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JPMorgan Chase Bank to Reimburse Government $1.28 Million for Cleanup of Boone County, W.Va. Superfund Site

Release Date: 09/05/2012
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, smith.bonnie@epa.gov, 215-814-5543

PHILADELPHIA (Sept. 5, 2012) - In a settlement announced today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, JPMorgan Chase Bank has reimbursed the federal government $1.28 million for costs incurred by EPA in cleaning up the Browning Lumber Company Superfund Site in rural Bald Knob, Boone County, W.Va. Under the Superfund law, past and current owners and operators of a Superfund site are responsible for the cleanup costs.

Cleanup of the Browning Lumber Co. site was completed earlier this year and included extensive cleanup by EPA prior to cleanup work performed by JPMorgan Chase -- the corporate successor to a former site owner. The site will be eligible for appropriate re-use as part of West Virginia’s voluntary cleanup program, which encourages voluntary clean-ups of contaminated sites as well as redevelopments of abandoned and under-utilized properties.

Starting in 1976, Charleston National Bank, owner of the site as trustee of the Shepard Trust, leased the property to the Browning Lumber Co., which harvested timber and used part of the property for wood-treatment. Charleston National is now merged with JPMorgan Chase.

The site became contaminated after decades-long wood-treating activities using chromated copper arsenate (CCA). CCA contains the hazardous substances chromium, copper and arsenic. Although the facility ceased operations by 1998, hazardous substances, primarily arsenic in soil, continued to pose a threat to human health and the environment.

Following a fire, EPA first investigated the site in late 2005 and later conducted a cleanup in 2006 and 2007 that included decontamination of the old wood-treatment facility, stabilization of a large area of contaminated soil, and proper disposal of 100 cubic yard of soil contaminated with arsenic and chromium and 43 drums of liquid and solid hazardous wastes.

For more information on this site, visit http://www.epaosc.org/site/site_profile.aspx?site_id=1961