Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

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The 125-acre Saltville Waste Disposal Ponds site is located in Saltville, Virginia. Olin Corporation's Saltville chlorine gas plant operated at the site from 1895 to 1972. Olin Corporation disposed of wastes generated by the plant in two on-site disposal areas, Pond 5 and Pond 6. Waste disposal operations contaminated soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater and caused contaminant accumulation in fish in the North Fork Holston River. Groundwater treatment and additional investigations are ongoing.

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What Is Being Done to Clean Up the Site?

The most recent five-year review concluded that response actions at the site are in accordance with the remedy selected by EPA and that the remedy continues to be protective of human health and the environment in the short term. Continued protectiveness of the remedy requires modification of the long-term monitoring plan, repair of damaged long-term monitoring wells, additional investigations, and an update of the operation and maintenance plan.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

EPA issued a Five-Year Review in September 2012 which found that cleanup remedies constructed to date are meeting their objectives. The next Five-Year Review is expected to be issued in September 2017. Supplemental investigations are underway to support selection of additional activities as part of the site’s long-term remedy.

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EPA’s Involvement at the Site

In 1982, the Virginia State Water Control Board issued a Special Order requiring Olin to dredge mercury contaminated sediments from a 1000-foot section of the river adjacent the Former Chlorine Plant Site. In June 1987, EPA issued a Record of Decision ( ROD-1) which identified interim measures to be taken to reduce the migration of mercury to the river. In 1988, Olin entered into a Consent Decree wherein it agreed to implement the interim actions and to perform a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) encompassing the remaining portions of the site, including the River. Consistent with ROD-1, Olin constructed a water treatment plant to remove mercury from leachate generated at Pond 5, and constructed a network of surface water diversion ditches to intercept clean storm water flowing toward the waste impoundments and convey this water directly to the North Fork of the Holton River. The water treatment plant began operation in 1994; treatment of water contaminated by leachate from Pond 6 was added in late 2001.

In 1997, Olin entered into a second Consent Decree wherein it agreed to implement the actions selected in ROD-2. The estimated cost of this remedial action was $35,000,000. On-site construction of the remedy selected in ROD-2 began in April 2001 was completed in Fall 2002. This work included, but was not limited to, construction of a cap over Pond 5 and a soil cover over Pond 6.

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