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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Johns Hopkins University - Applied Physics Laboratory (Formerly: Westvaco Corporation) in Laurel, Maryland

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Cleanup Status

This facility is one of EPA Region III's high priority Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) corrective action sites. An Environmental Indicator (EI) inspection was conducted at facility in June, 2001. Based on the results of the inspection it was decided that additional groundwater data was needed to better characterize groundwater conditions at the site.

The company conducted groundwater sampling at the facility in March 2002, in accordance with an approved work plan. In October 2002, Westvaco provided a final Investigation Report to EPA. Based on the results of the investigation, EPA made a preliminary decision that no further action is warranted at this facility at this time. EPA provided a public notice on November 15, 2002 stating their no further action decision. The comment period for this public notice ended on December 30, 2002. No comments were received and a final no further action determination was rendered.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of Johns Hopkins University - Applied Physics
Laboratory (Formerly: Westvaco Corporation) in Laurel, Maryland


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The Westvaco facility is located on Johns Hopkins Road approximately one-half mile west from Highway 29, in Laurel, Maryland. Westvaco constructed a facility and began conducting paper manufacturing research and development on this former farmland in 1966. Operations at this facility have consisted of paper coating research, development and testing. Research and development activities generally consist of the application, development and testing of various aqueous chemical coatings. From the facility's initial start-up in 1966 until 1989, all lab and septic wastes were directed to a drain field south of the plant buildings. Septic wastes were directed into the northern section of the drain field and the lab wastes were directed into a storage tank system consisting of three above ground storage tanks, transfer piping and infiltration wells that allowed lab waste flows to percolate into the upper soils region via several dry wells. In 1984, Westvaco installed several infiltration trenches at approximately 10 feet below the ground surface to function in conjunction with the dry wells.

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Contaminants at this Facility

The company conducted groundwater sampling at the facility in March 2002 in accordance with an approved work plan. In October 2002, Westvaco provided a final Investigation Report to EPA. Based on the results of the investigation, EPA made a preliminary decision that no further action is warranted at this facility at this time. EPA provided a public notice on November 15, 2002 stating their no further action decision. The comment period for this public notice ended on December 30, 2002. No comments were received and a final no further action determination was rendered.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

No Institutional Controls were required for the site.

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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

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

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