RHINEHART TIRE FIRE DUMP
FREDERICK COUNTY, VA
On this page:
- What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
- What Is the Current Site Status?
- Emergency Response and Removal
On related pages:
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 up to 25 million tires. In October 1983, a fire broke out in a five-acre tire storage area and burned until July 1984. The fire burned an estimated five to seven million tires, which produced a free flowing oily tar that ultimately contaminated sediments and surface water of an adjacent stream, Massey Run. The site was added to the Superfund program's National Priorities List (NPL) in June 1986. Following cleanup, the site was deleted from the NPL in September 2005.
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
In November 1983, during the firefighting 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 interim 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 for the on-site pond, 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 into 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 site in March 2002 and completed the work in September 2002. The remaining hazardous substances and materials were removed during this phase.
What Is the Current Site Status?
The construction and implementation of the site’s long-term remedy have been completed. The site was deleted from the Superfund program's National Priorities List in 2005. With all hazardous substances and materials cleaned up and removed from the site, additional monitoring is not necessary.
EPA has conducted two five-year reviews of the site’s remedy. These reviews ensure that the remedies put in place protect public health and the environment, and function as intended by site decision documents. The second Five-Year Review (PDF) completed in November 2002 concluded that the Site was protective of human health and the environment after the completion of the third and final remedial action. Since site conditions now allow for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure, EPA does not need to conduct another five-year review of the Rhinehart Tire Fire Site.
Emergency Response and Removal
Cleanup has 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.