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EPA removes Chesterfield car battery site from Superfund list

A site near the James River used almost 40 years ago by a company that dismantled car batteries is no longer on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of heavily polluted areas known as sites Super fund.

The EPA on Tuesday announced the removal of the 11-acre site in Chesterfield County used by C&R Battery Company Inc. from the list.

The company dismantled batteries from cars, trucks and other items to recover lead and lead oxide between the early 1970s and 1985, according to an EPA release. The batteries were shut down and their acid drained into onsite ponds, contaminating soil, sediment and surface waters with lead and other dangerous chemicals.

The Superfund list is a compilation of the most contaminated hazardous waste sites in the country. Its label is informal under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), enacted by Congress in 1980 in response to growing concerns about the health and environmental risks posed by hazardous waste sites. Legislation was spurred by toxic waste dumps such as Love Canal in New York and Valley of the Drums in Kentucky in the 1970s.

The Virginia Battery site was added to the list in 1987. Its delisting came after the EPA supervised clean-up, including excavation and disposal of contaminated soil and surface sediments.

A final inspection by the EPA found that cleanup goals had been met for all groundwater, surface water, soil, and sediment, which are particulates resulting from erosion. The James River wetlands, which are generally used for recreational purposes and are located about three miles downstream, were also found to be free of site contaminants.

Controls to prevent future contamination have also been established, the statement said.

EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz said in a statement that removing sites from the list “…can revitalize communities, increase property values, and promote economic growth by signaling potential developers and financial institutions that the cleanup is complete”.

According to the EPA website, more than 30 locations in Virginia remain on the list. Four sites were removed, including: Dixie Caverns County Landfill in Salem, Suffolk City Landfill, Matthews Electroplating in Roanoke County and Rhinehart Tire Fire Dump in Frederick County.

In Decemberthe Arrowhead Associates/Scovill Manufacturing site, which is located about two miles southeast of Montross in rural Northern Neck, Virginia, has been selected to receive $8.3 million for cleanup in part of the $3.5 million in federal infrastructure spending on EPA sites.

The EPA administers the Superfund program, while the state Department of Environmental Quality ensures state regulations are considered in cleanups.

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