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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Koppers Incorporated - Follansbee (Formerly: Beazer East) in Follansbee, West Virginia

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The facility is currently owned and operated by Koppers Industries, Inc.  In October 1990, EPA issued a 3008(h) Consent Order to Beazer East, former owner of the facility, to conduct a site wide investigation and to identify a remedy.

Cleanup Status

On September 10, 2010, EPA issued a Statement of Basis (SB) in which EPA proposed a Final Remedy for the Facility. The proposed Final Remedy consisted of the following 4 components: a soils component (Soil Remedy); a sediment component (Sediment Remedy); a groundwater component (Groundwater Remedy) and Facility-wide Institutional Controls (ICs). The proposed Soil Remedy consisted of compliance with and maintenance of ICs. The proposed Sediment Remedy consisted of dredging and capping. The proposed Groundwater Remedy consisted of continued operation of the perched groundwater collection system and the expansion of the interim dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) recovery system, as well as compliance with and maintenan

On September 10, 2010, EPA placed an announcement in the Weirton Daily Times to announce a 30-day public comment on the SB. Based on comments received during the public comment period, EPA has determined that it is not necessary to modify its proposed Final Remedy as set forth in the SB. EPA is, however, making minor modifications to the factual background and clarifying certain aspects of the proposed Final Remedy as described in the Final Decision and Response to Comments.

A Remedy Implementation Order was issued on January 3, 2012.  In accordance with the Order, construction of the cap began in summer 2011, and completed on January 25, 2012. In 2016, an Environmental Covenant was approved by WVDEP which will oversee compliance with institutional controls contained in the remedy.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of Koppers Incorporated - Follansbee, Follansbee, West Virginia

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The facility is located in the northern panhandle of West Virginia along the east bank of the Ohio River in Brooke County, just north of the City of Follansbee, West Virginia.  The facility occupies about 34 acres and is bounded to the north, south, and east by a coke-making facility owned by Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation.  Throughout its operation history dating back to 1914, the facility has changed ownership several times but has always been operated as a coal-tar processing plant.  The facility is located in a heavily industrialized zone within one mile of several population centers.   The northern portion of the facility is highly contaminated with coal tar constituents in soil and groundwater which have migrated into bedrock.

Ohio River is a sensitive ecological habitat. The river is hydraulically connected to the alluvial aquifer in which groundwater moves preferentially toward the river and during flood stage, a reverse flow may occur.  Thus, the contaminated groundwater has potentially greater impact on the river than on wells near the facility.  The region is heavily industrialized and multiple upstream contributors exist.  Thus, it may be difficult to quantify the isolated impact from one facility on the river.

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Contaminants at this Facility

The site is contaminated from a century of coal tar processing operations.  The soil and groundwater in the shallow and alluvial zones are contaminated with a range of contaminants including, but not limited to naphthalene, phenol, volatile organics (benzine, xylene, toluene, ethybenzene, trichloroethene and trichlorobenzene), polycyclic aromatics, cyanide,  and metals.  A coal-tar dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) pool, up to seven feet thick in one well, was detected in the bedrock one hundred feet beneath the surface.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

The Final Remedy consists of the Soil Remedy with Institutional Controls (ICs ), the Sediment Remedy, the Groundwater Remedy, and Facility-wide non-engineering controls.

The ICs shall be implemented through an enforceable mechanism such as an order or n Environmental Covenant pursuant to the West Virginia Uniform Environmental Covenants Act, Chapter 22, Article 22.B, §§ 22-22B-1 through 22-22B-14 of the West Virginia Code (Environmental Covenant).

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

The facility is under continued use.

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Site Responsibility at this Facility

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action activities at this facility have been conducted under the direction of West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection with assistance from the EPA Region 3.

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