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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Atlantic Research Corporation in Gainesville, Virginia

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On October 20, 1992, Atlantic Research Corporation (ARC) signed a Final Administrative Order on Consent for Corrective Measures Implementation (CMI Order) at ARC’s former Facility leased from Gainesville Associates, located at 5945 Wellington Road, Gainesville, Virginia 20155. The CMI Order requires that corrective measures at the Facility follow a Corrective Measures Implementation Plan (CMI Plan). Since 1992, ARC has implemented the CMI Plan in various phases, and has documented the results in various reports including work plans, supplemental site investigation, risk assessment, and interim measure reports, and other documents that have been reviewed and approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Cleanup Status

In a June 14, 2018 letter, EPA indicated that ARC has satisfactorily completed corrective actions undertaken at the Facility pursuant to the CMI Order, Sections VI. H7 and I8.  The letter also noted that ARC has satisfactorily completed Interim Measures (IMs) as set forth in the December 20, 2013 EPA-approved IM Report to address perchlorate and other constituents of concern in soils.  EPA approved ARC’s Human Health Risk Assessment in October 2016 that identified and defined specific areas of the Site that exceed risk management levels for residential use. Given that contaminants remain in soil at the Facility above residential risk management levels, and at concentrations above risk-based standards in groundwater, ARC submitted a revised Corrective Measures Implementation Workplan (CMI) to implement the Final Facility-wide remedy, including land use restrictions, that was approved by EPA December 17, 2018.

The Facility is currently zoned for heavy industrial use (M-1), including an approximately 181 acre parcel sold to Sharpless Enterprises, LLC in 2017, and has been so zoned since the initial adoption of the Prince William County Zoning Ordinance. ARC continues to lease the remaining western part of the Facility (approximately 235 acres) from the property owner, Gainesville Associates.  Gainesville Associates has indicated that it intends to make the entire Facility suitable for unrestricted use and has reported to EPA that it has removed all potentially-restricted soils from the Sharpless Parcel.

ARC continues to operate and manage a groundwater extraction and treatment system (Northern Deep Treatment System) with performance monitoring at on-site monitoring wells locations, including monitoring wells located at the downgradient property boundary. Constituents of concern (COCs) currently meet risk-based cleanup standards at the downgradient property boundary and there has been no off-site groundwater or surface water contaminant migration detected. The groundwater extraction system includes approximately 53 monitoring wells that are sampled semi-annually or annually.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of Atlantic Research Corporation, Gainesville, VA

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The Facility operated as a solid fuel rocket propellant and rocket motor production plant primarily under contracts with the DOD from 1951 to 2005, when the Facility was decommissioned by ARC. Early operation of the Facility was conducted by Susquehanna Corporation, until ARC became the operator in February 1972. Operations included rocket and missile production, testing, research and development, and thermal treatment areas for the disposal of waste propellant. The original site is approximately 416 acres in area

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Contaminants at this Facility

Based on the risk calculations, the following COCs are included in groundwater monitoring: Tetrachloroethylene (PCE), 1,1-Dichloroethene (1,1-DCE), Methylene Chloride, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, 1,1-Dichloroethane (1,1-DCA), 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,2-Dichloroethane (1,2-DCA), Benzene, Carbon Tetrachloride,  Chloroethane, cis-1,2-Dichloroethene, Trichloroethene (TCE), Vinyl Chloride (VC), Perchlorate and 1,4-Dioxane.  The following COCs exceed vapor intrusion screening levels: PCE, TCE, VC, Benzene, 1,1-DCA, 1,2-DCA, and 1,1-DCE.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

 Institutional Controls (IC) Include:

  • Groundwater use restriction on the entire Facility
  • Soil is restricted on the specific areas of the western parcel identified on figures included as part of the IC plan.
  • Vapor Intrusion controls are required for a specific area shown on a figure of the IC plan representing groundwater exceeding VISL.

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

The eastern landbay, also known as the Sharpless parcel, was sold and is undergoing development. The remaining parcel, the western landbay, is currently undeveloped, however Gainesville Associates is implementing a plan for redevelopment.

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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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