EPA completes Morgantown’s Ordnance Works Superfund site remediation

MORGANTOWN — The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Thursday that remediation is complete at Morgantown’s Ordnance Works Superfund site and the site has been deleted from its Superfund National Priorities List.

The EPA explained that sites are deleted from the list with state concurrence when all site cleanup goals have been met, no further response is necessary and the remedy is protective of public health and the environment in the long term.

The site is located in the Morgantown Industrial Park. Property owner Glen Adrian told The Dominion Post that he’s pleased the site is off the EPA list, but it remains a Superfund site and is not eligible for development. It’s still subject to periodic monitoring and will remain greenspace for the foreseeable future.

Gov. Jim Justice said in the EPA release, “The Superfund program process is a very deliberate one that has many benchmarks that have to be met in order for a site to be listed and then deleted, and I am glad to know that this site no longer poses an immediate threat to the health of our citizens or to our environment.”

The Ordnance Works Disposal Areas site was added to the Superfund list in 1986, the EPA said.

According to The Dominion Post archives, the section involved, called OU-1 (Operating Unit 1), was used as a disposal area when the site was an active industrial operation in the 1940s and 1950s. It consists of an inactive landfill covering about 2 acres, two former lagoons and surrounding lands on 4 acres, and a waste disposal-scraped area of 2 acres.

Several companies operated chemical production facilities at this site since 1941 the EPA said, including ammonia and methanol production, a coke plant, and production of various other organic chemicals.

The EPA said cleanup of the disposal area included excavation and off-site treatment of all tar-like material from the lagoon area and stream sediments.

The remedy also required consolidation of contaminated soils and sediments into the existing on-site landfill and covering the landfill with a multi-layer cap. Also included were restoration of excavated areas, streams and wetlands, along with long-term monitoring and institutional controls.

The adjacent Morgantown Ordnance Works manufacturing plant area called OU-2 and was not placed on the list. The contamination found there was removed separately in 1997. EPA said it anticipates no further Superfund activity there.

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