Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp, Inc
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EPA Project Manager
Ms. Estena McGhee
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 3
1650 Arch Street MS 3LC20
Philadelphia, PA 19103-3433
Phone: (215) 814-3444
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
DEQ Project Manager
Brett Fisher, P.G.
629 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23218
Phone: (804) 698-4219
- The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is the lead agency that provides oversight of RCRA Corrective Action activities at the Merck Sharp & Dohme, Stonewall Facility (Merck), located in Elkton, VA. RCRA Corrective Action clean-up activities at the facility are implemented through the conditions and requirements of the facility's Hazardous Waste Management Permit for Site Wide Corrective Action (Permit), issued on April 5, 2002, and the facility's Corrective Measures Implementation (CMI) Work Plan, approved on September 8, 2004.
- Merck continues to operate and maintain bioventing remediation systems at AOC North and AOC South to reduce VOCs and SVOCs in soil and groundwater. The remedy for AOC South includes a soil vapor extraction (SVE) component in addition to bioventing, but is currently not utilized due to the effectiveness of bioventing. In addition, Merck maintains a biosparge system at the Landfill AOC, but is performing a pilot test study using solid phase peroxide as a passive approach due to the formation of sinkholes directly related to biosparging. It is anticipated that final results of the pilot test will be available by the end of 2010.
- Additionally, Merck continues groundwater sampling associated with Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) at the Skimmer Pond, Solvent Burning Pit, and Waste Pit SWMUs. However, in response to increasing VOC concentrations at the Skimmer Pond Merck is implementing a pilot test study to enhance biodegradation of VOCs by reductive dechloronation via groundwater amendment. This consists of extracting groundwater, amending the extracted groundwater with an emulsified soybean oil and bacteria culture, and re-injecting the amended groundwater back into the aquifer. During the pilot test, groundwater quality will be monitored in addition to select indicator parameters, VOCs, and SVOCs. It is anticipated that the pilot test will be implemented by the end of July 2010 and will take up to a year to complete.
- The Merck facility is located in northwestern Virginia, approximately 2 miles southwest of Elkton. The facility property lies within the Shenandoah Valley, just SE of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. The facility occupies approximately 1,300 acres, of which 89 acres are used for active operation. The facility began operation in 1941. Prior to that, the land was undeveloped. The facility includes a pharmaceutical laboratory and manufacturing facilities, which produce animal and human health care products (pharmaceuticals). The facility is permitted to store hazardous wastes in containers and is currently in the Corrective Measures Implementation (CMI) phase of RCRA Corrective Action.
- The facility is supported by a wastewater treatment plant, a solvent recovery operation, and a power plant with co-generation facilities. Additionally, there is an onsite, permitted, industrial landfill. The landfill occupies 7 acres located in the northeastern corner of the property. Prior to 1980 various production wastes, including organic and inorganic chemicals from the plant operations were disposed of in the landfill. The landfill was capped in 2000 as a required corrective measure and a deed notice was put in place identifying its location. Onsite groundwater flow is controlled by continuous production well pumping at the facility.
- • On June 15, 2010 and in response to increasing VOC concentrations at the Skimmer Pond, the DEQ approved the performance of a pilot test study for one year to evaluate the effectiveness of groundwater amendment activities in efforts of increasing reductive dechloronation of VOCs via introduction of emulsified soybean oil and cultured bacteria.
- As part of Merck's Community Relations Plan, citizens' questions and concerns are addressed throughout the RCRA Corrective Action process via annual community information sharing sessions at the Elkton Elementary School. In addition, Merck regularly issues community newsletters highlighting remediation progress.
- The primary contaminants of concern in groundwater include benzene, chlorobenzene, chloroform, methylene chloride, naphthalene, trichloroethene, vinyl chloride, and vanadium. The constituents of concern in surface and subsurface soils include several VOCs and SVOCs.
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest are accessible below:
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Human Exposures [PDF, 6 pages, 43 KB, About PDF]
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Groundwater Migration [PDF,8 pages, 137 KB, About PDF]
- All documents and reports regarding this facility also can be reviewed in person at these locations:
U.S. EPA Region III
Land & Chemicals Division - RCRA
1650 Arch Street-11th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Call for an appointment.
- Submit a FOIA Request
Get instructions on how to submit a FOIA request. Additional fee for requests over 100 pages.
|Merck Sharpe - Stonewall|
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- The facility is under continued use.
- 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 the EPA Project Manager: Estena McGhee (215) 814-3433.