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Ordnance Works Disposal

Fact Sheet June 1999


In March 1997, contractors for the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) completed pilot tests for a treatment technology called bioremediation. These tests, also called treatability studies, were conducted to see if bioremediation could effectively clean contaminated soil and sediments located in a six-acre disposal area at the Ordnance Works Disposal Areas Superfund Site. This disposal area is called Operable Unit One (OU-1) and consists of a Landfill Area, a Scraped Area, a Former Lagoon Area and stream sediments contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) selected bioremediation as the cleanup remedy for OU-1 in a 1989 Record of Decision (ROD). However, EPA reviewed data collected during the treatability studies and determined that bioremediation was not cost-effective because it could not meet EPA cleanup standards within a reasonable amount of time.

In October 1997, EPA entered into an agreement with the PRPs to conduct a Focused Feasibility Study (FFS) to re- evaluate other cleanup options for the OU-1 soils and sediments. In December 1997, while the draft FFS was under review by the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) and EPA, WVDEP requested more recent groundwater data for OU-1. The PRPs conducted this sampling in January 1998 and the data was incorporated into the final FFS. EPA approved the FFS in September 1998. EPA then used information in the FFS to prepare a new Proposed Remedial Action Plan (Proposed Plan) for OU-1.

The Proposed Plan provides information on several cleanup alternatives and identifies EPA's recommended action. This fact sheet summarizes EPA's Proposed Plan and provides information on the upcoming public meeting and public comment period.


In preparing the Proposed Plan, EPA reviewed the nine cleanup options presented in the FFS and evaluated them against several criteria.   The alternatives that were most applicable were presented in the Proposed Plan. During this evaluation, EPA identified three potential cleanup actions, Options 2, 7 and 8 that did not meet the evaluation criteria and therefore, could not be selected as the preferred alternative. Option 2 (Institutional Controls Only) would not provide adequate protection to human health and the environment. Option 7 (Bioremediation), as proven during treatability studies, would not achieve cleanup standards in a reasonable time frame. Similarly, Option 8 (Solvent Extraction) will not achieve the required cleanup standards.

Although EPA did not include these three options in the Proposed Plan, a complete description of each can be found in the FFS Report which is located at the information repository.

All of the cleanup alternatives EPA outlined in the Proposed Plan contain common actions that would be implemented during cleanup work. These common actions include:


EPA will hold a public meeting to discuss the Proposed Plan for OU-1 and answer any site-related questions. Officials from EPA and WVDEP will be available to answer any questions at the meeting and an official transcript will be taken to document public comments on the proposed cleanup actions.

Wednesday, June 23, 1999
7:00 p.m.
Westwood Middle School Auditorium
670 River Road
Morgantown, WV 26501


Below are the major components of each cleanup alternative EPA outlined in the Proposed Plan. These alternatives address soils and sediments at OU-1 which exceed EPA's cleanup standards for PAHs and heavy metals. A complete description of all activities associated with each alternative can be found in the Proposed Plan which is part of the information repository located at the Morgantown Public Library.

Alternative 1
No Action EPA considers a "No Action" alternative at each Superfund site in order to establish a baseline for comparison to other cleanup actions. Under this alternative, no cleanup actions would be taken and the site would remain in its current condition.
Alternative 2
Capping Selected Site Areas and Offsite Treatment of Stream Sediments This involves capping contaminated soils in the Lagoon Area, the Scraped Area and the existing landfill; excavating contaminated stream sediments; and transporting the sediments offsite for treatment and disposal.
Alternative 3
Consolidation and Capping of Existing Landfill This involves excavating contaminated soils in the Lagoon Area and the Scraped Area; excavating contaminated stream sediments; consolidating the soils and sediments with material from the 1997 OU-2 removal action in the existing landfill; and capping the existing landfill.
Alternative 4
Constructing an Onsite Landfill This option involves constructing a new onsite landfill; excavating the existing landfill; excavating contaminated soils and sediments from other OU-1 areas; consolidating all excavated material in the new landfill; and capping the new landfill.
Alternative 5
Offsite Treatment of Visibly Stained Soils and Sediments and Capping This option involves excavating visibly stained soils and sediments from OU-1 areas; transporting the soils and sediments offsite for treatment and disposal; excavating soils and sediments contaminated above cleanup standards but not visibly stained and consolidating them into the existing landfill; and capping the existing landfill.
Alternative 6
Offsite Treatment of all Contaminated Soils and Sediments and Capping This option involves excavating contaminated soils and sediments from all OU-1 areas as well as contaminated material from the OU-2 removal action; transporting all excavated material offsite for treatment and disposal; and capping the existing landfill.

Evaluation Criteria


After carefully reviewing the FFS and all of the cleanup alternatives, EPA selected Alternative 5: Offsite Treatment of Visibly Stained Soils and Sediments and Capping, as its preferred cleanup action for OU-1. EPA believes that this alternative best meets all of the evaluation criteria, is protective of human health and the environment and is cost effective.

EPA's preference of Alternative 5 is only a recommendation at this time. EPA welcomes community input on all of the cleanup alternatives listed in the Proposed Plan during the public comment period (see next section). Based on input received from the community, EPA may change its preferred cleanup alternative.


Public participation is an important part of the Superfund process. EPA encourages the community to review and comment on the cleanup alternatives during the public comment period, which begins June 7, 1999 and ends July 8, 1999.

Prior to selecting a final cleanup action for OU-1, EPA will review all comments received during the comment period. EPA will respond to any relevant comments received during the comment period and include these responses as part of the Record of Decision.


If you have questions regarding cleanup work at the Ordnance Works Site or you would like to submit comments on the Proposed Plan for OU-1, you may contact one of the EPA officials listed below.

Patrick Gaughan (3HS43)
EPA Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA - Region III
11th and Chapline Streets
Wheeling, WV 26003

Christian Matta
EPA Remedial Project Manager
U.S. EPA - Region III
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

EPA's information repository contains the FFS Report, Proposed Plan and other site-related documents. You can review these documents at the location below.

Morgantown Public Library
373 Spruce Street
Morgantown, WV 26505


The Ordnance Works Superfund Site is located along the banks of the Monongahela River approximately one mile south of Morgantown, West Virginia. The site consists of a six-acre disposal area (OU-1) and a 100-acre former manufacturing plant area (OU-2). Beginning in 1941, several chemical companies produced ammonia, methanol and other organic chemicals at the site. Contaminated materials from the manufacturing processes were disposed in several areas at OU-1 including former lagoons, a landfill and an area referred to as the Scraped Area.

EPA issued a Record of Decision for OU-1 in 1989 and completed an interim removal action in 1996. While design work continued on the 1989 cleanup remedy for OU-1, work began to address the manufacturing area of the site (OU-2). In September 1996, the PRPs entered into an agreement with EPA to conduct a removal action on OU-2. Under this action, workers excavated contaminated soils and transported them off-site for disposal; removed non-hazardous water and debris from on-site sumps and pits; backfilled and re-vegetated the excavated areas; and eliminated all physical site hazards. No further Superfund action is planned for OU-2.

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