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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Union Carbide Corporation - Technology Park in South Charleston, West Virginia

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Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) entered into a Facility Lead agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on December 15, 1999 for conducting corrective action at the Technology Park (formerly Technical Center). UCC reviewed existing data on the site's Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs) and prioritized them based on potential risk.

Cleanup Status

In March 2010, a Corrective Measures Proposal (CMP) was submitted to EPA which proposed final corrective measures for the facility. The proposed corrective measures include maintenance of the landfill covers; continued operation of the lower ward leachate collection system and the Ward B central drain sump pumping system; and institutional controls. EPA had no comments on the CMP.

On September 30, 2010, EPA issued a Statement of Basis (SB), in which EPA proposed the Final Remedy for the Facility. The SB described the information gathered during the environmental investigations of the Facility, clean-up actions previously undertaken at the Facility, and explained EPA's proposed Final Remedy for the Facility. Consistent with public participation provisions under Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), EPA requested comments from the public on the proposed Final Remedy.

EPA held a thirty (30) day public comment period which began on September 30, 2010 and ended October 30, 2010.

The EPA issued its Final Decision regarding the Facility on December 15, 2010. All of the comments received by EPA during the public comment period were carefully reviewed by EPA and have been addressed and incorporated into the Final Remedy.

Cleanup Background

A Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) Facility Investigation (RFI) was conducted in 2000 and 2001. Additional groundwater monitoring wells were installed in December 2001, May 2002, June 2003 and June 2004 to evaluate the extent of the groundwater contamination in Ward Hollow.

UCC conducted temporal groundwater monitoring in 2004 and 2005 to support EPA's Groundwater Environmental Indicator (EI). The Groundwater EI documentation was submitted to EPA in August 2005 and approved by EPA in September 2005.

The RFI Report for the "low priority" SWMUs was submitted to the EPA and West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) in January 2005. In addition, groundwater samples were collected in 2007, which indicated that contaminants are not discharging to the alluvial aquifer north of the UCC Technology Park. In 2006, a groundwater monitoring well was sampled near the northwest boundary of the facility (referred to as the Greenhouse Area) and was found to contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). As part of a due diligence Phase II assessment for a potential property transfer, five additional groundwater wells were installed. One of those wells also contained VOCs. Groundwater continues to be monitored in accordance with the EPA approved Groundwater Monitoring Plan for both Ward Hollow and the Greenhouse Area.

A Supplemental RFI for the "low priority" SWMUs was completed in 2005 and 2006 at the "low priority" SWMUs identified as requiring additional investigation in the 2005 RFI Report. The data from these investigations was submitted to EPA in the Current Conditions Report in March 2008.

During the RFI process, Interim Measures were implemented at the Ward B Landfill and Building 707 Area. At Ward B Landfill, additional cover and drainage control was installed in October 2002 and the water from the central drain line, which previously discharged into Ward A Pond, was rerouted to the Holz Impoundment in 2007. The additional cover and drainage control was the final action necessary at the facility to meet the Human Exposure Environmental Indicator (EI), which was recorded on May 22, 2003. The Interim Measure in the Building 707 Area consisted of soil removal actions to remove impacted soil that was identified during a 2007 investigation. The soil removal actions were conducted in 2008 and 2009.

Human health risk assessments (HHRA) were completed for Ward A Landfill, Ward Branch, and buildings where there was a potential for vapor intrusion. The final HHRAs were submitted to EPA in 2009.

An ecological risk assessment (ERA) of the Ward A and B Landfills was conducted in 2005. Based on the findings in the ERA Report, additional investigation activities to support a Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment were conducted between 2007 and 2009. The final Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment was submitted to EPA in January 2010.

A Community Relations Plan has been prepared and approved by EPA. Communication to the public relies heavily on interaction with the South Charleston Area Community Advisory Panel (CAP). The CAP comprises interested members of the nearby community and meets on a regular basis. As outlined in the Community Relations Plan, work associated with the Facility Lead Agreement is routinely shared with the CAP.

During 2001, in addition to the normal communications, EPA presented the philosophy behind the Facility Lead concept to the CAP. Also, a UCC representative conducted a "Geology/ Hydrogeology" course for the CAP. This course explained the basic concepts of geology and hydrogeology and how they relate to remediation at the UCC Technology Park.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of Union Carbide Corporation - Technology Park, South Charleston, West Virginia

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Based on available information, including risk assessments completed for the UCC Technology Park, there are no imminent threats to human health or the environment from SWMUs at the UCC Technology Park. The main contaminants known to be present in groundwater in Ward Hollow are bis (2-chloroisopropyl) ether and 1-4 dioxane. In the northwest area of the facility, tetrachloroethene and chloroform are the primary groundwater contaminants.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Based on current information, there are no known imminent threats to human health or the environment from the UCC South Charleston Facility.  The primary constituents of concern are benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, chlorobenzene, dichlorobenzene, dichloropropane, trichloroethene and vinyl chloride.  The original list of primary constituents has been refined to focus on those constituents that require remediation relative to the sites Remedial Action Objectives of preventing unacceptable groundwater discharges to the Kanawha River and mitigating unacceptable human health risks due to vapor intrusion direct contact.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

Institutional Controls for Tract A:

  1. Industrial/Commercial Areas  shall not be used for residential purposes unless it is demonstrated to WVDEP, in consultation with EPA, that such use will not pose a threat to human health or the environment and/or adversely affect it. 
  2. In the areas within Tract A that are identified as requiring Vapor Intrusion and/or Subsurface Work restrictions, no earth moving activities, including construction and drilling, may be done unless such activities are conducted in accordance with a Health & Safety Plan that was approved by WVDEP, in consultation with EPA.
  3. Groundwater from Tract A shall not be used for any purpose other than to conduct the operation and maintenance and monitoring activities required by WVDEP and/or EPA.

 Institutional Controls for Tracts B and C:

  1. Installation of a vapor control system, the design of which shall be approved in advance by WVDEP, in consultation with EPA, in all new structures which are to be occupied in the areas identified.
  2. Tracts Band C shall not be used for residential purposes unless it is demonstrated to WVDEP, in consultation with EPA, that such use will not pose a threat to human health.
  3. Groundwater from Tracts B and C shall not be used for any purpose other than to conduct the operation and maintenance and monitoring activities required by WVDEP and/or EPA.

Institutional Controls for Tract D:

  1. Operation and maintenance of the Ward B central drain sump pumping system
  2. Operation and maintenance of the Lower Ward leachate collection system in compliance with the EPA
  3. Landfill inspections in compliance with the OMII
  4. Long-term groundwater monitoring in compliance with the EPA-approved Groundwater Monitoring Plan dated December 2009

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

The site has unused and reused parcels.

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Site Responsibility at this Facility

RCRA Corrective Action activities at this facility have been conducted under the direction of EPA Region 3 with assistance from the WV DEP.

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