Hercules, Inc. Aqualon Division
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EPA Project Manager
Mr. Michael Jacobi
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 3
1650 Arch Street MS 3LC20
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
Virginia Dept of Environmental Quality
629 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Hercules submitted the RCRA Facility Investigation Summary Report in November 2011. The RFI Summary Report includes the Human Health Risk Assessment and the Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment as Attachments A and B respectively. EPA approved the RCRA Facility Investigation Summary Report in a letter dated March 27, 2012. Hercules will submit a Corrective Measures Study in fall of 2012 as the next step under RCRA Corrective Action.
The Hercules Aqualon site occupies a 390-acre parcel of land in Hopewell, VA and employs about 400 local residents. Hercules purchased the property in 1926 but the site has been used for industrial purposes since 1912 under various owners/operators. The Hercules Hopewell Plant is one of the largest cellulose derivative production facilities in the world. All of the finished products are based on cellulose, a raw material that comes from trees or cotton. The cellulose is swollen with sodium hydroxide (caustic) and reacted with one or more chemicals, depending on the product being manufactured. The resulting product is then purified, dried, and packaged.
Several organic and inorganic contaminants have been detected in ground water at the site. The contaminants of most concern include diethyl ether, tert butyl alcohol, 1,4-dioxane, and
2-butoxyethanol. Soil investigations have shown several organic and inorganic contaminants at several solid waste management units.
No institutional controls are currently in place.
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest are accessible below:
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Human Exposures [9pp, 167 KB, About PDF]
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Groundwater Migration [12pp, 171 KB, About PDF]
- All documents and reports regarding this facility also can be reviewed in person at these locations:
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
Phone: (804) 698-4099
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.
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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: Michael Jacobi (215) 814-3435