CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Office of Environmental Remediation (OER) at the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) has approved a cleanup method submitted by the West Virginia Department of Transportation Division of Highways (DOT/DOH) to address environmental conditions through the Uniform Environmental Covenant Act (UECA) Program at Heaters Substation in Braxton County.
The site is located at US Route 19/State Route 4 in Heaters and includes approximately 0.57 acres. The Heaters Substation has historically been used for the storage of road and highway maintenance materials and as a fueling station for state-owned vehicles. The facility previously operated a gasoline underground storage tank (UST) until 1991, when it was removed and replaced with a diesel UST. The diesel UST was installed within the former gasoline UST pit and covered with a concrete pad. In 2013, the diesel UST was excavated and removed from the site. Environmental investigations at the site between 2004 and 2013 have documented that both soil and groundwater at the site were impacted by activities associated with the operation of a retail gasoline service station. The current use of the site is for highway maintenance related activities. The future land use of the site will be as non-residential.
A total of 593.88 tons of petroleum impacted soil and 3,300 gallons of pit water were removed during remediation activities. Chemicals of concern (COC) were determined by screening maximum concentrations in soil and groundwater against conservative benchmarks developed to be protective of human health for direct contact exposure, potential migration to groundwater, and potential migration to indoor air.
Constituents exceeding the screening criteria were selected as COCs, and evaluated further in the risk assessment. COCs in soil included total xylenes and COCs in groundwater included benzene and naphthalene. The applicant has submitted a Final Report to OER to confirm that the work met all applicable remediation standards. A deed restriction in the form of a Land Use Covenant (LUC) will restrict future use of the property to non-residential and prohibit the extraction of groundwater for any use except groundwater monitoring and/or remediation.
UECA encourages risk-based assessments and cleanups of petroleum-contaminated sites with an objective of counteracting the lack of development on sites with contamination or perceived contamination. The UECA Program identifies and addresses potential contamination at a given site; sets applicable remediation standards; and ensures that the standards are maintained at the site. By providing financial incentives to invest in petroleum leak sites, this approach protects communities and the environment while still promoting economic development in West Virginia.