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Record of Decision System (RODS)



Address:  MT FALLS 
City & State:  FREDERICK COUNTY  VA  22601
EPA ID:  VAD980831796
EPA Region:  03
NPL Status:  Deleted from the Final NPL
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/541/R-00/072
ROD Date:  09/29/2000
Operable Unit(s):  03
Abstract:  The Rhinehart Tire Fire site (the site) is located in a sparsely populated rural area in western Frederick County, Virginia, approximately six miles west of Winchester. The site is approximately 65 miles west-northwest of Washington, D.C. EPA is the lead agency and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is the support agency for the site. The site covers approximately five acres and consists mainly of a ravine that was used as a tire-disposal facility, a pond, a partially constructed incinerator, a treatment facility, and several drainage features. As a result of excavation and regarding activities, the site consists of three relatively flat areas (i.e., benches) separated by steep slopes. The sloped portion of the benches is covered with shorcrete, a hard material used to prevent erosion. The flat portion of the benched was graded and covered with clean fill material and is now covered with grass.

Surface drainage from the site discharges into Rhinehart's Pond. The operator created Rhinehart's Pond prior to the fire by damming Massey Rub, apparently for use as a cooling water pond. The water from Rhinehart's Pond is treated in the on-site treatment facility prior to discharging into Massey Run. Massey run is a shallow, intermittent stream that discharges into Hogue Creek approximately ¾ of a mile downstream. Hogue Creek is a tributary of the Potomac river.

Between 1972 and 1983, the operator used the site as a tire storage area, transporting discarded tires from area landfills, which could no longer accept tires for disposal. During the course of his business, it is estimated that as many as twenty-five million tires were handled by the operator. Most of the tires were sol for re-tread and others for docking linings, etc. The remainder of the tires, those that were in too poor shape for commercial use, were stored in a natural drainage swale of the wooded slope behind his home. In October 1983, a fire broke out in the tire-storage area. The fire spread and engulfed between 5 and 7 million tires that were stored at the site. The fire was brought under control within a few days, but continued to smolder for six months. The fire generated black smoke that was visible for approximately twenty miles. An investigation revealed that the fire was caused by an arsonist. The burning of the tires caused the release of inorganics contained in tires. The melting and pyrolysis of the tires produced a hot oily substance that began to seep from the storage area into Massey Run. An EPA Emergency Response Team (ERT) initially constructed a catch basin to trap the oil. However, because of a higher than estimated flow rate, the oil and water seepage threatened to exceed the capacity of the catch basin. Therefore, ERT constructed a second pond down-slope from the burn area. This pond, a lined, 50,000-gallon pond since named Dutchman's Pond, was constructed by mid- November 1983. Approximately 800,000 gallons of oil product were collected in Dutchman's Pond. The oil subsequently was removed from the site and recycled into fuel oil. In 1983, EPA entered into an administrative order by consent with the operator of the site. The site operator subsequently constructed dikes and ditched to control drainage and performed collection and pumping operations to minimize the volume of waste seepage from the site. In addition, the operator trenched and graded the site, which has affected the flow of the shallow groundwater and the distribution of the ash residues that remained after the fire.

The site was placed on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) in 1986 to address the long-term cleanup of the site. EPA is utilizing the Superfund Trust funds to finance the investigations and cleanup of the site.

Scrap metal, the tires which ere not burned during the fire, and additional tires which the operator received since the fire are being removed under the jurisdiction of the Virginia Solid Waste Program.

OU 3:

The overall objective of the Operable Unit (OU) 3 remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) was to further characterize and identify potential groundwater, soil, surface water, and sediment contamination from the tires that melted during the fire. Surface water and sediment sampling was conducted during the OU 3 RI/FS to characterize contamination in Rhinehart's Pond, to evaluate site impacts in surface water and stream sediments in Massey Run and Hogue Creek, to compare surface water and sediment concentrations in Rhinehart's Pond to background conditions, to compare soil and groundwater concentrations to background levels, and to evaluate the effects of surface water runoff and the collection system on Rhinehart's Pond and surface water in Massey Run and Hogue Creek. Concentrations on
Remedy:  Of the four alternatives evaluated to remediate the remaining contamination at the site, EPA has selected Alternative
RHP S-4, Sediment Removal and Disposal in a Subtitle D Landfill. The selected remedy consists of removing all of
the sediment from Rhinehart's Pond and the sediment existing 1,600 mg/kg of zinc from approximately the first 150
feet of Massey Run, de-watering or stabilizing the sediment (if necessary), and disposing of the sediment in a
Subtitle D Landfill. Specifically, this alternative for sediment remediation includes the following components:
· Remove the surface water from Rhinehart's Pond and treat to the existing NPDES discharge requirements prior to discharge to Massey Run;
· Remove all of the sediment (approximately 1,000 cubic yards) from Rhinehart's Pond;
· Cover excavated area with appropriate material suitable for sustaining an aquatic habitat if the dam is left in place or sustaining a stream channel and bank of the dam is removed;
· Remove the sediment which exceeds 1,600 mg/kg of zinc (approximately 15 cubic yards) from Massey Run;
· Place clean sediment in excavated area of Massey Run;
· De-water/stabilize the excavated sediment (if necessary) and treat the excess water (either in the on-site treatment plant or at an off-site facility) to the applicable Dispose of sediment in a Subtitle D landfill;

In addition, as part if the selected remedy, EPA will also decommission the existing facilities. Specifically, this work includes the following components:
· Conduct an evaluation during the remedial design to determine whether to remove the shotcrete from the face of the slopes or leave it in place; if removed, the shotcrete will either be disposed of off-site or used as fill on the site;
· Remove the dam on Rhinehart's Pond. The material from the dam will be used as backfill only if it does not exceed the Risk Based Concentrations (RBCs) or local background levels, whichever one is greater; the concrete portions of the dam may also be backfilled on-site;
· Re-grade and re-vegetate the face of the slopes and the benches; the pile of fill material which is presently staged on the property will be used as backfill on the site only of it does not exceed the Risk Based Concentrations (RBCs) or local background levels, whichever one is greater;
· Abandon the existing subsurface drainage system, in accordance with generally accepted engineering practices;
· Abandon the existing monitoring wells installed for the RI in accordance with generally accepted engineering practices;
· Remove and properly dispose of the oil/water separator, water treatment plant and the site fence;
· Re-channel the stream where Rhinehart's Pond was;
· Re-grade and re-vegetate the remaining portions of the site.

Estimated Capital Cost: $1,546,691 to $2,195,658
Estimated Annual O&M Cost: $0
Estimated Present Worth Cost: $1,546,691 to $2,195,658
Text:  View full-text ROD [ 2.31M ]
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