EPA Adds Paden City, West Virginia, Groundwater Site to Superfund Cleanup List
Paden City Groundwater’s addition to EPA’s National Priorities List elevates clean-up plans
PHILADELPHIA (March 18, 2021) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is adding the Paden City Groundwater site in Paden City (northern West Virginia) to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). The NPL is the list of hazardous waste sites in the United States eligible for remedial cleanup action financed under the federal Superfund program.
“No community deserves to have contaminated sites near where they live, work, play, and go to school. Nearly 2 out of 3 of the sites being proposed or added to the priorities list are in overburdened or underserved communities,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “EPA is building a better America by taking action to clean up some of the nation’s most contaminated sites, protect communities’ health, and return contaminated land to safe and productive reuse for future generations.”
The state of West Virginia referred the Paden City Groundwater site to EPA to assist in characterizing the extent and impact of the groundwater contamination. Paden City and the state of West Virginia support future investigation and NPL listing.
The site consists of co-mingled groundwater plumes contaminated with the solvent tetrachloroethylene (commonly referred as perchloroethylene or PCE) and its breakdown products which are commonly used in commercial and industrial operations such as dry cleaning. EPA considers PCE or (perc) as likely to be carcinogenic to humans.
“Today’s listing will enable us to continue our work, to investigate and remediate the groundwater contamination and to protect the citizens of Paden City.” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “The Superfund program works to ensure that residents don’t suffer negative environmental and public health consequences from past industrial and commercial operations, and that they have meaningful involvement in the decisions on how to clean up the site.”
Paden City’s public water source is groundwater. PCE was detected in the groundwater samples collected from the aquifer. There are two active municipal wells in that area that are contaminated above EPA’s drinking water standards for PCE. Paden City’s new water treatment plant was placed online in May 2020 and the drinking water currently meets state and federal Drinking Water standards.
“For far too long, the residents of Paden City have been dealing with contaminated drinking water that has impacted their lives on a daily basis,” said U.S. Senator Joe Manchin. “The inclusion of Paden City on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) is a step in the right direction to finding a permanent and long-term solution to the groundwater issues facing Paden City. I will continue working with Paden City, the EPA and state officials to clean up Paden City’s groundwater and fight to ensure all West Virginians have clean drinking water, no matter where they live.”
In concurrence with the state of West Virginia, EPA proposed adding the Paden City Groundwater site to the NPL on Sept. 9, 2021. The Agency published the proposed rule in the Federal Register and notified the community through the local media so interested community members could comment on the proposal.
The agency conducted a 60-day comment period from Sept. 9 – Nov. 8, 2021. EPA received seven comments, five of which supported the listing of the Paden City Groundwater site on the NPL.
EPA considered those comments in the final decision to list the site on the NPL and published a final rule in the Federal Register on March 16 establishing Paden City Groundwater as a Superfund site.
More information about the Paden City Groundwater Site can be found at: https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0304985
As the next step in the process, EPA will conduct a more comprehensive investigation of the Site, to determine the full nature and extent of contamination and examine potential remedies.