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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Emerson Electric Company (Formerly: Alco Controls Division) in Wytheville, Virginia

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Cleanup Status

EPA and VDEQ determined that corrective action on Lot 2 was complete without controls and issued a Final Decision and Response to Comments (FDRTC) document for Lot 2 on April 16, 2015.

A Statement of Basis, dated June 13, 2017, was developed for a final remedy for Lots 1 and 3. A thirty (30)-day comment period was announced in the Wytheville Enterprise newspaper on August 2, 2017 and on the VDEQ website.  The public comment period ended on September 1, 2017.  No comments were received and a Final Decision and Response to Comments (FDRTC) for Lots 1 and 3 was issued on September 12, 2017. The final remedy decision for Lots 1 and 3 requires the Facility to perform an In-Situ injection to treat groundwater, perform long term groundwater monitoring, and maintain certain property mechanisms known as Institutional Controls (ICs).

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Site Description

Interactive Map of Emerson Electric Company (Formerly: Alco Controls Division), Wytheville, VA

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The facility initially operated as a textile mill and a knitting mill (Wyomissing Corporation) from 1935 until 1974.  Emerson Electric Corporation purchased the Alco Control Company in 1967. Alco manufactured refrigeration valves and expansion valves.  Tuttle Electric, which was purchased and owned by Emerson Electric, began production of open coil electric heating elements for commercial dryers and refrigerators at this site in 1974.  In 1981, the Alco Controls Division of Emerson Electric, purchased the property and took over production operations at the site. Alco Controls, under the ownership of Emerson, manufactured refrigeration control valves on the property from the late 1970s until 2001, when the facility was closed.

The Emerson manufacturing facility consisted of four buildings that covered approximately 139,000 square feet. Outdoor features include a chip storage area and two paved parking lots. The entire Emerson facility contains three parcels (lots). Lot 3 consists of approximately 12 acres and contains the former Emerson plant and surrounding land.  All manufacturing operations took place on Lot 3, where the original facility buildings were constructed. The major manufacturing activities at the facility included machining, brazing, welding, assembly, testing spray painting, parts washing, electroplating, packaging, shipping, and receiving.

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Contaminants at this Facility

The primary compounds of concern at the site include 1,4-dioxane and 1,1,-trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA) and its associated degradation products. In addition, the following gasoline-related constituents have been detected in soil and groundwater on the site: methyl-tert-butyl ether (MTBE), benzene, naphthalene, 1.2.4-trimethylbenzene (TMB) and 1,3,5-TMB.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

No Institutional Controls were required for lot two. The final remedy decision for Lots 1 and 3 requires the Facility to perform an In-Situ injection to treat groundwater, perform long term groundwater monitoring, and maintain certain property mechanisms known as Institutional Controls (ICs).

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

The former manufacturing building has been renovated for purposes of a commercial storage facility. Lot 2 of the site is currently being developed for low income housing units by the Wytheville Redevelopment and Housing Agency.

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    Site Responsibility at this Facility

    RCRA Corrective Action activities at this facility are being conducted under the direction of the VDEQ with assistance from EPA Region 3.

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