RHINEHART TIRE FIRE DUMP
FREDERICK COUNTY, VA
On this page:
- What Is Being Done to Clean Up the Site?
- What Is the Current Site Status?
- Emergency Response and Removal
- Operable Units (opens new page)
- Cleanup Progress (opens new page)
The 22-acre Rhinehart Tire Fire Dump site is located in Frederick County, Virginia. Between 1972 and 1983, the site owner operated a tire reuse and disposal facility, handling as many as 25 million tires. In October 1983, a fire broke out in a 5-acre tire storage area and burned until July 1984. The fire consumed an estimated five to seven million tires. The burning tires produced a free flowing oily tar that ultimately contaminated sediment and surface water of an adjacent stream, Massey Run. Cleanup is complete at the site. EPA took the site off the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in September 2005.
What Is Being Done to Clean Up the Site?
In November 1983, during the fire fighting operations, EPA's Emergency Response Team constructed a lined containment basin (Dutchman's Pond). The basin allowed EPA to collect over 800,000 gallons of the oily waste which was subsequently removed from the site and recycled into fuel oils. In 1988, EPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) which documented an imterim remedy to control the contaminants leaving the site via surface water runoff. The remedy included soil erosion controls, raising the height of the existing dam on Rhinehart's Pond, collecting and treating surface water runoff, and implementing a groundwater collection and oil/water separation system. Construction of the remedy was completed in April 1992. The on-site treatment plant eventually treated over 75 million gallons of water contaminated with heavy metals that otherwise would have discharged directly to the adjacent stream.
In 1992, EPA completed a study exploring methods to remove Dutchman's Pond. The selected remedy to close this impoundment was documented in a ROD signed in 1992. Remedial action to implement the clean closure of this basin was completed in 1995.
EPA initiated on-site construction of the third and final phase of cleanup work at the Rhinehart Tire Fire Site in March 2002 and completed the work in September 2002. The remaining hazardous substances and materials were removed from the site during the final phase of cleanup. As such, there is no need to perform any monitoring of the site.
What Is the Current Site Status?
The site’s long-term remedy included soil erosion controls, raising the height of the existing dam on Rhinehart's Pond, collecting and treating surface water runoff, and implementing a groundwater collection and oil/water separation system. Construction of the remedy finished in April 1992. After cleanup, EPA took the site off the NPL in September 2005.
Emergency Response and Removal
Cleanup has also included removal actions, or short-term cleanups, to address immediate threats to human health and the environment. In November 1983, during the firefighting operations, EPA's Emergency Response Team constructed a lined containment basin known as Dutchman's Pond. The basin allowed EPA to collect over 800,000 gallons of the oily waste, which was subsequently removed from the site and recycled into fuel oils.
During cleanup, a site can be divided into a number of distinct areas depending on its complexity. These areas, called operable units (OUs), may address geographic areas, specific problems, or areas where a specific action is required. Examples of typical operable units include construction of a groundwater pump and treatment system or construction of a cap over a landfill.