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Case Summary: Big John Salvage-Hoult Road Superfund Settlement Agreement, Fairmont, W.Va

Under an October 10, 2012, consent decree, three companies agreed to pay approximately $29.8 million in cleanup costs for the Big John’s Salvage-Hoult Road Superfund Site in Fairmont, W.Va. Exxon Mobil Corp., Vertellus Specialties Inc., and CBS Corp. will perform cleanup work and reimburse the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and West Virginia $11 million for past cleanup costs at the Big John’s Salvage-Hoult Road Superfund Site. The estimated cost for cleanup work at the site is $17.8 million. The companies will also reimburse EPA and the state for all future costs associated with overseeing the cleanup work which is estimated at $1 million.

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Information about the Companies

  • ExxonMobil is the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas company. It is the world’s largest refiner and marketer of petroleum products, and its chemical company ranks among the world’s largest.
  • Vertellus was formed in July of 2006 by merging Reilly Industries and Rutherford Chemicals. Vertellus is a provider of specialty chemicals for the agriculture, nutrition, pharmaceutical and medical, personal care, plastics, coatings and industrial markets.
  • CBS Corporation is a mass media company that creates and distributes content across a variety of platforms to audiences around the world. It is a successor in interest to Westinghouse Electric Corporation with respect to the site.

Information about the Big John's Salvage - Hoult Road Superfund site

The 38-acre Big John’s site, located near the east bank of the Monongahela River in Fairmont, was designated a Superfund site in 2000, making it eligible for federal cleanup funds. The site became contaminated with hazardous wastes from decades of industrial activity.

Between 1932 and 1973, the site was owned by a predecessor of Vertellus Specialities, including the Reilly Tar and Chemical Corp., which operated a tar processing and refining facility. Domestic Coke, a predecessor of ExxonMobil operated a coke production plant adjacent to the Big John’s site and sold and delivered crude coal tar to the Reilly facility for refining. From 1973 to 1984, Big John Salvage owned the property, and operated a metal, glass, and oil salvaging operation. During this period, Big John’s accepted hazardous waste materials from Westinghouse Electric Co., a predecessor of CBS Corp., including mercury-containing fluorescent light bulbs, lead dust and mercury-tainted waste oil.

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Summary of the Consent Decree

Under the consent decree, Vertellus has agreed to conduct a removal action at the Site. CBS and ExxonMobil have agreed to make funds available for Vertellus’ use, as it completes the required removal action. All parties have agreed to reimburse the EPA and state of West Virginia $11million in past costs, and to pay to EPA’s future response costs associated with the consent decree.

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Comment Period

The consent decree, filed with the Northern District Court of West Virginia on August 20, 2012, was subject to a 30-day public comment period and subsequently approval by the court on October 20, 2012.


For information contact:

Bonnie Smith
Assistant Regional Counsel
US Environmental Protection Agency
Region 3
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA  19103
(215) 814-5543

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