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Heizer Creek Landfill

EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)

West Virginia
Putnam County

EPA ID# WVD980538656

3rd Congressional District

Last Update: January 2008

Other Names


Current Site Status

The Monsanto Company, the Potentially Responsible Party (PRP), under an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrative Order on Consent (EPA Docket No. 03-99-036-DC), completed an EE/CA to outline the work deemed necessary by the EPA at the Heizer Creek Landfill Site in Putnam County, West Virginia. The work specified in this AOC included identifying 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) (dioxin) contamination at the site, and for the Monsanto Company to submit to EPA for approval an Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis Report which will describe cleanup levels protective of human health and the environment, as defined by a risk assessment and as approved by EPA. EPA has received and approved a Response Action Work Plan (RAP) in September ,2007 for Monsanto to complete a removal action pursuant to EPA Consent Decree, Docket No. CERC-03-2006-0002DC (Order). EPA is requiring the cleanup action in this order. Work is anticpated to begin in the Spring of 2008. EPA’s Pre-Remedial Program is concurrently conducting a Site Investigation (SI) to determine the site’s eligibility for the National Priorities List (NPL).

Site Description

The Heizer Creek Landfill Site is located in a remote area approximately one mile northeast of Poca, West Virginia off Heizer Creek road in Putnam County. The site is located on the eastern face of a small hollow overlooking the Pocatalico River. The site also consists of a small portion of a strip mine which was in operation during the late 1940's to early 1950's. The Heizer Creek landfill was operated from the late 1950's to the early 1960's by the City of Nitro as a landfill which accepted municipal and industrial rubbish. Information available to EPA indicates that Monsanto, during the period from 1948 to 1969, produced hazardous substances at their Nitro facility which contained dioxin. Additional information available to EPA indicates that Monsanto used the Heizer Creek landfill for approximately one year (1958-1959) for the disposal of plant wastes from its Nitro plant.
Site Responsibility
This Site is being addressed by a Potentially Responsible Party under an EPA Superfund Removal Order.
NPL Listing History
This Site is not currently on the National Priorities List.

Threats and Contaminants

After a reassessment of the Heizer Creek Landfill Site, EPA determined in July, 1999, that a threat to public health or welfare or the environment existed due to the release or threat of release of dioxin at the site. On or about March 29, 1999, EPA had received the analytical summaries from an earlier November, 1998 sampling event indicating 21.54 parts per billion of TCDD from a composite landfill sample. Another sample collected from the surface runoff stream indicated elevated TCDD levels of .021 ppb, possibly indicating the migration of dioxin from the Heizer Creek landfill. The residential homes located immediately down gradient of the landfill have been purchased by the PRP and will be removed in preparation for future cleanup work within the landfill. All previous residents have been relocated away from the site.

Cleanup Progress

In September, 1983, a preliminary investigation of the site was conducted by EPA’s contractor to determine if dioxin was present in surface and/or subsurface soils. Analytical results revealed that concentrations as high as 9.6 parts per billion of dioxin were detected in surface soil at the site. Monsanto conducted a similar study of the site in October, 1985. Four of their samples contained dioxin concentrations greater than 1.0 ppb.

In 1985 and 1988, respectively, Monsanto entered into Consent Agreements with EPA to perform an investigation and feasibility study and then a removal action based on the selected remedy. Based on the findings Monsanto subsequently excavated nine 55-gallon drums of soil contaminated with dioxin from certain areas of the landfill.


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