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Congressional District # 18


EPA ID# OHD980509657
Last Updated: May, 2015

Site Description

The Buckeye Reclamation Landfill (BRL) Site is located approximately 4 miles southeast of the Town of St. Clairsville and 1.2 miles south of Interstate 70 in Richland Township, Belmont County, Ohio. The BRL Site occupies approximately 100 acres of a 658-acre tract of land owned by the Ohio Resources Corporation (affiliated with Cravat Coal Company). The site extends 3,700 feet north to south and is 500 to 1,000 feet wide.

The BRL Site is situated in the Kings Run drainage ravine and bordered by Kings Run to the east and an unnamed stream to the west. Surface water in Kings Run flows to the south and empties into Little McMahon Creek. Property to the east and west is hilly and mostly forested. Farmland and a stripe mine are located west of the site. Additional farmland extends to the north and northeast. The original topography of the Kings Run valley and the ridge to the west of the BRL Site have been significantly altered because of coal mine refuse disposal activities and landfilling operations that took place for several decades. Deep underground coal mining occurred in the vicinity of the site until the early 1950s and refuse disposal activities created the northern, middle, and southern impounds. Subsequent landfilling operations resulted in the drainage and filling of the middle and southern impounds by 1972 and 1976.

The BRL Site was licensed in 1971 by the Belmont County Health Department for use as a municipal solid waste landfill and operated by Ohio Resources Corporation under the name of Buckeye Reclamation Company until 1991. The majority of the industrial sludge and liquids accepted by the landfill were received between 1976 and 1979 and deposited in or near the northern impound. Records indicated a total volume of approximately 49,400 tons of solid waste per year were disposed in the landfill. Solid industrial wastes (e.g., asbestos, carbon black, fly ash) were reportedly commingled with municipal wastes. Ohio EPA landfill inspection records also make reference to unspecified industrial wastes being disposed in the southeastern portion of the landfill. Industrial sludge and liquids also were accepted. The total volumes of industrial wastes received are estimated at 2.9 million gallons of liquids and 30,000 tons of industrial sludge. Transporter records show that the majority of the liquids were mixtures of oils, solvents, and/or waste water.

In the early 1980s, EPA and Ohio EPA conducted preliminary investigations to determine whether the BRL site posed potential risks to public health and the environment. EPA placed the BRL Site on the National Priorities List (NPL) on September 8, 1983.

Site Responsibility

The BRL Site is being addressed through federal, state, and potentially responsible parties' (PRPs) actions. EPA is the lead agency overseeing the PRPs’ implementation of the remedy, with support by Ohio EPA.

Threats and Contaminants

Twelve contaminants detected in the waste pit, soils, leachate, groundwater, and surface water were identified as indicator chemicals during the Remedial Investigation (RI). These contaminants accounted for the majority of health-based risk posed by the BRL Site. The inorganics identified as contaminants of concern were arsenic, beryllium, lead, cadmium, chromium, and nickel. The organic compounds identified as contaminants of concern were benzene, trichloroethene, carbon tetrachloride, 1,1-dichloroethene, and carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The immediate threats posed by the site have been addressed.

Cleanup Progress

EPA conducted a PRP search and identified a number of potentially responsible parties, including the landfill operator and several generators. In October 1985, EPA, Ohio EPA, and six PRPs signed an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) that required the PRPs to conduct a Remedial Investigation (RI) and Feasibility Study (FS). During the RI, soils, surface water, sediment, leachate, groundwater, and air were examined. Sampling results identified various levels of contamination in all media except air. Three sources of contamination were observed: 1) industrial wastes disposed in or around the waste pit, 2) solid wastes disposed in the general landfill area, and 3) coal mine refuse which was placed in the area before landfilling operations began.

EPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) on August 18, 1991, that contained the selected remedy for the BRL Site, including the following: construction of a solid waste landfill cap; installation of a surface leachate seep and groundwater collection system; monitoring of groundwater, surface leachate seeps and Kings Run stream; and treatment of collected waters by constructed wetlands. In 1992, EPA entered into an AOC with a number of PRPs to design the selected remedy.

Based on numerous pre-design studies and a review of site history and applicable regulations, EPA and Ohio EPA agreed to modify the remedy selected in the ROD, and EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) on July 17, 1997. The ESD revised the remedy by reducing the size of the solid waste landfill cap, eliminating the northern impoundment, realigning and lining of Kings Run, and deferring the construction of the groundwater and leachate treatment system until after cap construction.

In 1998, EPA entered into a Consent Decree with a number of PRPs to implement the selected remedy.

The following cleanup actions were completed at the BRL Site in September 2001:

• Construction of solid waste landfill cap over approximately 37 acres with landfill gas collection vent system;
• Construction of vegetated cap over approximately 24 acres;
• Repair of existing cover where necessary over approximately 29 acres;
• Realignment and lining of Kings Run;
• Elimination of Northern Impoundment;
• Installation of surface water management structures;
• Installation of gas venting system;
• Construction of access roads;
• Installation of perimeter fencing; and
• Installation of groundwater leachate seep collection boxes, french drain, and groundwater/leachate transport pipe.

