Consent Order between Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Virginia Tech
Public Comment Period Extended
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is extending the public comment period for its proposed decision that Corrective Action is Complete requiring groundwater monitoring, groundwater and land use restrictions under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, as amended (RCRA), for the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University at Blacksburg, Virginia facility (Facility). For more information, please see their web site.
Executive Summary of Consent Order
Virginia Tech entered into a consent agreement in September, 2010, with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in response to a potential ground water contamination concern. The contamination was found during an investigation conducted during the early 1990's and Virginia Tech believed that the issue had been resolved at that time.
Summary of Consent Order Process to Date
As part of the consent order, files at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) were reviewed for any reports of environmental issues that had occurred at Virginia Tech. From the file review, a total of 21 Solid Waste Management Units and 8 Areas of Concern were identified. Virginia Tech prepared and submitted a Description of Current Conditions Report (Current Conditions) that described the current status of each Solid Waste Management Unit and Area Of Concern and documented actions the university had taken at each site.
After review of the Current Conditions report, EPA determined that No Further Action was required on any of the Solid Waste Management Units (with conditions placed on two of them) and No Further Action was required on 7 of the 8 Areas of Concern.
The two conditions are as follows: The Former Physical Plant Area requires that no residential housing and no ground water withdrawal occur at the site due to a risk based assessment of the site. The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors adopted a resolution at its September 2012 meeting applying these restrictions to the site. The Closed Sanitary Landfill has ongoing ground water and gas monitoring performed as part of the closure process which is administered by the VDEQ. The EPA will defer to VDEQ oversight of the ongoing monitoring programs at the Closed Sanitary Landfill.
Of the Areas of Concern, the VT Power Plant Petroleum Storage Tanks require further action. Virginia Tech has reviewed its options for managing the fuel oil tanks at the power plant and has determined the removal of the existing tanks should occur. Funding to remove and replace the tanks has been provided and the tanks are currently scheduled to be removed during the summer of 2013. Options for replacement of the tanks with new above ground tanks are being reviewed by the university.
Once the fuel oil tanks at the power plant are removed and the area is remediated (if necessary), the EPA has indicated that Virginia Tech will have fulfilled its obligations under the Consent Order and it will be released from it.
EPA Fact Sheets
Fact sheets from EPA may be found on their web site.
Current Status of Consent Order
The Description of Current Conditions Report (Current Conditions) has been submitted to EPA. A draft Community Relations Plan (CPR) and a draft RCRA Facility Investigation Workplan (RFI Workplan) have been submitted to EPA for review. The RFI Workplan covers the proposed work to the Power Plant fuel oil tanks (AOC5). The text of the report many be viewed here. The full documents, including all appendices may be viewed at the Environmental, Heath and Safety building by making arrangements with the Project Coordinator or the Alternative Project Coordinator.
Description of Current Conditions Report
The Description of Current Conditions Report (Current Conditions) is a massive document. The text of the report many be viewed here. The full document, including all appendices may be viewed at the Environmental, Heath and Safety building by making arrangements with the Project Coordinator or the Alternative Project Coordinator..
Public Meetings or Hearings
There are no public meetings or hearings scheduled at this time.
Project coordinators for this project are:
EPA Project Manager
Mr. Leonard Hotham (3LC30)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region III
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
Phone: (215) 814-5778
Virginia Tech Responsible Official
Environmental, Health and Safety
Lance Franklin, Ph.D.
Phone: (540) 231-3600
Virginia Tech Project Coordinator
Environmental, Health and Safety
Rob Lowe, P.E.
Phone: (540) 231-2510
Virginia Tech Alternate Project Coordinator
Environmental, Health & Safety
Phone: (540) 231-8758
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