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Record of Decision System (RODS)



Address:  2 MI W OF JUNCTION RT 128 & RT 126 
City & State:  FERNALD  OH  45030
EPA ID:  OH6890008976
EPA Region:  05
NPL Status:  Currently on the Final NPL
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/ROD/R05-95/289
ROD Date:  06/08/1995
Operable Unit(s):  02
Media:  groundwater, air
Contaminant:  Uranium, radium, strontium, radon
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.

The Feed Materials Production Center (FMPC) was the new name given to the Fernald Environmental Management Project (FEMP) when it went into production. The site is located on a 1,050-acre site in a rural agricultural area about 18 miles northwest of downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. The site is near the villages of Fernald, New Baltimore, New Haven, Ross, and Shandon, Ohio, and located west and south of Ohio State Routes 128 and 126.

The facility is a government-owned, contractor-operated federal facility that produced high-purity uranium metal products for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessor agencies from 1951 to 1989. Thorium was also processed, but on a smaller scale, and is still stored on site. A portion of the thorium has been shipped off site for disposal. Uranium processing operations at the FEMP were limited to a fenced, 136-acre tract known as the Production Area. The remaining FEMP site consists of waste storage and disposal areas and forest and pasture lands, a portion of which is leased for livestock grazing.

The land adjacent to the FEMP is primarily devoted to open land uses such as agriculture and recreation. There is some commercial activity adjacent to the site such as a panel truss company and several nursery suppliers. However, the majority of commercial activity is generally located in the Village of Ross, approximately two miles northeast of the facility and along State Route 128 just south of Ross. Industrial usage is concentrated in the areas south of the FEMP, along Paddys Run Road, in Fernald, and in a small industrial park on State Road 128 between Willey Road and New Haven Road. Open acreage on the FEMP is currently being leased for livestock grazing, but there are no areas within the FEMP boundaries considered to be prime farmland under the Farmland Protection Act of 1981.

Residential units are situated northeast of the site in ROSS and southeast of the site in a trailer park adjacent to the intersection of Willey Road and State Route 128. Other residences are scattered around the area, generally in association with farmsteads. An estimated 23,000 residents live within a five-mile radius of the FEMP.

The site was constructed in the early 1950s to produce high-grade uranium metal for use in plutonium production in government reactors in Richland, Washington and Aiken, South Carolina. The FMPC was constructed on an accelerated schedule by the Atomic Energy Commission with the aid of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The location was selected in 1950 and site preparation and construction began in May 1951. Operations began later in 1951 upon completion of the Pilot Plant, the site's first operational facility. Construction of the main facilities continued for three years and full-scale operation began in May 1954.

During production, large quantities of liquid and solid waste materials were generated. Prior to 1984, solid and slurried materials from uranium processing were stored or disposed of in the on-site Waste Storage Area. This area, located west of the former Production Area, includes six low-level radioactive waste storage pits; a burn pit; a clearwell; two earthen-bermed, concrete silos containing K-65 residues; one concrete silo containing cold metal oxides; and one unused concrete silo. Wastes from the non-process site operations were disposed of in the lime sludge ponds and a solid waste landfill (also located in the Waste Storage Area). Areas to the southwest of the former Production Area were used to dispose of earthen materials, construction rubble, boiler plant flyash and bottom ash, and other waste.

Production activities were stopped in 1989, and the production mission of the facility was formally ended in 1991. Operable Unit 2 consists of waste unit areas other than the Waste Pit Area. It includes: Solid Waste Landfill; North and South Lime Sludge Ponds; Inactive Flyash Pile; South Field; Active Flyash Pile; and Berms, liners, and soils within the operable unit boundary.

The Solid Waste Landfill was reportedly used for the disposal of cafeteria waste, rubbish, and other types of waste from the non-process areas and on-site construction/demolition activities.

The North and South Lime Sludge Ponds contain waste from the FEMP water treatment plant operations, coal pile storm water runoff, and boiler plant blowdown. The South Line Sludge Pond is inactive and overgrown with grasses and shrubs, while the North Lime Sludge Pond is currently in use.

The Inactive Flyash Pile was used for the disposal of ash from the boiler plant and other nonprocess wastes and building rubble such as concrete, gravel, asphalt, masonry, and steel rebar.

The South Field was reportedly used as a burial site for FEMP non-process wastes such as flyash, on-site construction/demolition rubble, and soils that may have contained low levels of radioactivity. A slope at the southwest border of the South Field was used as the backstop for the FEMP security firing range for 35 years. Lead ammunition used during target practice was embedded in this slope.

The Active Flyash Pile was the disposal area for flyash and bottom ash from the FEMP boiler plant.
Remedy:  Operable Unit 2 consists of the Solid Waste landfill, the North and South Lime Sludge Ponds, the South Field, the Inactive and Active Flyash Piles, and berms, liners, and soils within the Operable Unit 2 boundaries. Soils outside the Operable Unit 2 boundaries and all groundwater will be remediated under Operable Unit 5.

The selected remedy for Operable Unit 2 includes excavation of all material with contaminants of concern above the established cleanup levels, material processing for size reduction and moisture control if required, on-site disposal in an engineered disposal facility with a composite cap and liner system, and off-site disposal of a small fraction of the excavated material that exceeds the waste acceptance criteria of the on-site disposal facility. It is estimated that 314,700 cubic yards of OU2 material will meet the waste acceptance criteria and be disposed in the on-site disposal facility. It is estimated that up to 3,100 cubic yards of material will not meet the waste acceptance criteria for on-site disposal. This is approximately one percent of the total amount of waste material that will be excavated. This material will be packaged and shipped to an off-site disposal facility. Soils containing lead from the Firing Range will also not be disposed of in the on-site disposal facility. This material will be treated before being sent off site for disposal.
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