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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Motiva Enterprises LLC - Fairfax Terminal (Formerly: Star Enterprise) in Fairfax City, Virginia

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In September 1990, oil was discovered in Crook Branch near the Star Terminal. Investigation by the State Water Control Board, Fairfax County, and the City of Fairfax concluded that the oil originated from a storm sewer line that runs along the southern border of Star Terminal. After the first incident, numerous incidents of oil releases in Crook Branch and complaints of petroleum odor near storm sewer inlets at the Mantua/Stockbridge residential area were reported. At the request of the Virginia Water Control Board, EPA assumed the lead agency role in June 1991 and directed Star to investigate and respond to the oil releases.

    Cleanup Status

    A large underground petroleum leak from the former Star Enterprise Terminal and now Motiva Enterprises Terminal on Pickett Road was discovered in 1990. The leak had resulted in a petroleum-contaminated groundwater plume that extended 2000 ft from Pickett Road to the Mantua community. Under EPA's direction, construction of a groundwater remediation system to clean up the petroleum-contaminated groundwater began shortly thereafter and began operation in 1991. Subsequently, the system was expanded and modified to its current configuration in 2000 as the final remedy. There are two major components of the remediation system, one located inside the Motiva Enterprises Terminal, and the other located in the community side known hereby as the Mantua system. The Motiva Terminal is one of four oil distribution terminals located on Pickett Road, Fairfax City, Virginia. The terminal has nine two-million-gallon above-ground tanks that supply petroleum to the region at a rate of one million gallons per day.

    In February 1999, EPA issued a Final Decision on the remedy after consideration of public comments on the remedial alternatives. The selected remedy is to continue operation of an interim pump-and-treat system installed in 1991 with installation of 4 horizontal infiltration wells on the community side. The horizontal infiltration wells, which began operation in April 2000, provide flushing of contaminated groundwater to the existing pump-and-treat system to enhance recovery. The remediation goal, as defined in the Final Decision, requires that groundwater be restored to drinking water standards, or that technological limits have been reached, provided that partial or full shut down of the system will not pose unacceptable risks to human health or the environmental.

    In 2009, after nine years of operating the final remedy and substantial cleanup of the release, EPA approved a “temporary shutdown test” of the Mantua system to collect data to determine whether a permanent shut down of the Mantua system is warranted. The remediation system located inside the Motiva Enterprises Terminal on the other side of Pickett Road will continue to remain in operation, and there is no plan to shut it down.

    The shutdown test called for sub-slab soil vapor sampling of 18 homes located above the plume, and extensive groundwater sampling. The data collected from the 4-year test were reviewed by a technical workgroup consisting of representatives from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the City of Fairfax, Fairfax County, the Mantua Community, and U.S. EPA. Groundwater data show that the systems’ performance has reached the point of diminishing returns, and further operation of the Mantua system will not perform more effectively than natural attenuation. Soil vapor data show that there is no vapor intrusion that would pose unacceptable health risks to homes above the plume. EPA presented the findings to the Mantua Community Association meeting on May 29, 2013. On August 20, 2013, based on review of the test data and support from the technical workgroup and the community, EPA approved permanent shut down of the Mantua System.

    Based on review of the test data, recommendations from the Workgroup, and comments received during the public meeting of May 29, 2013, EPA determined that the shutdown criteria as set forth in the Final Remedy were met. In August 2013, EPA approved permanent shutdown and abandonment of the off site system. In 2016, removal and abandonment of the offsite system in place was implemented in accordance with applicable permits and protocols.

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    Site Description

    Interactive Map of Motiva Enterprises LLC - Fairfax Terminal (Formerly: Star Enterprise), Colonial Heights, VA

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    The 18-acre Star Terminal is one of four oil distribution companies that occupy the Fairfax tank farm complex. The other companies are Amoco Oil Company, Citgo Petroleum Corporation and Old Dominion Terminal L.L.C. (formerly owned by Chevron). The Star Terminal has nine 1.3 to 2.8 million-gallon aboveground storage tanks that store gasoline, jet fuel, diesel fuel and heating oil. As Star's major distribution center in northern Virginia, the amount of fuel distributed monthly approaches 20 million gallons.  The Star Terminal was built in the early 1960's and began operation in April 1965. Motiva, current site owner, has nine two-million-gallon above-ground tanks that supply petroleum to the region at a rate of one million gallons per day.

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    Contaminants at this Facility

    Petroleum leakage is primary concern.

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    Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

    A pump and water treatment system (the Mantua System), installed in 1990, was approved for shutdown in 2013.

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    Land Reuse Information at this Facility

    The facility is under continued use.

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    Site Responsibility at this Facility

    Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action activities at this facility are being conducted under the direction of the EPA Region 3 with assistance from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

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