Celanese Acetate LLC
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EPA Project Manager
Ms. Diane Schott
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 3
1650 Arch Street MS 3LC20
Philadelphia, PA 19103-3430
Phone: (215) 814-3430
Virginia DEQ RCRA Program Manager
Mr. Ryan J. Kelly
Office of Hazardous Waste
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
Phone: (804) 698-4045
- Cleanup Status:
Corrective Action Underway
- Human Exposure Controlled: TBA
- Groundwater Controlled :
During 2011-2013, Celanese conducted investigations of soil, groundwater, surface water and sediment to assess the levels of contamination at the plant. In July 2013, Celanese submitted to EPA and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) a Phase I/IB Data Report containing the results of investigations conducted during 2011 and 2012. EPA, with the support of VDEQ and the USACE, is reviewing the July 2013 Phase I/IB Data Report.
An accelerated investigation of three historic waste disposal areas was completed in 2012 to support a boiler reconfiguration project and to determine whether an accelerated remedy was necessary. The results of the investigation indicated that the level of contamination in the waste disposal areas is acceptable for continued industrial use, but is not acceptable for hypothetical future residential uses. However, Giles County and Celanese anticipate future use of the areas will continue solely as industrial use. The groundwater investigation conducted in 2011 and 2012 found that the level of groundwater contamination in the historic waste disposal areas local to the boiler project exceeds USEPA Region 3 Regional Screening Levels. Based on the results of the studies, EPA, VDEQ and Celanese concluded that it is safe for the waste to remain in place, that additional groundwater monitoring is warranted, that an administrative remedy to prevent hypothetical future residential uses of the land (as long as waste remains in place) will be addressed in the future site wide Remedy Decision, that the planned construction of the boiler reconfiguration project on top of the waste will prevent precipitation infiltration through much of the area and is consistent with any future remedy necessary to protect groundwater, and a remedy to address any remaining unacceptable groundwater contamination at the area can be addressed as necessary in a future site wide Remedy Decision without disrupting operation of the reconfigured boilers.
In 2013, Celanese completed further investigation of a former Fire Training Area to complete the characterization of the extent of PCB contamination associated with that area of the plant. Celanese anticipates submitting a report of their findings to EPA in early 2014.
In 2013, the VDEQ initiated investigations along a stretch of the New River that includes the Celanese Facility to support development of a PCB discharge limit to the New River. VDEQ anticipates developing a discharge limit for PCBs to the New River over the next two years.
The Celanese Plant is located east of Narrows, Virginia along U.S. Route 460. The plant is divided into two major areas separated by Route 460. The plant area is located adjacent to the New River, and the landfill area is located on the hillside north of the plant area. The site is characterized by a narrow, flat valley floor surrounded by relatively steep mountainous hillsides and ridge tops.The Celanese Plant has been in operation since late 1939 and manufactures fiber-based products. Raw materials in the formulation of cellulose acetate are cellulose (wood pulp), acetic anhydride, acetic acid, sulfuric acid, and magnesium oxide. The facility utilizes an on-site power plant that burns bituminous coal to produce steam and electricity at the site. Celanese is currently investing $125,000,000 to replace the coal fired boilers with 5 boilers fired by natural gas. Startup of the first new boiler system is planned for 1Q, 2015. Solid wastes are managed in onsite landfills, process wastewaters are treated on-site under a VPDES permitted wastewater treatment plant, and some wastes are sent off-site for regeneration/recycling and treatment/disposal. Celanese has completed many activities to prevent releases and exposures including waste removals, soil cap placements, and groundwater and surface water monitoring.
It is anticipated that the final remedy will include institutional controls to prevent potable use of unacceptably impacted groundwater and to prevent hypothetical future residential use of unacceptably impacted land.
The primary contaminants of concern include ammonia, metals, PCBs, organic solvents, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds.
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest are accessible below:
- Site Investigation Phase 1-1B Report- July 2013 [PDF, 145 pages, 6707 KB, About PDF] Note that figures contained in the report contain data that exceeds screening levels. An updated screening of dioxin levels indicates there is no risk associated with detections of dioxin at the site
- RCRA Phase IB Addendum - Dioxin Values- August 2013 [PDF, 22 pages, 350 KB, About PDF]
- Groundwater Analytical Detection Tables- July 2013 (Table 9-1)[PDF, 18 pages, 462 kB, About PDF]
- Chlorinated Volatile Organic Detections In Groundwater - July 2013 (Table 10-3)[PDF, 1 pages, 29 kB, About PDF]
- LF-97B Cell D Deep Groundwater Analytical Results - July 2013 (Table 10-4)[PDF, 1 pages, 18 kB, About PDF]
- Waste Disposal Area Summary Results - July 2013 (Table 14-1) [PDF, 7 pages, 61 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.
|Celanese Acetate LLC|
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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: Ms. Diane Schott (215) 814-3430