Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

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The Culpeper Wood Preservers site, located in Culpeper County, Virginia, is an active 20-acre wood treatment facility that formerly used the chromated copper arsenate (CCA) waterborne treating process. Early on in the plant's operation, pressure-treated lumber was placed on an uncovered drip pad. As the lumber dried, CCA-contaminated drippings dropped directly to the ground. In early 1981, approximately 100,000 gallons of CCA-contaminated wastewater were released from an unlined, on-site waste impoundment, contaminating neighboring surface waters. In January 1982, the Virginia State Water Control Board (SWCB) determined that the groundwater had become contaminated with arsenic and chromium from the wood treatment processes. The site was formally added to the National Priority List (NPL) on June 10, 1986, making it eligible for federal cleanup funds.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

  • EPA and the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1981 required Culpeper Wood Preservers, Inc., the Potentially Responsible Party (PRP), to improve site conditions to control contaminated runoff. These improvements included removing a portion of contaminated soil, constructing newly covered drip pads, and reconstructing the waste impoundment. In addition, trenches were dug downgradient from the impoundments to catch leachate.
  • Culpeper Wood Preservers entered into a Consent Order with EPA to conduct a site-wide study to determine the extent of contamination and to identify alternative technologies for the cleanup at the site. Sampling of the surface water and sediments in the wetland areas down gradient from the site occurred in the spring of 2007. The bulk of the sampling (groundwater, soil, surface water, and sediments) on the site and in the area of the site occurred in August of 2007. Residential well sampling and additional soil sampling occurred in August 2008. Follow-up residential well sampling occurred in November 2008, June 2016, and January 2017. Based on the residential well sampling, Culpeper is now supplying several homes with bottled water.
  • A revised Remedial Investigation report was submitted to EPA in October 2010. Culpeper also began work on the Feasibility Study report. Work on these reports was temporarily suspended while a review of the clean-up standard for hexavalent chromium was being undertaken by EPA. Work to finalize the Remedial Investigation report was restarted in 2014 and completed in 2016. The Feasibility Study report is planned to be completed in 2017.
  • Upon completion of the Feasibility Study report, EPA will select a final cleanup remedy for the site, with design of the selected remedy slated to start soon thereafter.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

  • A Memorandum of Understanding detailing how the Remedial Investigation report would be finalized was agreed upon by EPA, VADEQ and the Potentially Responsible Parties on December 17, 2014.
  • The Remedial Investigation report was completed in 2016 and EPA expects to finalize the Feasibility Study report in mid-2018. EPA will then select a final cleanup remedy for the site, with design of the selected remedy slated to start soon thereafter.


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