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Ravenswood PCE

EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)

West Virginia
Jackson Ravenswood


2nd Congressional District

Last Update: February 2014

Other Names


Current Site Status

The Remedial Investigation has been completed for Operable Unit-1, Groundwater at the Ravenswood PCE Site. A Record of Decision detailing the Selected Remedy was signed on May 23, 2011. The Ravenswood PCE Site consists of groundwater contaminated with PCE which underlies the City of Ravenswood. The Selected Remedy detailed in the Record of Decision for Operable Unit-1, Groundwater includes:


The Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study is avilable.

The Remedial Design is complete and is expected to begin in the spring of 2013. 

Work on Operable Unit-2, Vapor Intrusion, began in the fall 2013. EPA is still evaluating data to determine the appropriate response for OU2.

Site Description

The Ravenswood PCE Site is generally compromised of the downtown area of Ravenswood, which is underlain by groundwater contaminated with tetrachloroethene, which is also known as perchloroethylene or (PCE).

The area encompassing the Site is approximately three miles long by one mile wide. It is bounded on its western edge by the Ohio River. Sandy Creek, which flows into the Ohio River, bounds the City to the south. The plume extends from the intersection of Broadway Street and Walnut Street approximately 1,400 feet northeast to the City of Ravenswood water supply well field located adjacent to Virginia Street. The City of Ravenswood water supply well field currently includes seven production wells (PW-1 to PW-7) which supply water to approximately 6,000 people.

Site Responsibility
This site is being addressed by the EPA Superfund Remedial Program.
NPL Listing History
The site was first proposed for the National Priority List on March 8, 2004. The site was formally added to the National Priority List on September 23, 2004, making it eligible for federal cleanup funds.

Threats and Contaminants

The City of Ravenswood has PCE contamination in two of its seven production wells. PCE, or tetrachloroethylene, is a potential carcinogen that was once commonly used as a dry cleaning and de-greasing solvent. The contaminated wells are treated with a Venturi air stripper prior to blending with non-contaminated wells and the water the City distributes to the public is below the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for PCE in drinking water which is 5 micrograms per liter (5µg/L).

Further information on PCE and its associated risk factors can be found on the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC, website.

Cleanup Progress

At the request of the West Virginia Rural Water Authority (WVRWA), EPA began initial site investigations in 1998 by surveying soil gas and groundwater for PCE contamination. Further site investigation was conducted with 4 monitoring wells installed in 1999. During 2000 and 2001 a total of 55 geoprobe soil borings samples were collected and an additional seven monitoring wells were installed.

In May 2000 the City of Ravenswood installed a Venturi air stripper to treat the contaminated water from wells #3 and #5.

EPA's removal program installed two new production wells (wells #6 and #7) and the associated water lines. These new production wells are located outside the affected area and supply clean water to the municipal water treatment plant. These wells were brought online in August 2004.

In August 2009 EPA began a Treatability Study as part of the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study. The Treatability Study consists of an air sparging/soil vapor extraction unit (AS/SVE). This technology works by blowing air into the groundwater (air sparging) through a well. As a result, the PCE becomes disturbed and turns to a vapor which is then captured by the soil vapor extraction system. All the vapors are cleaned using carbon and clean air is released.

Work for the Treatability Study began in early November 2008 with the well installations; the installation process was delayed by weather and the AS/SVE system became fully operation in August 2009. Due to the effectiveness of the AS/SVE system the Study has been extended past one year. Samples taken throughout the Treatability Study have shown that the air sparging/ soil vapor extraction system is effective in removing PCE from the groundwater.

The Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study have been completed and are available in the Administrative Record for the Site (available online). The Record of Decision (ROD) for Operable Unit-1, Groundwater as signed on May 23, 2011. The Selected Remedy is detailed in the ROD and includes:


Site Contacts

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

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