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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Follansbee Plant (also known as: Trimodal Terminal; 6Twelve Properties) in Follansbee, West Virginia

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In June 2, 1998 EPA issued a Unilateral Order to Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corporation (WPSC) pursuant to Section 3008(h) of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), to perform the following tasks:  1) implement Interim Measures at the Facility to prevent or mitigate threats to human health or the environment; 2) conduct a site investigation to determine the nature and extent of any release of hazardous waste and/or hazardous constituents at or from the Facility; and 3) conduct a Corrective Measures Study to identify and evaluate alternatives for corrective action necessary to prevent or mitigate migration or releases of hazardous wastes and/or hazardous constituents at or from the facility.  In 2016, a Land Use Covenant was approved by WVDEP which will implement the institutional controls contained in the remedy.

The first round sampling of La Brea Flats (Parcel B of 6Twelve Properties) was completed in summer 2016 in accordance with EPA approved work plan.

    Cleanup Status

    WPSC and its successor RG Steel LLC has completed Task 1 but not Tasks 2 and 3 before declaring bankruptcy in 2013.  In a bankruptcy estate sale, the 610-acre WPSC is subdivided into an 80-acre parcel sold to Trimodal Terminal, L.P. and a 341-acre parcel sold to 6Twelve Properties, LP.  The balance of 189 acres WPSC property remains unclaimed at the time of this writing.  In December 2013, EPA issued an Administrative Order to the common owner of 6Twelve Properties and Trimodal Terminal L.P. by which the owner assumes the responsibility to complete the remaining investigation tasks.

    In December 2014, EPA issued a No-Further-Action decision on a 326-acre undeveloped parcel, known as Parcel A, within the 6Twelve Properties based on review of available information which indicates that the parcel has no unaddressed releases of hazardous waste or hazardous constituents.    The remaining 15-acre parcel, known as Parcel B, requires further investigation to identify a remedy.  A perimeter fence has been erected on Parcel B as an interim measure to prevent human exposure to coal tar disposal within.

    Site investigation for the 80-acre Trimodal Properties was completed in 2015 and proposal for a remedy was announced for public comment between December 4, 2015, and January 4, 2016.  No comments were received and a Final Decision was selected on January 28, 2016 which consists of:  1) Installation and maintenance of permanent covers over a defined soil impact zone; 2)Installation  and maintenance of vapor mitigation systems in future buildings constructed over a defined vapor impact zone; 3) Implementation of a Soil Management Plan to protect the permanent covers and prevent exposure and the spreading of contaminated soil during construction; and 4) Implementation of property-wide groundwater and land use restrictions to non-residential via an enforceable Land Use Covenant.

    The owner is looking for buyers or tenants to develop the land in which the 326-acre Parcel A of 6Twelve Properties is ready for development with no restrictions, and the 80-acre Trimodal Properties will be ready for development with restrictions imposed by institutional controls contained in the proposed remedy.

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    Site Description

    Interactive Map of Follansbee Plant, Follansbee, West Virginia


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    WPSC is a Coke Plant that began operation in 1917. Past operations include operation of coke ovens to produce metallurgical-grade coke for use in steel production, processing of coke-oven gas in the Byproducts Plant, and treatment of generated wastewater. Primary coke production and byproducts recovery operations were conducted on portions of the WPSC facility adjacent to 6Twelve Properties and Trimodal Terminal.

    Past operations in the 6Twelve Properties is limited to disposal of coal tar within the 15-acre Parcel B. Past operations in the Trimodal Terminal include material storage of iron ore, sinter ore, raw material, coke stockpile, operation of a former tar decanter sludge impoundment (previously closed under RCRA), a former Sinter Plant, an active rail line, and an active vehicle maintenance garage.

    Parcel A is a 326-acre parcel within the 341-acre 6Twelve Properties that was formerly owned by Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corporation (WPS) and its successors. In 2013, 6Twelve Properties, L.P. purchased the property from WPS's successor RG Steel, LLC in a bankruptcy estate sale. Parcel A can be divided into three land use zones: 209.5 acres of unmanaged forest land, 91.5 acre of highways fill area, and 25 acres of open ground cleared from a former employee housing area that is currently leased for truck parking. EPA has determined in August 2014, that Parcel A has not been used for industrial or waste disposal activities in the past and thus further Corrective Action is not required for this area.

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    Contaminants at this Facility

    Contaminants currently known to exist at the Facility include benzene, toluene, phenol, naphthalene, benz(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, and metals.

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    Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

      The need for Institutional Controls is yet to be determined on areas outside of Parcel A.

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      Land Reuse Information at this Facility

      The facility is under redeveopment.

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      Site Responsibility at this Facility

      RCRA Corrective Action activities at this facility have been conducted under the direction of EPA Region 3 with assistance from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

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