Celanese Acetate LLC
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EPA Project Manager
Ms. Diane Schott
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 3
1650 Arch Street MS 3LC20
Philadelphia, PA 19103-3430
Phone: (215) 814-3430
Virginia DEQ RCRA Program Manager
Mr. Ryan J. Kelly
Office of Hazardous Waste
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
Phone: (804) 698-4045
- Cleanup Status:
Corrective Action Underway
- Human Exposure Controlled: TBA
- Groundwater Controlled :
Information continues to be reviewed to determine whether sufficient data has been gathered to support a remedy decision.
During 2011-2013, Celanese conducted investigations of soil, groundwater, surface water and sediment to assess the levels of contamination at the plant. In July 2013, Celanese submitted to EPA and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) a Phase I/IB Data Report containing the results of investigations conducted during 2011 and 2012. EPA, with the support of VDEQ and the USACE, is reviewing the July 2013 Phase I/IB Data Report.
An accelerated investigation of three historic waste disposal areas was completed in 2012 to support a boiler reconfiguration project and to determine whether an accelerated remedy was necessary. The results of the investigation indicated the level of contamination in the waste disposal areas is acceptable for continued industrial use, but is not acceptable for hypothetical future residential use. Giles County and Celanese anticipate future use of the areas will continue solely as industrial use. The groundwater investigation conducted in 2011 and 2012 found groundwater contamination in the historic waste disposal areas local to the boiler project at levels whic exceed USEPA Region 3 Regional Screening Levels. Based on the results of the studies, EPA, VDEQ and Celanese concluded that it is safe for the waste to remain in place, that additional groundwater monitoring is warranted, that an administrative remedy to prevent hypothetical future residential uses of the land (as long as waste remains in place) will be addressed in the future site wide Remedy Decision, that the planned construction of the boiler reconfiguration project on top of the waste will prevent precipitation infiltration through much of the area and is consistent with any future remedy necessary to protect groundwater, and a remedy to address any remaining unacceptable groundwater contamination at the area can be addressed as necessary in a future site wide Remedy Decision without disrupting operation of the reconfigured boilers.
In February 2014, Celanese submitted a package containing a summary of PCB data associated with the former fire training area (SWMU 25) along with a proposal for a PCB Risk Based Assessment and Management Plan. In April 2014, EPA transmitted comments on the plan.
In June 2015 and in June 2016, Celanese verbally notified EPA that it planned to close a flyash pond at the Plant. Following each notification, EPA transmitted to Celanese associated requirements of the RCRA Corrective Action program. On July 22, 2016, EPA followed up with a request to Celanese to perform associated sampling as an interim measure. Celanese submitted an initial sampling plan in August 8, 2016 and revised plans respectively on September 20 and October 6, 2016 along with supplemental figures to the October Plan on October 13, 2016. On October 17, 2016, EPA approved the strategy to sample groundwater surrounding the pond which was described in the October 6, 2016 submission.
The Celanese Plant is located east of Narrows, Virginia along U.S. Route 460. The plant is divided into two major areas separated by Route 460. The plant area is located adjacent to the New River, and the landfill area is located on the hillside north of the plant area. The site is characterized by a narrow, flat valley floor surrounded by relatively steep mountainous hillsides and ridge tops.
The Celanese Plant has been in operation since late 1939 and manufactures fiber-based products. Raw materials in the formulation of cellulose acetate are cellulose (wood pulp), acetic anhydride, acetic acid, sulfuric acid, and magnesium oxide. In 2015, a new boiler system using natural gas with an oil backup began operation, replacing the coal fired boiler system used since 1939. Solid wastes are managed in onsite landfills, process wastewaters are treated on-site under a VPDES permitted wastewater treatment plant, and some wastes are sent off-site for regeneration/recycling and treatment/disposal. Celanese has completed many activities to prevent releases and exposures including waste removals, soil cap placements, and groundwater and surface water monitoring.
It is anticipated that the final remedy will include institutional controls where necessary to prevent unacceptable exposures to land and groundwater.
The primary contaminants of concern include ammonia, metals, PCBs, organic solvents, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds.
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest are accessible below:
- Celco Memo on Flyash Pond A Closure Approach and Proposal to Sample Groundwater- October 2016 [PDF, 4 pages, 298 KB, About PDF]
Site Investigation Phase 1-1B Report- July 2013 [PDF, 145 pages, 6707 KB, About PDF]
An updated screening of dioxin levels indicates there is no unacceptable current industrial exposure associated with detections of dioxin at the site.
- Soil Analytical Detection Table – July 2013 [PDF, 124 pages, 706 KB, About PDF]
- RCRA Phase IB Addendum - Dioxin Values- August 2013 [PDF, 22 pages, 350 KB, About PDF]
- Groundwater Analytical Detection Tables- July 2013 (Table 9-1)[PDF, 18 pages, 462 kB, About PDF]
- PCB Homolog Detections in Groundwater -July 2013(Table 9-2) [PDF, 1 pages, 19 kB, About PDF]
- Chlorinated Volatile Organic Detections In Groundwater - July 2013 (Table 10-3)[PDF, 1 pages, 29 kB, About PDF]
- LF-97B Cell D Deep Groundwater Analytical Results - July 2013 (Table 10-4)[PDF, 1 pages, 18 kB, About PDF]
- Waste Disposal Area Summary Results - July 2013 (Table 14-1) [PDF, 7 pages, 61 kB, About PDF]
(Waste Disposal Area Results are contained in Table 14-1)
- Former Fire Training Area 2012-2013 PCB Data Figures 2-4B- February 2014 (PDF, 4 pages)
- Production Well 008 2013 Shutdown Sampling Results – June 2014 (PDF, 25 pages, 76 KB, About PDF] )
- Waste Dispoal Areas 4, 5, 6 Monitoring Data Update Report, June 2014(PDF, 50 pages, 5.0 MB, About PDF] )
- WDA 4,5,6 Addendum to June 2014 Monitoring Data Report, September 2014 (PDF, 20 pages, 3.46 MB, About PDF] )
- Description of Current Conditions (at the Facility Site) Report - October 2006(PDF, 110 pages, 5.66 MB, About PDF] )
U.S. EPA Region III
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|Celanese Acetate Plant Photo||Celanese Acetate Facility Map|
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- The facility is under continued use.
- The EPA is dedicated to providing you with timely and accurate information about our work at this site. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the EPA Project Manager: Ms. Diane Schott (215) 814-3430