes being excavated from the headwaters of the western tributary|
(Click on a thumbnail to enlarge the photo)
- http://www.epa.gov/superfund/community/today/pdfs/TIS%20FINAL%209.13.11.pdfThis is Superfund: A Community Guide to EPA's Superfund Program (PDF) (12 pp, 1.1MB)
- Site Progress Profile — a quick reference sheet, linking to EPA's Headquarters.
- Fact Sheets
October 2009 (PDF) (2 pp, 76.6k)
September 2006 (PDF) (2 pp, 709K)
- Public Notices
October 2009 (PDF) (1 p, 103K)
- Press Releases
08/20/2012 - Responsible parties to pay $29.8 million in cleanup costs
02/03/2000 - Site Added and Three Proposed to EPA Hazardous Site List
- This site currently does not meet the criteria for Site-wide Ready for Anticipated Use; however parts of the site may be suitable for reuse.
- Want more information about how to reuse a Superfund site?