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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Great Lakes Chemical Corporation (Formerly: FMC Corporation) in Nitro, West Virginia

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    Cleanup Status

    EPA has reviewed the Corrective Action Stabilization Questionnaire and the Preliminary Review, prepared by WV Division of Environmental Protection (WVDEP), that identified over twenty-five Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs) at the site. WVDEP and EPA combined resources to complete Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) closure of one of these SWMUs, the RCRA  permitted container storage area. Under the WVDEP state order, the facility determined the extent of contamination at the unit and in impacted soils at that SWMU. In June 1999, the WVDEP released the facility from the financial responsibility requirements for closure of the RCRA storage area. In September 2003, the facility completed the environmental indicator determination that shows control of the human exposures to site contaminants. The remaining SWMUs require additional environmental investigation to determine the extent of control of exposures to contaminant releases to groundwater.

    In May 2002, EPA and the facility entered into a final corrective action administrative order under RCRA to complete the environmental investigation of the entire facility. EPA and the State will pursue characterization of onsite contamination and remediation of the remaining SWMUs and remediation of any releases of contaminants as appropriate. Effective May 6, 2003, EPA approved the Description of Current Conditions Report contingent upon the facility presenting additional information as itemized in an EPA letter. The DCC report established an environmental baseline to begin investigation and remedial actions as necessary. EPA approved the Phase I RFI Work Plan in March 2005. FMC completed field work and submitted a Phase 1 RFI Data Report in October 2005. Based on the results of the Phase 1 investigation a Phase II work plan was developed by FMC and field work for Phase II was completed during the summer of 2006. A Phase II RFI Report was submitted to EPA in April 2007. EPA/WVDEP commented on the report and FMC has discussed the comments with the Agencies and provided a written response to the comments in September 2008. FMC also provided a Sediment Sampling and Analysis Plan to EPA in October 2008. Sediment samples and pour water samples were collected from the Kanawha River in the summer of 2009. The results of those sampling efforts were provided to EPA in a March 2010 RFI Addendum Report. That report has been approved by EPA. Great Lakes Chemical Corporation and FMC Corporation have recently submitted a Human Health Risk Assessment Approach report dated October 2012, to EPA. After a review and comment process the Risk Assessment was revised and approved by EPA in August 2015. FMC Corporation is presently preparing a streamlined Corrective Measures Study.

    A corrective action final decision  was issued on August 31, 2017  which restricts the Facility to non-residential use through compliance with and maintenance of institutional controls, restriction on groundwater use, continued monitoring of groundwater, natural attenuation, vapor mitigation requirements in specified areas, operation and maintenance plan for areas with an enhanced concrete cover, and a soil and groundwater management plan to restrict activities in known contaminated areas. 

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    Site Description

    Interactive Map of Great Lakes Chemical Corporation, Nitro, West Virginia


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    The inactive Nitro, WV facility is over 60 years old and is located on the banks of the Kanawha River, within ten miles of Charleston, West Virginia. FMC manufactured various commercial phosphorous-based organic and inorganic chemical intermediates from its chemical processes. The RCRA regulated container storage area was permitted by the State of West Virginia in 1984 and taken out of service in 1994. As a part of the environmental investigation for full closure of the RCRA unit, metals were detected in the sump associated with the RCRA regulated storage area. In 1999, the facility received state closure of the RCRA solid waste management unit. The facility closed its operations in 2001. Prior to closing, the facility generated hazardous waste, but managed its waste offsite in less than 90 days at closure. No permit is required for this practice.

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    Contaminants at this Facility

    The facility investigations have identified Benzene, Trichloroethene, vinyl chloride, 1,4-dioxane and bis(2-Chloroethyl) ether as contaminants of concern identified at the facility.

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    Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

      Institutional Controls include:

      • Groundwater will not be used for potable purposes. while monitoring indicates that groundwater contaminant concentrations remain above Minimum Contamination Levels (MCLs)
      • No new wells will be installed on the Main Plant Area unless it is demonstrated to EPA that such wells arc necessary to implement the final remedy.
      • The Main Plant or Lake House/Lab Area will not be used for any residential purposes
      • Excavation or the area beneath the engineered concrete covers at AOCs 11. 12. 13 and 32 is prohibited
      • A vapor mitigation system will be installed and maintained in any new structures constructed within 100-foot or wells MW-11S, MW-12S or MW- 16S.
      • Compliance with the EPA-approved groundwater monitoring program while contaminant concentrations remain above drinking water standards.
      • Compliance with the EPA-approved Soil and Ground water management Plan

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      Land Reuse Information at this Facility

      The facility is currently unused.

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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 WV DEP.

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