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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Koppers Incorporated - Green Spring (Formerly: CSX Transportation) in Green Spring, West Virginia

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In October 1980, a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Part A Permit Application was filed and the impoundments operated under interim status. In January 1985, the Part B Permit Application was submitted and later revised in May 1986. In May 1988, the Part B Permit Application was denied. The surface impoundments were closed in the summer of 1988. The facility petitioned for RCRA Clean Closure and were subsequently denied due to the presence of PAHs in the soil underlying the former impoundments. A Post Closure Care Permit Application was submitted to West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) in 1995. A Post Closure Care Permit was issued in June 1997, requiring routine groundwater monitoring and reporting as well as cap maintenance. Prior to closure of the impoundments, separation and industrial evaporation techniques were employed to achieve a zero-percent wastewater discharge. No wastewater has been discharged from the site since 1988.

    Cleanup Status

    In Spring and Summer of 2001, Koppers Industries, Inc. (Koppers) submitted the preliminary results of the January soil and groundwater investigation and the re-sampling of additional wells in May 2001 to EPA. The objectives of this investigation conducted in January were to evaluate the extent of ground water contamination in the area where an oil sheen on the North Branch of the Potomac River was observed and to gather additional data to confirm the preliminary environmental indicator determinations. The May 2001 investigation was conducted to evaluate whether the existing analytical data associated with the wells sampled was representative of aquifer conditions. In the Winter of 2001, Koppers implemented a pre-design investigation to address the petroleum hydrocarbon sheen release.

    On March 20, 2002 EPA and West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) met with the CSX Transportation (CSXT) representatives to discuss the future direction of the RCRA Corrective Action Project. As a result of the meeting CSXT and Koppers determined that all future investigations will be conducted under the Facility Lead Program administered by EPA. In addition, based on discussions at this meeting, EPA, WVDEP and the CSXT representatives collectively agreed with the pre-design conceptual remedial approach presented for the petroleum hydrocarbon sheen and the recommendations to conduct additional environmental indicator investigations. On April 19, 2002 CSXT submitted the Pre-Design Investigation and Conceptual Design Petroleum Hydrocarbon Sheen Report to WVDEP. On June 20, 2002, CSXT submitted the Phase II Environmental Indicator Investigation Work Plan to EPA. Upon approval of the Work Plan, CSXT subsequently submitted the Phase II Environmental Indicator Investigation Report on June 28, 2004. This report defines the extent of contamination at the site. Approval was granted for a Barrier Wall Containment System with recovery wells for extraction of contaminated groundwater to be pumped back to the facility for inclusion into the plant's wastewater treatment system. On August 20, 2004, the system was completed and began pumping the contaminated groundwater to the plant.

    When the groundwater recovery system became operational, Koppers met the Environmental Indicators for Current Human Exposures and Migration of Contaminated Groundwater Under Control. CSXT has implemented an operation and maintenance program at the site. On September 30, 2014, Corrective Actions (CA)were complete along with Institutional Controls enforced through an environmental covenant.

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    Site Description

    Interactive Map of Koppers Incorporated - Green Spring, Green Spring, West Virginia


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    Koppers owns and operates the wood preserving plant located on the North Branch of the Potomac River at the northern edge of Hampshire County in northeastern West Virginia. The facility is on the south side of the river opposite Oldtown, Maryland which is approximately 12 miles downstream from Cumberland, Maryland. Surrounding land is agricultural or mountainous forest land, except in the immediate vicinity of the facility. The plant utilized a series of impoundments to treat wastewater from the wood preserving operations. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B & O) began wood preserving operations at the plant in 1911. The B & O operated the facility until 1933 when Koppers was reportedly contracted to operate the plant for e railroad. On December 31, 1973, Koppers purchased the facility from B & O.

    The products produced at the plant consist of railroad cross ties, utility poles and piling. Waste water from the production operations of these products were channeled to an impoundment system to allow the settling of sludge prior to discharging to the North Branch Potomac River. The ponds were in operation from 1961 until 1977, when the sludge material was removed and landfarmed. The landfarming practice consisted of spreading waste materials on the ground surface and then incorporating the waste, by tilling, into the surficial soil zone, fertilizing and seeding. The former landfarm covers approximately 3 acres of relatively flat grassland northeast of and down gradient from the old impoundment system. The excavated areas were backfilled. A new biological wastewater treatment system was completed in early 1977. This system consisted of a two-cell evaporation and settling lagoon and a spray field for the management of the clarified wastewater. In October 1980, a RCRA Part A Permit Application was filed and the impoundments operated under interim status.

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    Contaminants at this Facility

    April 1999 groundwater data in the landfarm area detected benzene and naphthalene in the landfarm area wells above Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL) and Risk-Based Concentrations (RBCs) for tap water, respectively. Groundwater data collected in the main plant area detected several Poly-aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH). Naphthalene was detected at a oncentration exceeding RBC for tap water.

    On August 17, 2000, an oil sheen was discovered on the North Branch of the Potomac River. The sheen appeared to have been coming from the area near the bank of the facility. The size of the sheen was approximately three inches by six feet.

    A soil and groundwater investigation was conducted in January to confirm these results and characterize the contamination contributing to the oil sheen detected on the North Branch of the Potomac River.

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    Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

      Institutional /Engineering Control Summary
      Restrictions or Controls that Address: Yes No
      Groundwater Use
      X
       
      Residential Use
      X
       
      Excavation
      X
       
      Vapor Intrusion
       
      X
      Capped Area(s)
       
      X
      Other Engineering Controls
       
      X
      Other Restrictions
       
      X

        Institutional Controls enforcable through an environmental covenant include:

        • Groundwater at the Facility shall not be used for any purpose other than (I) non-contact industrial use; and (2) the operation, maintenance and monitoring activities required by WVDEP, unless it is demonstrated to WVDEP, and EPA, that such use will not pose a threat to human health or the environment or adversely affect or interfere with the selected remedy. This EC will then be modified in accordance with WV Code § 22-22B-I0
        • The Facility shall not be used for residential purposes unless it is demonstrated to WVDEP, and EPA, that such use will not pose a threat to human health or the environment. This Environmental Covenant (EC) will then be modified in accordance with WV Code § 22-22B-I0
        • All earth moving activities in (Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs) #1, 3, 4 and 5 including excavation, drilling and construction activities shall be prohibited unless it can be demonstrated to WVDEP, and EPA, that such activity will not pose a threat to human health or the environment or adversely affect or interfere with the Final Remedy

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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 have been conducted under the direction of WVDEP with assistance from the EPA Region 3.

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