Superfund Site Profile


The Saunders Supply Company Site, located in Suffolk County, Virginia, is a 7-1/3 acre former wood treating plant. Although wood treating operations ceased in June 1991, it is still an active lumber yard. Between 1964 and 1984, a mixture of pentachlorophenol (PCP) and fuel oil was used as the wood preservative. In 1974, the chromated copper arsenate process was added. Part of the spent PCP/oil sludge was disposed of by burning it in an unlined pit or a conical burner on site, resulting in the generation of dioxin compounds. In addition, some of the PCP sludge was sprayed around the site to control weeds. The soil at the wood treating facility and part of the adjoining property was contaminated with arsenic, chromium, copper, PCP, and dioxins. The groundwater in the shallow Columbia aquifer is contaminated with arsenic, chromium, and PCP. The groundwater flow in the aquifer is towards Godwin's Mill Pond, a source of drinking water for more than 30,000 people in the city of Suffolk. Approximately 1,300 people live within three miles of the site, and about 700 people are served by the municipal water systems within a mile of the site.

This site was proposed to the National Priorities List of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites requiring long term remedial action on January 22, 1987. The site was formally added to the list October 4, 1989, making it eligible for federal cleanup funds.