Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
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EPA Project Manager
Mr Leonard Hotham
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
On July 18, 2012, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech or Facility) submitted a draft Community Relations Participation Plan (Plan). The purpose of the Plan is to provide an outline for the release of relevant information pertaining to the current environmental conditions of the twenty-one (21) Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs) and eight (8) Areas of Concern (AOCs) identified at the Facility, using data and information gathered during previous and/or ongoing environmental evaluations, investigations, and corrective action activities, and other relevant activities. The Plan also describes procedures for interaction with students attending Virginia Tech, employees of the university, and members of the surrounding community.
On September 14, 2012, Virginia Tech submitted a draft RCRA Facility Investigation Workplan (RFIW) for EPA’s review and approval. The purpose of the RFIW is to address the removal of two 137,000-gallon concrete underground storage tanks (USTs), one of which was found to be the source of a subsurface petroleum release in December 2002. The USTs have been identified as AOC 5 and are located at the Virginia Tech Power Plant. In addition, the RFIW also addresses the subsequent investigation of soils and potentially groundwater in the vicinity of AOC 5 to evaluate the presence, magnitude, extent, direction, and rate of movement of any hazardous wastes or hazardous constituents that may be present.
EPA is in the process of drafting a Statement of Basis (SB) under the Corrective Action Program to solicit public comment on its proposed remedy for the remaining SWMUs and AOCs at the Facility. The SB will highlight key information relied upon by EPA in selecting its proposed remedy for each of the remaining twenty-one (21) SWMUs and seven (7) AOCs at the Facility, with the exception of AOC 5 (Power Plant USTs). EPA will issue a separate SB for AOC 5 to solicit public comment once this area has been further evaluated under the Corrective Action Program.
Virginia Tech is located in a rural residential and agricultural area in Blacksburg, Montgomery County, Virginia, 42 miles southwest of Roanoke, Virginia. Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college named Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College, Virginia Tech is now a comprehensive, innovative research university with more than 100 campus buildings, a 2,600-acre main campus, off-campus educational facilities in six regions, and a 1,700-acre agriculture research farm near the main campus. The total number of on- and off-campus students is 28,500. Through its many research programs, the Facility studies innovations in agriculture, biotechnology, information and communication technology, transportation, energy management (including leadership in fuel-cell technology and power electronics), and a wide range of other engineering, scientific, social science, and creative fields.
The Facility also includes the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (and Virginia Tech
Airport) which is located on 120-acres adjacent to the main campus. The Center consists of 21 buildings housing more than 130 companies with approximately 1,900 employees. The Center also includes overflow research facilities for Virginia Tech. The Virginia Tech Airport, formerly operated by Virginia Tech, is now known as the Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport and is operated by an authority comprised of Virginia Tech, the Town of Blacksburg, and Montgomery County. Virginia Tech still owns the airport property.
Activities related to the storage and management of hazardous wastes by Virginia Tech since 1980 resulted in the Facility being subject to an evaluation under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action Program. The RCRA Corrective Action Program requires investigation and cleanup of releases of hazardous wastes and hazardous constituents that pose an unacceptable risk at RCRA hazardous waste treatment, storage and/or disposal facilities (TSDFs). Facility evaluations, conducted by EPA or the State, are based on human health and environmental risks posed by actual or potential releases of hazardous waste or hazardous constituents to the environment, potential migration pathways, target receptors, and waste characteristics.
Virginia Tech’s activities related to the storage and management of hazardous waste have resulted in releases to the soil and groundwater. To address such releases, Virginia Tech entered into an Administrative Order on Consent (Consent Order; Docket No. RCRA-03-2010-0396CA) with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 3 (EPA) on September 29, 2010. The Consent Order requires Virginia Tech to: (1) perform Interim Measures (IM) to prevent or mitigate any threats to human health or the environment; (2) perform a RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI) to fully determine the nature and extent of any release of hazardous waste and/or hazardous constituents at the Facility; and (3) to perform a Corrective Measures Study (CMS) to identify and evaluate alternatives for corrective action necessary to clean up contaminated media to levels protective of human health and the environment.In accordance with the Consent Order and as part of the IM, Virginia Tech submitted a Description of Current Conditions Report (CCR) to EPA on December 20, 2010, followed by supplemental information on July 1, 2011. The CCR provides background and current environmental information including data and information gathered during previous and/or ongoing environmental evaluations, investigations, interim measures, and corrective action activities. The report also identifies the nature and extent of impacts, if any, at the twenty-one (21) SWMUs and eight (8) AOCs identified at the Facility.
Primary contaminants at the Facility include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), and RCRA metals
On September 10, 2012, Virginia Tech’s Board of Visitors approved a resolution restricting land and groundwater-use in areas of the Facility where soils and groundwater has been impacted by releases of hazardous waste and/or hazardous constituents (i.e., SWMU 1 and SWMU 2)
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest are accessible below:
- Corrective Action Statement of Basis [44 pp, 5446 KB, About PDF]
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Human Exposure [10 pp, 95 KB, About PDF]
- Environmental Indicator Determination -Groundwater [10 pp, 415 KB, About PDF]
- Description of Current Conditions - December 2010[47 pp, 251 KB, About PDF]
- RCRA Corrective Action Investigation Workplan Draft [27 pp, 1684 KB, About PDF]
- Community Relations Plan - Draft [28 pp,1527 KB, About PDF]
- Virginia Tech Aerial Photo with Site Bouondary (and associated SWMUs and AOCs )[1pp, 684 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.
|Virgnia Tech Aerial Photo|
Click on a thumbnail to enlarge the photo)
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: Mr Leonard Hotham