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Record of Decision System (RODS)



Address:  COUNTY RTE 9 
City & State:  MINERAL COUNTY  WV  26753
County:  MINERAL
EPA ID:  WV0170023691
EPA Region:  03
NPL Status:  Currently on the Final NPL
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/541/R-98/109
ROD Date:  06/30/1998
Operable Unit(s):  05
Media:  Groundwater
Contaminant:  Metals, VOC
Abstract:  Please note that the text in this document summarizes the Record of Decision for the purposes of facilitating searching and retrieving key text on the ROD. It is not the officially approved abstract drafted by the EPA Regional offices. Once EPA Headquarters receives the official abstract, this text will be replaced.

Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (ABL) is located at Rocket Center, in the north-central panhandle of West Virginia, about 10 miles south of Cumberland, Maryland. ABL consists of two separate industrial plant areas. Plant 1 occupies approximately 1,572 acres and is owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by Alliant Techsystems although it was formerly owned by Hercules Aerospace Company. The industrial portion (400 acres) of Plant 1 is located on an alluvial plain adjacent to the North Branch Potomac River. Plant 1 is the portion of ABL that was listed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1994. Plant 2, a 56-acre area adjacent to Plant 1, is owned exclusively by Alliant Techsystems, and is not listed on the NPL.

Plant 1 lies between the North Branch Potomas River and Knobly Mountain. Several communities are located directly across the river from Site 1. These communities include a total of approximately 30-40 residents, 15 of whom obtain all potable water from private residential wells. Other residents use a public water supply.

Operable Unit 1 (OU1):
Site 5 is a landfill situated on a terrace above the North Branch Potomac River, about 1,000 feet south of Plant 2. It has an area of approximately 4 acres and the western edge is composed of a steep bank that grades towards the North Branch Potomac River. Groundwater production wells, which are located approximately 2,000 feet southeast of Site 5, supply potable water to ABL. Natural springs are located near the wells. Commercial limestone quarries are also located within 3,000 feet south of Site 5.
The Site 5 landfill operated from the early 1960s to 1985 accepting wastes generated by ABL and deemed to be inert. Inert wastes were defined as wastes not contaminated with explosives nor generated at an area on the facility where explosives were managed. There is no current estimate of the volume of contaminated material in the landfill, however several areas of buried drums have been identified. There were no "hot-spots" or high concentration of wastes identified in the landfill that could be removed. The landfill has been covered with a one to two foot layer of crushed limestone. However, metal drums are still visible along the face of the landfill.
A Record of Decision (ROD) addressing the contamination associated with Site 5 landfill contents and surface soils was completed in February 1997.

OU3 and OU4:
Site 1 is approximately 11 acres and is situated on the northern edge of Plant 1. Since 1959, Site 1 has been utilized for various types of waste burning and disposal activities. Site 1 contains inert (non-ordnance) open and ordnance burn areas, two landfills, a former drum storage area, and three solvent disposal pits. Within the fenced portion of Site 1, known as the ordnance burning ground, eight earthen pads were formerly used to burn ordnance material generated at the facility. Selected pads are currently used for burning, however all burning is now done on steel pans. Near the southwest corner of the ordnance burning ground, three unlined pits historically were used to dispose of used solvents, acids, and bases generated by plant operations.
Waste not classified as ordnance or explosive contaminated, such as sanitary waste, was burned in the open burn area, located near the western end of Site 1. The ash from the open burning activities was landfilled, together with building material and other nonflammable debris, in the open burn area landfill along the bank of the North Branch Potomac River.
In August 1981, reports of deteriorated drums releasing their contents to the surrounding ground surface resulted in a cleanup effort in which the spilled material from the drums was removed from the ground surface and contained in new drums. The drums were then disposed in accordance with regulations.
OU3 is comprised of the groundwater, surface water and sediments in Site 1. OU4 is comprised of the contaminated soils atSite 1. A ROD was completed in May 1997 addressing OU3.

Site 10 is approximately 4 acres in size and is situated in the south central portion of Plant 1. The land use across the river from Site 10 is primarily agricultural. Building 157 at ABL was constructed in the late 1950s initially as a chamber preparation building. Operations in the building included degreasing with trichloroethene (TCE). TCE use, storage, and recovery was discontinued in Building 157 by the early 1960s. It is assumed that the TCE from this building was the source of the contamination detected in the groundwater at Site 10. An interim remedial action was presented in a June 1998 ROD.
Remedy:  Not one of the alternatives can be implemented at this time at Site 10. Because of the uncertainty in the effectiveness of natural attenuation at Site 10 and because the full extent of alluvial and bedrock contamination at Site 10 has not been defined, not one of the alternatives would be effective as a final remedial action for Site 10 groundwater at this time.

As an interim action, a modification of Alternative 9 - Focused Groundwater Extraction and Discharge to Site 1 Treatment Plant, is the selected interim remedial alternative. This selected alternative is anticipated to be protection of human health and the environment (groundwater). The selected interim remedial action will greatly reduce the migration of the entire plume and with institutional controls in-place, will be protective of human health.

The major components of the selected remedy are:
- Institutional controls, including land use restrictions imposed through appropriate administrative mechanisms to prevent groundwater use.
- Groundwater pumping from a minimum of three extraction wells to capture the hot spot of the volatile organic compound (VOC) contaminant plume. The remainder of the VOC plume will be investigated to better define the extent of contamination and to determine if the groundwater may be remediated through natural attenuation.
- Installation of a pipeline to transport groundwater from Site 10 to the Site 1 Treatment Plant.
- Discharge to the North Branch Potomac River.
- Groundwater monitoring on a timely basis, quarterly to semi-annually, will evaluate groundwater quality, contaminant migration, and degradation for inclusion in the five-year site reviews.

This selected interim action will be consistent with and a major component of any final remedial action selected at a later time for Site 10 groundwater.

The selected interim action alternative addresses contaminated groundwater at Site 10, but does not address contamination associated with surface and subsurface soil overlaying the groundwater aquifers. A separate Focused Feasibility Study (FFS) will be prepared which addresses soil contamination.
Text:  View full-text ROD [ 73K ]
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