In addition to the cleanup actions on the site, groundwater and surface water monitoring activities were performed to characterize water quality and quantity at the southern toe of the landfill. EPA & Ohio EPA agreed to make a number of changes to the remedy described in the 1991 ROD based on the results of the monitoring activities. EPA issued a second ESD for the BRL Site on August 15, 2003. The second ESD revised the remedy by requiring the combined flow from Kings Run and the landfill leachate collection system to be directed for off-site discharge to Little McMahon Creek, updating discharge standards to reflect current Ohio EPA risk and ecological information, requiring two years of monthly monitoring the combined flow, and documenting that no additional groundwater/leachate collection mechanisms were required. The ESD also stated that the results of the two-year surface water monitoring report would determine if discharge standards were being met and whether surface water treatment by constructed wetland was needed.

Based on an evaluation of the PRPs' monthly monitoring reports, EPA determined that surface water treatment by constructed wetland was needed. On September 16, 2011, EPA issued a third ESD for the BRL Site. The ESD documented a significant change in the design of the constructed wetland component of the remedy from what was described in the 1991 ROD. Based on seven years of surface water monitoring data that was not available when the ROD was issued, the total size and cell composition of the wetland was modified to reflect the actual degree of treatment necessary to address current site characteristics. The major changes to the design of the wetland treatment system included the following:

• The size of the wetlands was reduced from up to six 3-acre ponds to approximately one-half acre of wetlands broken down into two cells or ponds.
• The wetland construction material was altered. For example, the final design of the wetlands did not include the geomembrane liner or the six-inch sand layer as described in the 1991 ROD. Based on previous use of silt-type soils from adjacent property for the construction of the site landfill covers, EPA, Ohio EPA and the PRPs believed that the existing soils in the Southern Toe were of sufficiently low permeability that a low-permeability liner (soil and/or a synthetic geomembrane liner) would not be required for the wetlands.

The 2011 ESD also stated that revisions to the frequency of monitoring and/or the monitoring parameters could be made after a minimum of one year of monitoring following construction of the treatment wetlands if the monitoring results indicate that such changes are appropriate and if EPA approves such changes in writing.

In early September 2011, EPA approved the PRP’s wetland design plans. The PRPs’ contractor, Conestoga Rovers and Associates (CRA), constructed the treatment wetlands in the Fall of 2011, under EPA and Ohio EPA oversight. In June 2012, EPA approved the Phase II Remedial Action (RA) and Construction Completion (CC) Report (Revision 3). This report documented the remedial construction activities completed for the leachate treatment wetland built at the southern toe of the site.

EPA conducted the first two five-year reviews for the BRL site in 2004 and 2009, and completed the Third Five-Year Review Report on May 1, 2014. The purpose of a five-year review is to determine whether the remedy at a site is protective of human health and the environment. No issues were identified during the 2014 five-year review that affect the protectiveness of the remedy, however further data collection and evaluation are needed to determine wetland efficiency and achievement of design goals over the long term. Establishment of a wetland may take years. Over time, long-term trends will be available, such as efficiency of the wetland through seasonal weather conditions, treatment effectiveness (adjusting pH and iron precipitation) and its impact on the water quality of Kings Run and Little McMahon Creek. Overall, the results of the 2014 five-year review indicated that the remedy at the BRL Site is protective of human health and the environment. Exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risk are being controlled and monitored. In addition, an environmental covenant is in place that restricts parcel use that could defeat or impair the effectiveness of remedial measures. The environmental covenant was recorded with the Belmont County Recorder's Office on February 21, 2013. Four (4) parcels of real property which together contain more than 440 acres are subject to the environmental covenant. The environmental covenant prohibits drilling, digging, and construction on the parcels, restricts parcel use to commercial/industrial activities, and prohibits consumption of groundwater.

Routine operation and maintenance (O&M) activities are conducted at the site. The O&M activities include regular inspections, routine and unscheduled maintenance, quarterly site inspections, long-term groundwater monitoring, quarterly wetland performance and surface water monitoring and annual explosive gas monitoring and reporting. The BRL Site is enclosed by a 6-foot high chain-link fence with three strands of barbed wire. Lockable gates have been provided at key access points around the landfill to provide access. Signs posted at 200-foot intervals identify the site as a hazardous area and warn against trespassing. These tactics have proven to be effective measures to limit access to the site and maintain the integrity of the remedy.

Success Story


Community Involvement

The 2014 five-year review, along with other site-related documents, are available for review at the site information repository located at: St. Clairsville Public Library, 108 W. Main Street, St. Clairsville, Ohio 43950.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
colleen moynihan (moynihan.colleen@epa.gov)
(312) 353-8196

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
virginia narsete
(312) 886-4359




Site Profile Information

This profile provides you with information on EPA's cleanup progress at this Superfund site.


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