Former IBM Manassas VA
On This Page
The primary Facility-related contaminant is tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene (PCE) or perc. There are lesser amounts of trichloroethylene (TCE), and cis-1,2-dichloroethylene (cis-1,2-DCE) present. These chemicals are classified as chlorinated volatile organic compounds (cVOCs) and were used as solvents, degreasers and in manufacturing processes at the Facility. These cVOC contaminants were discovered in soil/rock vapor and in groundwater on and off-site. Since their discovery, IBM has installed vapor and groundwater recovery and treatment systems on and off-site. Recently, IBM expanded the existing treatment recovery systems to capture more contamination in the shallow subsurface soil/rock and groundwater zones near Building 101 (on-site) and along the property boundary with Bristoe Station.
IBM has five on- and off-site groundwater wells and treating that pump contaminated water to carbon absorption thanks that remove the cVOCs. IBM has seven vapor extraction wells (VEWs) and recently added five more, all located on-site. As of October 2011, there are a total of 12 VEWs with 8 air inlet wells.
In February 2011, IBM began off-site groundwater and vapor investigations in and around the McRae Court area, located in the Bristoe Station development. McRae Court is located next to the former IBM facility, and is near the area where solvent tanks were located. Groundwater and vapor implant wells were installed in the vicinity of the McRae Court townhomes. The investigation results were presented to EPA in IBM’s “Interim Report of Findings dated July 2011” by Sanborn, Head and Associates. The Report showed that site related contaminants were present in the McRae Court area in soil/rock vapor and groundwater at various depths beneath the surface. The Interim Report is posted on EPA’s website at: www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/ca/IBM_Manassas_V2.html .
More groundwater and vapor monitoring wells were installed in the neighborhood in June 2012 to further delineate and characterize contamination. The investigations delineated the extent of contamination off-site. The data and findings are posted at www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/ca/IBM_Manassas_V2.html (Investigation Data Report, Dec. 2012 and 12-Month Monitoring Data Report, Jan. 2013.
In February 2013, IBM conducted indoor air monitoring in eleven homes in McRae Court. The site-related compounds (cVOCs) were not found in the indoor air at levels that indicated a risk to health. The cVOCs found were considered to be within background levels for typical residential structures. The data and findings of this investigation are in the Summary Report or Indoor Air Sampling, August 2013 at www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/ca/IBM_Manassas_V2.html .
The groundwater recovery and treatment system is shrinking the regional cVOC plume located in the deeper bedrock. The VEW system is capturing vapor from the subsurface and will continue to be monitored and evaluated for performance. Vapor and groundwater sampling occurs every two six months.
Corrective Action activities at the Facility are being conducted under the direction of EPA Region 3 with assistance from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. The results of EPA’s Environmental Indicator analysis discusses that potential human exposures to contamination on-site are ‘under control,’ and that groundwater contamination in the local and the regional deep plume has been delineated and contained. The human health indicator evaluation forms are available at this EPA webpage link .
In 1969, IBM began manufacturing electronic components in Building 101 at their 600-acre facility. In 1975, IBM ceased manufacturing operations at Building 101 and in 1994, ceased all manufacturing at the facility. By 2007, IBM had sold the entire facility. Lockheed Martin Corporation and other businesses are currently located on the property. IBM retains the RCRA Corrective Action responsibility for the investigation and clean-up of past releases of contamination.
In 1978, IBM began a groundwater monitoring program at the Manassas, VA facility and found chlorinated solvents in groundwater. Specifically PCE, TCE, DCE and TCA were found. As a result, IBM completed the following activities:
IBM removed the suspected sources of contamination by: removing (1) one waste solvent tank (20,000 gallon capacity), (2) two waste acid tanks (20,000 gallon capacity each), (3) about 1,227 tons of contaminated soil associated with the tanks, (4) several above- and underground tanks of various capacities, (5) about 1,407 tons of soil and debris associated with the tanks, and (6) closed a waste solvent pipe between two buildings, and (7) immobilized fluoride found in soil in one area.
