3 Companies Agree to $29.8 Million Superfund Cleanup Plan
The State Journal
20 August 2012
Three companies have agreed to pay about $29.8 million in cleanup
costs for a Superfund site in Fairmont, the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) announced Monday.
The three companies – Exxon Mobil Corp., Vertellus Specialties
Inc. and CBS Corp .— will perform cleanup work and reimburse
the EPA and the state of West Virginia $11 million for past
cleanup costs at the Big John's Salvage-Hoult Road Superfund site,
the EPA said. The companies have agreed to do the cleanup at the
site at an estimated cost of $17.8 million. The companies will
also reimburse EPA and the state for all future costs associated
with overseeing the cleanup. Those are estimated to be $1 million.
The 38-acre Big John's site, located near the east bank of the
Monongahela River in Fairmont, was designated a Superfund site in
2000, making it eligible for federal cleanup funds. The site
became contaminated with hazardous wastes from decades of
Cleanup actions will include constructing an impermeable cap to
contain contaminated soil and enhancing an existing ground water
containment system to help prevent contaminants from migrating.
Additionally, about 5,500 cubic yards of tar wastes coating a
one-acre area along the bottom of the Monongahela River will be
removed and sent to a certified disposal facility, the EPA said.
Between 1932 and 1973, the site was owned by a predecessor of
Vertellus Specialities, including the Reilly Tar and Chemical
Corp., which operated a tar processing and refining facility.
Domestic Coke, a predecessor of ExxonMobil, operated a coke
production plant adjacent to the Big John's site and sold and
delivered crude coal tar to the Reilly facility for refining.
From 1973 to 1984, Big John Salvage owned the property and
operated a metal, glass and oil salvaging operation. During that
time, Big John's accepted hazardous waste materials from
Westinghouse Electric Co., a predecessor of CBS Corp., including
mercury-containing fluorescent light bulbs, lead dust and
mercury-tainted waste oil, the EPA said.
Work is currently ongoing at the site to prevent the release of
tar seeps to surface water and the Monongahela River. Since 2001,
more than 11 million gallons of contaminated water have been
captured in a collection system and cleansed in a series of water
treatment systems before they could enter the river, the EPA said.