Sims Metal Management
Formerly Sierra Recycling Inc.
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EPA Project Manager
Ms. Jeanna Henry 3LC30
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 3
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
Phone: (215) 814-2820
EPA’s review of available information indicates that there are no unaddressed releases of hazardous waste or hazardous constituents from the Facility. On June 27, 2013, announced its proposed remedy under the RCRA Corrective Action program for the Sims Metal Management (SMM) facility located at 1177 Hoiser Road in Suffolk, Virginia (Site). Future use of the Site is anticipated to be for industrial and/or commercial purposes. EPA’s proposed remedy, as documented in the June 4, 2013 Statement of Basis, was published in The Suffolk News-Herald newspaper on June 27, 2013 and posted on the EPA Region 3 Corrective Action website for public comment. The thirty (30) day public comment period ended on July 26, 2013. EPA received no comments on the proposed decision.
On August 14, 2013, EPA issued its final remedy for the Site in a document entitled the Final Decision and Response to Comments (Final Decision). Because some contaminants remain in the soil and groundwater at the Facility at levels which exceed residential use, EPA selected as its final remedy monitored natural attenuation for groundwater, in addition to land and groundwater use restrictions for the Site. The final remedy will be implemented through an Environmental Covenant entered into pursuant to the Virginia Uniform Environmental Covenants Act (UECA), § 10.1-1238, et seq. of the Code of Virginia which will be recorded with the deed of the property.
EPA sets national goals to measure progress toward meeting the nation’s major environmental goals. For Corrective Action, EPA evaluates two key environmental indicators for each facility: (1) current human exposures under control and (2) migration of contaminated groundwater under control. Based on a review of all available information for the Site, EPA determined that the Facility met both of the EI indicators on September 1, 2010.
SMM is subject to EPA’s Corrective Action Program under the Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) of 1976, and the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (“HSWA”) of 1984, 42 U.S.C. §§ 6901 et seq. (Corrective Action Program). The Corrective Action Program is designed to ensure that certain facilities subject to RCRA have investigated and cleaned up any releases of hazardous waste and hazardous constituents that have occurred at their property.
The subject 10-acre property is zoned as M-2 (heavy industrial) and located approximately 2 miles south of downtown Suffolk, Virginia. The first industrial use of the site was by Old Dominion Wood Preservers (Old Dominion), who occupied the site from January 1984 up to June 1990. Old Dominion treated wood with a chromated copper arsenate (CCA) solution and/or with a fire retardant solution of ammonium phosphate. Sierra Recycling, Inc. (dba Virginia Soils Reclamation, Inc.) acquired the site in 1993 and biologically treated petroleum contaminated soils until the mid-1990’s. Reportedly, a rubber shredding operation leased a portion of the site in the mid-1990’s; however, documentation to confirm such operations is not available. SMM purchased the Site in March 2006 and currently operates a scrap and iron metals recycling facility which includes the draining and flattening of scrap automobile to provide for their efficient shipment to other locations for further processing.
Historical and current operations at the Site have resulted in releases of hazardous wastes and/or hazardous constituents to the soil and groundwater. To address such releases, SMM entered into a Facility Lead Agreement (FLA) with EPA Region 3 in August 2006. The FLA encourages RCRA Corrective Action facilities to take the lead in identifying, investigating and remediating any site related contamination using a generic, non-enforceable, agreement which includes the same requirements, and relies on the same scope of work and policy as a permit or an order. Participating facilities invited into the program generally meet a number of the following factors: good enforcement record, state approval, financial and technical capability, a proactive approach to clean up, and a willingness to work with the Agency.
In December 2006, SMM submitted a Phase I RCRA Facility Investigation Work Plan (RFI Work Plan) to EPA. The RFI Work Plan was developed for surface and subsurface soil and groundwater sampling at the Facility. Samples were analyzed for volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, petroleum hydrocarbons (soil and sediment), RCRA metals (8), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Results showed arsenic, chromium and lead contamination in both soils and groundwater at the site. However, based on EPA Region 3’s Risk Screening Levels (RSLs), the contamination at the site is acceptable for industrial use.Sims followed up the RFI Work Plan with a Groundwater Monitoring Report submitted to EPA in March 2010 which reported the results of groundwater sampling from monitoring wells W-3R, W-9R and W-11. Arsenic, chromium and lead were found to be above EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs). In addition to sampling monitoring wells W-3R, W-9R and W-11, samples were also collected from the drums of investigation derived waste (IDW), which consisted of development and purged groundwater from the monitoring wells. Petroleum related contaminants, such as benzene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, and methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), were detected in the samples collected from the IDW.
To determine whether the petroleum related constituents observed in the IDW are present in the groundwater and to confirm that the concentrations of arsenic, chromium and lead are consistent with previous sampling events, SMM conducted another round of groundwater sampling at monitoring wells W-3R, W-9R and W-11. The results of such sampling were presented to EPA in a Groundwater Monitoring Report submitted in February 2011. Arsenic, at a concentration slightly above the MCL, was the only metal detected in well W-3R. MTBE was also detected in well W-3R at a concentration significantly lower than the EPA Region 3 RSL. Sample results for well W-9R exceeded the MCL for benzene and arsenic and exceeded EPA Region 3’s Risk Screening Levels (RSLs) for ethylbenzne and MTBE. Arsenic was also detected in well W-9R at a concentration above the MCL. Well W-11 did not exhibit any detection of metals or volatile organic compounds. The presence of petroleum related constituents in the 2010 round of sampling for W-9R (but not groundwater sampling results prior to 2005), it was noted in the February 2011 Report as possibly the result of a minor spill or release of petroleum after 2005.
Additional sampling was conducted in September 2011 and August 2012 to monitor potential movement or degradation of the contaminant plume. Based on the results of these sampling events, EPA has determined that the plume is stable and the concentration of contaminants is decreasing. In addition, SMM implemented new containment measures and spill prevention practices in September 2010, designed to reduce the risk of such spills or releases, especially in the area of scrap automobile processing and flattening within the Car Process Building.
Primary contaminants of concern are metals, specifically arsenic, which is present in groundwater beneath the Site and detected at levels above EPA's Safe Drinking Water Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) from monitoring wells W-3R, W-9R and W-11. In addition, petroleum related constituents (benzene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, and/or MTBE) have been detected in monitoring wells W-3R and W-9R.
EPA's final remedy requires the establishment of land and groundwater use restrictions for the Site which will be implemented through an Environmental Covenant entered into pursuant to the Virginia Uniform Environmental Covenants Act (UECA), § 10.1-1238, et seq. of the Code of Virginia which will be recorded with the deed of the property.
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest are accessible below:
- Corrective Action Final Decision & Response to Comments[ 4 pp, 62 KB, About PDF]
- Corrective Action Statement of Basis [ 31pp, 11.96 MB, About PDF]
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Human Exposures [9pp, 66 KB, About PDF]
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Groundwater [9pp, 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.
|Sims Metals Management||Sims Metals Facility Map (.pdf)||Sims Metals Geospatial (.pdf ) Map|
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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. Jeanna Henry : (215) 814-2820.