Investigation, monitoring and treatment of groundwater contamination: IBM installed 49 on- and 45 off-site wells. Groundwater treatment began on-site in 1985. After local approvals were obtained, off-site groundwater treatment began in 1997. The groundwater PCE plume had migrated off-site towards a public well in the Prince William County Service Authority (PWCSA) system. IBM installed a treatment system at the public well in 1985, and in 2001, the PWCSA discontinued use of the well. IBM leases the well for use as part of the contaminated groundwater recovery system. The ground water recovery system consists of pumping contaminated ground water from the three on-site and two off-site recovery wells to carbon absorption tanks where VOCs are removed. The treated water is discharged to receiving streams under a permit issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since 2001, the former public well was not used as a drinking water supply, and was never used to supply Bristoe Station.
Investigating on-site subsurface soil and rock, removing and treating VOC vapor: IBM began operating a vapor extraction system in areas around Building 101, where the solvent tanks were located.
In 1989, EPA and IBM entered into a Consent Order, requiring IBM to evaluate cleanup options. In 1990, the Final Remedy for cleanup was selected. The Remedy requires continued on-site soil/rock vapor extraction and continued recovery of contaminated groundwater by the existing pumping and treatment system, using carbon absorption to remove contaminants. These treatment systems are monitored and upgraded as needed.
In 2007, IBM re-characterized the extent of the PCE contaminated ground water plume, based on two decades of data. The ‘Groundwater Characterization Report (March 2008)’ provided data that showed that the extent of PCE in groundwater is contained and shrinking. The pump and treatment system has been effective in achieving this milestone, and will continue to operate until clean-up goals are met. The soil/rock vapor extraction system is located near the former IBM property line (Building 101 area), adjacent to the Bristoe Station townhomes.
In February 2011, IBM initiated Phase I of an off-site investigation around the townhome properties of McRae Court, within the Bristoe Station community. In June 2012, IBM initiated Phase II of the off-site investigation in and around McRae Court. In February 2013, eleven McRae Court townhomes were sampled for indoor air quality(including sub basement air ) to determine if any facility-related VOCs have entered the indoor air. The site-related compounds (cVOCs) were not found in the indoor air at levels that indicated a risk to health. The cVOCs found were considered to be within background levels for typical residential structures. Workplans and Reports for the three Phases of off-site investigations are located at: www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/ca/IBM_Manassas_V2.html
The primary contaminant in soil, soil vapor and groundwater is perchloroethylene (PCE), with lesser amounts of trichloroethylene (TCE), and cis-1,2-dichloroethylene (cis-1,2-DCE). PCE and TCE are considered likely human carcinogens (cancer causing), with other health effects (non-cancer),depending on the amount of the chemical ingested, inhaled or in contact with skin over time. Cis-1,2-DCE is classified as a non-cancer causing compound, but also has adverse health effects, depending on the dose over time.
The EPA’s maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) or maximum allowable levels established for public water supplies for PCE and TCE is 5 parts per billion (ppb). For cis-1,2-DCE, the MCL is 70 ppb. The treated ground water discharged from IBM’s water treatment system meets EPA’s drinking water standards, although this water is not used as drinking water.
EPA has established inhalation levels for these three contaminants for indoor settings.
Testing of the indoor air in Building 101 showed that by maintaining positive pressure in the building with the heating and cooling system (or HVAC system), the indoor air meets EPA’s risk based levels.
Groundwater use for public water supply was discontinued in the area north of the former IBM facility in 2002. The Prince William County Service Authority (PWCSA) began providing water from other regional water companies in September 2002. IBM uses the PWCSA well (PW-07) water (located north of the former IBM facility) and other wells to control the groundwater plume by withdrawing and treating contaminated water before discharging to local streams. IBM monitors ground water quality and water levels throughout and beyond the contaminated plume.
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest are accessible below:
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Human Exposures [5 pp, 21 KB, About PDF]
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Groundwater Migration [5 pp, 24 KB, About PDF]
- Bristoe Station 2011 Offsite Investigation Factsheet[4pp, 289 KB, About PDF]
- IBM Environmental Investigation August 2013 Update [ 1pp, 169 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.
|IBM Manassas Site Overview||IBM Manassas Bristoe Station Monitoring Area||IBM Manassas GeoSpatial PDF Map [PDF, 1914 KB, 1 page, About PDF]|
Click on a thumbnail to enlarge the photo or GeoSpatial PDF Map )
IBM no longer owns the property. The property is currently being used for non-residential use by other owners/operators such as Lockheed Martin, Micron Technologies, the US Government, and others. IBM continues to retain responsibility for RCRA corrective action clean-up for the facility
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:
Barb Smith (215) 814-5786.