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PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose tomorrow that three mid-Atlantic hazardous waste sites be added to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). Two of the sites are being proposed for the first time, while the third site is a previously proposed site now being re-proposed. Nationwide, EPA is proposing the addition of 12 new sites and re-proposing the addition of one site.
The newly proposed NPL sites in the mid-Atlantic region are the Kim-Stan Landfill, in Selma, Alleghany County, Va., and Vienna Tetrachloroethene, in Vienna, Wood County, W.Va. The mid-Atlantic site being re-proposed is Hanlin-Allied-Olin, in Moundsville, Marshall County, W.Va.
Once a site has been proposed "or re-proposed" to the NPL, there is a 60-day public comment period. The proposed listing can become final after the EPA has responded to all the public comments in writing. The 60-day public comment period on the three proposed sites starts tomorrow, coinciding with the notice appearing in the Federal Register. The comment period will end on June 22, 1999.
Sites placed on the NPL are eligible for long-term cleanup support by the EPA. With the two new proposed sites, EPA Region III has now proposed a total of 204 sites to the NPL since its inception in 1982. Of these 204 sites, 183 have been finalized on the NPL, and 20 of these have been deleted following successful cleanup.
The Hanlin-Allied-Olin site is an inactive chemical manufacturing plant located 2.5 miles south of Moundsville, W.Va. It is being proposed to the Superfund list because the groundwater beneath the entire property and much of the soil is contaminated.
Waste sources on the Hanlin-Allied-Olin site include surface impoundments (liquid waste ponds), landfills, waste piles, container storage areas, contaminated soil, and outfalls. Hazardous substances contained in the waste sources include mercury and various volatile organic compounds. These and other substances have been detected in groundwater, and some of them have also been released to the Ohio River through spills or at concentrations exceeding permit limitations.
Kim-Stan Landfill is an abandoned 24-acre unlined landfill located near the town of Clifton Forge in west central Virginia. Waste oil contaminated with PCBs, aluminum sludges containing mercury, asbestos and medical waste were all disposed of at the landfill.
Leachate seeps and surface water runoff from Kim-Stan Landfill enter nearby streams which flow through a string of ponds and eventually into the Jackson River. As a result, hazardous substances from the landfill have contaminated nearby wetlands and the ponds, which are used for fishing. Although the Commonwealth of Virginia has undertaken several measures to improve conditions at the landfill since ordering its closure in 1990, off-site discharges continue to pose environmental concerns.
The Vienna Tetrachloroethene site is located in a commercial and residential area of downtown Vienna, a suburb of Parkersburg, W.Va. Soils and groundwater in the area are contaminated with the dry cleaning solvent tetrachloroethene, also known as perchloroethene (PCE). This contamination is the result of past disposal practices and spills at the Vienna Cleaners facility, located about one block northwest of the Vienna City Hall. A second source of PCE contamination in the area is the Busy Bee Cleaners facility, located about three blocks southwest of Vienna Cleaners.
Six of Vienna’s 12 municipal wells were shut down in 1992 because of PCE contamination. EPA subsequently spent emergency funds to construct two new municipal wells, which were brought on line in 1997. About 14,500 people rely on the city’s eight active municipal wells for their water supply. Another 40,500 people are served by five wells making up the Parkersburg municipal water supply system.
The Superfund trust fund was established in 1980 to finance hazardous waste cleanups with taxes generated from chemical and waste producing industries. Congress has not yet reauthorized the Superfund law, and the fund currently relies on its strong enforcement arm to seek reimbursement from companies that generate hazardous waste.