An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

Hazardous Waste Cleanup: USA Waste of Virginia Landfill (Formerly: Wheelabrator Landfill) in Bedford, Virginia

On this page:


On September 29, 1992, the initial Hazardous Waste Management Post-Closure Permit (Permit) became effective until September 29, 2002. The Permit required the facility to implement compliance monitoring. On November 26, 2001 the Groundwater and Human Health Environmental Indicators were given a "yes" determination by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

    Cleanup Status

    The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) prepared a Statement of Basis (SB) and Administrative Record (AR) in May 2010 proposing a Final Remedy for the Wheelabrator Landfill, USA Waste of Virginia Landfills, Inc. The Statement of Basis was noticed on July 18, 2010. The DEQ issued its Final Decision regarding the facility on September 22, 2010 via permit modification approval stating that Corrective Action was Complete with Controls.

    The Final Remedy states that no further actions to remediate soil or groundwater are necessary to protect human health and the environment given current and reasonably anticipated future land use. The final remedy requires the facility to maintain certain property mechanisms known as Institutional Controls (ICs) and Engineering Controls (ECs) because waste with hazardous constituents will remain at the facility in the closed capped landfill. The ECs consist of maintenance of the landfill cap as well as groundwater monitoring, as required under the facility's existing Hazardous Waste Management Post-Closure Permit (Permit). Also, the facility is required to maintain as an IC the Deed Notice which is already in place with the Bedford County Circuit Clerk's Office, Deed Book 844, Page 767-768, identifying the location of the facility's closed landfill.

    These controls provide assurance that the landfill cap, as currently known and anticipated, will not be disturbed without additional investigation or work and prior notification to the DEQ, and that groundwater monitoring will continue until the end of the post-closure care period at the landfill. DEQ's decision represents "Corrective Action 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).

    Cleanup Background

    On August 16, 2003, the Permit renewal became effective with an expiration date of August 16, 2013. The current Permit requires post-closure care, groundwater monitoring, and RCRA Corrective Action (CA), as necessary, for the closed landfill. The post-closure care period and groundwater monitoring for this site is to continue until December 21, 2018. A Deed Notice is in place identifying the location of the closed hazardous waste landfill.

    On April 20, 2004, the Solid Waste Management Unit (SWMU) Release Assessment Report was submitted identifying Pond #2 and Pond #3 as SWMUs. On September 26, 2006, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) determined that no further action was required at Pond #2 and Pond #3.

    On September 29, 2008, the compliance period for the regulated unit ended and a modified compliance monitoring program was installed. The groundwater will be monitored for the remainder of the post-closure period, which ends December 21, 2018.

    Top of Page


    Site Description

    Interactive Map of the USA Waste of Virginia Landfill (Formerly: Wheelabrator Landfill), Bedford, VA

    View larger map

    USA Waste of Virginia Landfills, Inc., Wheelabrator Landfill (Wheelabrator) is a 2.7 acre landfill located on approximately 12.626 acres of land approximately two miles northwest of the Town of Bedford, Bedford County, Virginia. An unnamed stream, a tributary to Little Otter River, is located along the eastern portion of the landfill site.

    Wheelabrator, currently owned by USA Waste of Virginia Landfills, Inc., was used for the disposal of furnace dust and furnace slag generated from secondary steel smelting operations conducted at the adjacent Wheelabrator Abrasives foundry. The foundry, located to the south of the landfill, melted scrap metal in an electric furnace to produce steel "shot". Furnace dust and furnace slag was disposed of in the landfill until 1985. The operational period for the Wheelabrator Landfill was from 1973 to 1985. The landfill, which operated for 16 years, was closed with waste in place on December 21, 1988.

    Top of Page


    Contaminants at this Facility

    The primary contaminants of concern in the groundwater include arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, cyanide, lead, mercury, nickel, and silver.

    Top of Page


    Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

    Institutional Controls include maintains of closed landfill cap and groundwater monitoring.

      Top of Page


    Land Reuse Information at this Facility

    The facility is under continued use.

    Top of Page


    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.

    Top of Page