Superfund Site: U.S. TITANIUM

Superfund Site Profile


The U.S. Titanium site located in Nelson County, Virginia is a 50-acre site formerly occupied by an American Cyanamid Company plant which refined titanium ore and manufactured titanium dioxide for paint pigments from 1931 until 1971. Following plant closure, the processing plant, settling ponds, tailings ponds, wastewater lagoons and a waste disposal area remained on site. Ferrous sulfate, a highly acidic by-product of titanium dioxide manufacturing, and heavy metals (aluminum, iron, copper, nickel and zinc) are the primary site contaminants. Acidic storm water runoff from the waste piles and ponds and acidic ground water seeps/springs contributed to six major fish kills in the Piney and Tye Rivers from 1977 to 1981. As a result of these releases, more than 200,000 fish died.

The site is located in the town of Piney River which has a population of approximately 100 people. It is estimated that about 200 people live within a 1 mile radius of the site. The closest residence is 1/4 mile from the site. As a result of past waste disposal practices, the on-site groundwater is highly acidic. Local residents use groundwater for their drinking water supply, but no residential well contamination has been detected.

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 December 30, 1982. The site was formally added to the list September 8, 1983, making it eligible for federal cleanup funds.