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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Former J.G. Wilson Corporation in Chesapeake, Virginia

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In 1989, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VA DEQ) issued a notice of non-compliance to J.G. Wilson regarding the storage of hazardous waste in its plating tanks and baths. The hazardous waste was described as spent cyanide solution from electroplating operations and plating bath residues from the bottom of plating baths for which cyanides are used in the process.

Cleanup Status

In June 2010, a draft Statement of Basis (SB), Administrative Record (AR), and Groundwater Monitoring Plan are under development for a proposed Final Remedy for the J.G. Wilson Site. The Final Remedy proposed consists of Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) with Institutional Controls (ICs) to protect human health and the environment given current and anticipated land use of the site. The remedy would require Truxton to regularly conduct groundwater sampling and analysis, and to develop and maintain certain property restrictions known as ICs. The IC will consist of a groundwater use restriction. A Notice of ICs and Declaration of Restrictive Covenants will be established with the Clerk’s Office of the Circuit Court of Chesapeake upon issuance of the final remedy.

These controls will provide assurance that the land use, as currently known and anticipated, does not change without additional investigation or work and prior notification to the EPA. EPA’s proposed decision represents “Construction Complete with Controls” as described in EPA’s “Final Guidance on Completion of Corrective Action Activities at Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Facilities”, (68 FR 8757, February 25, 2003).

On August 13, 2010, EPA issued the Final Decision and Response to Comments. Under the Final Remedy, some concentrations of contaminants will remain in the groundwater at the Facility above levels appropriate for residential and domestic uses. As a result, the Final Remedy will require the Facility to implement Institutional Controls (ICs) in order to restrict use of the groundwater to prevent human exposure to contaminants which remain in place. In addition ICs will require the implementation of a groundwater monitoring plan to monitor progress towards attaining the groundwater cleanup standards.

An Environmental Covenant (EC) for implementation of the Final Decision was finalized on September 18, 2012.

On September 1, 2009, the Groundwater and Human Health Environmental Indicators were given a “yes” determination by the VA DEQ.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of Former J.G. Wilson Corporation, Chesapeake, VA

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The former J.G. Wilson facility located at 120 Jefferson Street in Chesapeake, Virginia has been identified as a key to Chesapeake’s South Norfolk Borough redevelopment. According to various documents, the site was developed around 1905, as a manufacturing facility for metal and wood overhead doors. The J.G. Wilson Company filed for bankruptcy in 1991 and its property was acquired by Environmental Solutions, Incorporated (ESI). ESI decommissioned the site and demolished the last of the manufacturing buildings, in the mid-1990’s. The property presently is vacant.

The J.G. Wilson property is bounded to the north by a former Chesapeake Products fertilizer operation, to the west by the estuarine Elizabeth River Southern Branch, to the south by Poindexter Street and City-owned property that houses the Jordan Bridge tollgate office, and to the east by a Norfolk-Portsmouth Beltline Railroad maintenance facility and Standard Engine and Transmission. The former J.G. Wilson office building, recently demolished and removed from the site, was located at the northwest corner of Truxton Street and Jefferson Street.

In December 2003, Urban Design Associates presented the Poindexter Corridor Strategic Development Plan to the Chesapeake Economic Development Department. The J.G. Wilson property was proposed as South Norfolk’s waterfront connection, offering residential (condominium) living and retail and commercial office space. The purpose of the ongoing RCRA CA is to remediate the site to acceptable levels that will be protective of public health as it pertains to the proposed future land use, including commercial office space, retail, and residential (multi-family housing).

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Contaminants at this Facility

The primary contaminants of concern (COCs) based on past operations are arsenic and lead.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

 An institutional control in the form of an environmental covenant was finalized on September 18, 2012. The environmental covenant includes the following activity and use limitations: no groundwater from the upper aquifer shall be used for any purpose except environmental monitoring and testing. In the event that the current owner wishes to utilize groundwater as a drinking water source, then the current owner will be required to sample groundwater to confirm that the contaminants' concentrations, which include lead and arsenic, remain below their respective maximum contaminant levels (MCLs), and present the results to EPA for written approval to proceed. The recorded environmental covenant is included in the Documents and Reports section of this web page.

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

Although the Facility is currently vacant it has been identified as a key to Chesapeake’s South Norfolk Borough redevelopment. The J.G. Wilson property is the proposed future location of a multi-million dollar revitalization project which would include condominiums, boutiques, and restaurants along the Elizabeth River.

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Site Responsibility at this Facility

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

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