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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Solenis LLC (Formerly: Ashland Hercules Water Technology) in Courtland, Virginia

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Prior to EPA involvement at the Facility, Hercules closed some units or solid waste management units (SWMUs) under Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) direction. In October 1999, Hercules agreed to conduct further environmental investigation and clean-up under a Facility-Lead Agreement with EPA to satisfy Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action Program requirements. In October 2010, Hercules entered into a "RCRA 3013 Order on Consent" with EPA to finish Corrective Action at the Facility.

Cleanup Status

Hercules investigated contamination from chemical releases as documented in the Release Assessment (ERM; March 1999) and the Release Assessment Addendum (GES; January 2002). Site-related contaminants were identified in soil and groundwater and include: 1, 2 -dichloropropane (PDC), benzene, acetone, heptane, phenols, petroleum hydrocarbons, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons and organic peroxides.

At one unit, organic peroxides in groundwater is being treated by air-sparging. Hercules completed groundwater sampling of private wells located around the facility and found no site-related compounds. In 2010, Hercules stabilized, excavated and removed sludge in former waste pits and a lagoon located in the West Area. In July 2015, the Facility submitted their Corrective Measures Study (CMS) to EPA. Groundwater is the remaining media needing remediation. Various groundwater remedy options were evaluated for final remedy in the CMS. EPA approved the CMS in August 2016 and thereafter selected the Final Remedy for the Site in November 2016 after no comments were received during the 30-day public comment period.

The remedy consists of monitored natural attenuation of residual contaminants in Groundwater (GW) and air-sparging in the Vul-Cup area until GW meets the clean-up goals. Restrictions on land use (restricted to industrial uses) and prohibiting shallow GW use for drinking water purposes will be implemented through an environmental covenant or other institutional control.  EPA receives Annual GW Reports to document GW clean-up progress.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of Ashland Incorporated, Courtland, VA

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The Facility has been a chemical processing plant producing rosin, fatty acids and organic peroxides since 1955. The primary raw material used was 'tall oil', also called liquid rosin, derived from trees (mostly pine) during wood pulping. Historically, Hercules managed wastes on-site in landfills, a spray field, lagoons and pits, but discontinued these waste disposal methods and upgraded waste handling. The current processes generate wastewater, non-contact cooling water, biological sludge and some spent solvents (from the on-site quality control laboratory). The wastewater treatment plant was upgraded and produces little sludge, which is shipped off-site under State (VDEQ) permit. Waste stored in pits was excavated in 1999 and 2010 and removed. In 2010. a lagoon and sprayfield were closed after sludge in the lagoon was stabilized, excavated and removed to an off-site commercial landfill.

In 2001, Hercules began selling some manufacturing units at the Facility, while retaining ownership of the property and responsibility for past releases. In 2008, the Facility tall oil distillation process was discontinued. Currently, Aquapel, Pamolyn and Vul-Cup process units remain active. In August 2014, Solenis, LLC acquired the Facility. Hercules, LLC retains responsibility for historic contamination at the Site. The Site-wide GW remedy is currently being implemented.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Contaminants of concern in GW were: Main Plant Area: 1,2-dichloropropane (PDC), benzene. Heat Generation Area: PDC, biphenyl, cresol m&p, naphthalene. Vulcup: PDC, heptane, methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), organic peroxide. East Area: PDC. West Area: acetone, benzene, cresol m&p, naphthalene, phenol, arsenic, chromium, lead, vanadium, benzene, tetrachloroethene, benzo(a)anthracene, bis(2-ethylhexl)phthalate and PAHs.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

Institutional Controls include:

1. For soils: implementation and maintenance of land use restrictions to prohibit use of Facility property for residential purposes.
2. For groundwater: continuation of active treatment in the Vul-Culp unit area and monitored natural attenuation/long-term groundwater monitoring in other areas where contaminants remain above EPA's Corrective Action Objectives.
3. For potential vapor intrusion into structures from subsurface contamination: installation of a Vapor Control System in any building with indoor vapor levels exceeding EPA' s acceptable levels.

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

This facility is under continued industrial use.

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Site Responsibility at this Facility

RCRA Corrective Action activities at this facility are being conducted under the direction of the EPA Region 3 with assistance from Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

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