Pacific Southwest, Region 9: Superfund
Serving Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands, and Tribal Nations
J. H. Baxter & Co.
EPA #: CAD000625731
Congressional District: 02
Other Names: Roseburg Forest Products Baxter/International Paper/Roseburg
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Description and History
NPL Listing History
NPL Status: Final
Proposed Date: 06/24/88
Final Date: 10/04/89
The J.H. Baxter Superfund Site comprises approximately 205 acres, located at 422 Mill Street, in Weed, California. The Site is owned partially by J.H. Baxter Company and partially by Roseburg Forest products. It is bounded by residences to the west and northwest, by Roseburg Forest Products to the north, and irrigated pasture to the south. Land use in the vicinity includes industrial, residential, and pasture/mixed woodland. The site has been used continuously for wood treatment and related activities since 1937 and was placed on the National Priorities List in 1989. The site chemicals of concern were selected primarily on the basis of the concentration detected, or the known or suspected toxicological properties of the substance. The wood treatment inorganic (metal) chemicals of concern include arsenic, chromium, copper, and zinc, with arsenic being identified as a high threat contaminant. The organic chemicals of concern include carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), tetrachlorophenol, chlorinated dibenzodioxins and chlorinated dibenzofurans. Carcinogenic PAHs, PCBs, and dioxins have been identified as high threat contaminants. Approximately 25 years prior to 1962, the International Paper Company operated the facility, disposing of wood treatment chemicals in unlined pits or bermed areas on the site. From 1976 to 1983, process water was sprayed onto an open field on the site, contaminating soil and ground water.
The Preliminary Close Out Report was prepared in August of 2001, and the second Five Year Review was completed in September 2005. In September of 2007, the J.H. Baxter property was leased to Pacific States Treating, a subsidiary of Pacific States Industry, Inc.. The fourth Five Year Review, completed in September 2015, concluded that the remedy at the J.H. Baxter Superfund site is protective of human health and the environment because the asphaltic surface and restrictive covenants prevent direct contact exposure to the soil and groundwater. In addition, groundwater is being effectively contained or restored.
Contaminants and Risks
- Surface Water
- Soil and Sludges
- Environmentally Sensitive Area
Groundwater, surface water, and sediments are contaminated with pentachlorophenol (PCP), creosote, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), arsenic, and heavy metals including chromium and zinc. Soil contains arsenic, chromium, PCP, creosote, PAHs, and dioxin. Prior to cleanup, people faced a health threat if they accidentally ingested, inhaled, or came into direct contact with contaminated groundwater, soil, surface water, sediments, or dust. In 1990, the EPA sampled off-site soils for arsenic and chromium, but found no significant contamination. Beaughton Creek, formerly a trout habitat, has been contaminated with creosote.
Who is Involved
This site is being addressed through Federal and potentially responsible parties' actions.
Investigation and Cleanup Activities
This site is being addressed in two stages: immediate actions and a long-term remedial phase focusing on cleanup of the entire site.
Immediate Actions: In 1986, the potentially responsible parties installed a fence around the site to prevent direct contact with the site contaminants.
Remedies selected for soil, surface water, groundwater, vapor, or particulate, as stated in the 1990 ROD, were to achieve remedial standards based on a 10E-6 excess cancer risk, background, or non-detect (as indicated by accepted analytical methods used at the time). In 1998, the EPA issued ROD Amendment No. 1 in response to significant changes in the understanding of Site conditions and contamination estimates (increases in the quantity of dense nonaqueous-phase liquid [DNAPL] found during design studies that followed the 1990 ROD). DNAPLs include carcinogenic polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (benzo(a)anthracene, chrysene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, indeno(123-cd)pyrene) and noncarcinogenic PAHs (naphthalene, 2-methylnaphthalene, acenaphthylene, acenaphthene, dibenzofuran, fluorine, phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene, pyrene, benzo(g,h,i)perylene). These increases, along with questions regarding the effectiveness of the selected remedy, resulted in EPA performing a Final Focused Feasibility Study of Technical Impracticability (Bechtel, 1997). The ROD Amendment documents a waiver of groundwater cleanup standards set forth in the 1990 ROD for the DNAPL zone only. Groundwater outside the DNAPL zone will be remediated to ROD standards. The Amendment also allowed for soil designated as Area B soils (not identified in the ROD) to undergo bioventing as a form of treatment for PAHs. An Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) was issued in September of 2001. The ESD changed the treatment standard for non-carcinogenic PAHs in soils placed in the RCRA-equivalent cell from 1.0 to 2.6 milligrams per liter. The ESD allowed for the treated (land-farmed) soils to be disposed of in the RCRA equivalent cell, designated as a Corrective Action Management Unit (CAMU). The land-farmed soils were placed in the CAMU in August 2001, concurrent with the time the ESD was prepared, so that the disposal cell could be covered and completed during the 2001 construction season.
In 1983, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board (CRWQCB) issued a Cleanup and Abatement Order and a Cease and Desist Order. In 1984, the CRWQCB ordered Roseburg to cease discharge of contaminated water. In 1991, EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order to the responsible parties requiring them to carry out the cleanup
Cleanup Results to Date
The remedy, as specified by the ROD, ROD Amendment, and ESD (see ongoing cleanup, above) has been implemented.
Potentially Responsible Parties
Potentially responsible parties (PRPs) refers to companies that are potentially responsible for generating, transporting, or disposing of the hazardous waste found at the site.
Online information about the PRPs for the site is not yet available.
Documents and Reports
Public Information Repositories
The public information repositories for the site are at the following locations:
780 South Davis Street, 96094
Weed, CA 96094
College of the Siskiyous Library,
800 College Avenue, Weed, CA 96094
EPA Site Manager
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Community Involvement Coordinator
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Public Information Center
Sacramento Field Office
8800 Cal Center Drive
Sacramento, CA 95826-3200
After Hours (Emergency Response)