Whitehouse Oil Pits
Site Summary ProfileEPA ID: FLD980602767
Location: Jacksonville, Duval County, FL
Lat/Long: 30.320100, -081.851300
Congressional District: 06
NPL Status: Proposed: 12/30/82; Final: 09/08/83
Affected Media: Debris, Ground water, Sludge, Soil, Surface Water
Cleanup Status: Construction Complete - Physical cleanup activities have been completed.
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Potential for Recreational/Ecological use
Site Manager: Rusty Kestle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The 7-acre Whitehouse Oil Pits site occupies an upland area immediately adjacent to a cypress swamp in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida. Between 1958 and 1968, Allied Petroleum disposed of contaminated acidic waste oil sludges from their oil reclaiming operations in seven unlined pits on the site. Site operations ceased in 1968 when Allied Petroleum declared bankruptcy, and the City of Jacksonville assumed ownership of the site by tax default. In 1976, ruptures in the dike systems around two of the pits occurred, releasing more than 200,000 gallons of waste into the wetlands along McGirts Creek.
Ground water, soil, and sediment at the site are contaminated with heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyl compounds (PCBs), semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the wastes disposed of at the site. The 1976 releases of wastes have contaminated the nearby wetlands areas, and contamination also has been detected in the surficial ground water aquifer beneath the site. Most of the residents use private wells for drinking water, though no contamination above health-based levels has been detected in residential wells.
Site Cleanup Plan
The Record of Decision (ROD) for the site was issued in 1985. Major cleanup elements for the site included:
- Construction of a slurry wall around the entire site.
- Recovery and treatment of contaminated ground water.
- Removal of contaminated sediments from the northeast tributary of McGirts Creek.
- Surface cap the entire site.
Based on the results of treatability and feasibility studies, a ROD Amendment was issued in 1992 to require excavation and treatment of wastes in the pits using a combination of soil washing, biotreatment, and solidification/stabilization.
A Supplemental Treatability and Feasibility Study, conducted between 1995 and 1997, demonstrated that neither the soil treatment system nor the ground water treatment system specified in the 1992 ROD Amendment would adequately address site contamination. Therefore, EPA issued a second ROD Amendment in September 1998 to address all contaminated media at the site. The major components of the selected remedy included:
- Stabilization/solidification treatment of the upper two soil lifts across the former pits area.
- Installation of a vertical barrier to isolate and contain contaminated soil, sludge, wetlands, sediment, and ground water.
- Installation of a lime curtain inside the containment system to adjust ground water pH.
- Construction of a low permeability cap meeting Resource Conservation and Recovery Act closure requirements over the vertical barrier and solidification/stabilization areas.
- Realignment of the northeast tributary to McGirts Creek to optimize the area of ground water containment.
- Extension of the municipal water supply to residents along Machelle Drive and Chaffee Road and closure of private supply wells.
- Installation of a permanent security fence around the containment area and installation and maintenance of appropriate stormwater management controls.
- Monitored natural attenuation of contaminated ground water outside the containment system.
- Sampling of off-site surface soil and downstream surface water and sediment during design to determine if additional measures are necessary.
- Imposition of deed restrictions to control future land and ground water use.
An Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) was issued in 2001 to adjust the remedy selected in the 1998 ROD Amendment. The ESD removed the lime curtain component from the selected remedy and also modified the size of the slurry wall, size of the cap, and area of the tributary to be realigned, based on the discovery of additional contamination.
EPA and the City of Jacksonville conducted several initial response actions to stabilize site conditions and to prevent the spread of contamination prior to the final cleanup. A water treatment system was used to drain the contaminated liquids from the pits and remaining wastes were stabilized with backfill materials. A soil cover was placed over the fill and seeded. Ditches were constructed to control runoff, and a fence was erected around the perimeter of the site to restrict access.
A water main extension was constructed by the Jacksonville Electrical Authority to provide water service to residents along Machelle Drive and portions of Chaffee Road on a voluntary basis and at no cost to the homeowners.
The off-site McGirts Creek response action began in January 2004. Contaminated sediment was excavated for on-site disposal and the wetland area was restored to the pre-existing grade. A mix of wetland tree species was planted in the restored area.
Solidification/stabilization of soil over the former waste oil pits began in February 2004. A continuous monolith of blended soil and concrete was constructed over a 5.4-acre area, serving both as a physical barrier to the waste and as structural support for the cap. Construction of a barrier wall was completed in July 2005, and the multi-layer cap and cover system was completed in January 2006.
All substantial elements of the physical construction of the remedy were completed on May 4, 2006, and initial ground water monitoring results indicate the remedy is effective in isolating ground water contamination.Site cleanup activities are being led primarily by potentially responsible parties (PRPs) with oversight by EPA.
In April 1994, EPA and the group of PRPs signed an Administrative Order on Consent to conduct the additional investigatory work required to define the nature and quantities of waste material in the pits.
In 2001, EPA signed a Consent Decree with PRPs for implementation of the Remedial Action.
EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities at the Whitehouse Oil Pits site to solicit community input and to ensure that the public remains informed about site activities throughout the site cleanup process. Outreach activities have included public notices and interviews.
Operation and Maintenance activities are underway. These activities include routine inspection, ground water monitoring, and inspection/maintenance of the vegetative cover and other plantings.
Site Administrative Documents
For more information or to view any site-related documents, please visit the site information repository at the following location. As new documents are generated, they will be placed in the information repository for public information.
11160 General Avenue
Jacksonville, FL 32220
For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.