site, located in Front Royal, Virginia, is situated in the foothills
of the Blue Ridge Mountains. During the 1920s, the site was primarily
used for agriculture with orchards along the Shenandoah River and field
crops towards the inland areas. In the late 1930s plant construction
was initiated with fiber manufacturing operations beginning in 1940.
Over the course of 49 years, the plant was used to manufacture fibers
such as rayon, polyester, and polypropylene. In 1989, all manufacturing
operations were permanently shut down.
From 1940 though 1962, American Viscose owned the facility. FMC Corporation
(FMC) owned the plant from 1963 until 1976. In 1976, Avtex Fibers, Inc.
(Avtex) purchased the Site from FMC and continued manufacturing operations
until 1989, when Avtex closed the plant and declared bankruptcy. Avtex's
bankruptcy trustee currently controls the Site. FMC does not own any
portion of the Site.
In 1986, the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
added the Site to its National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste
sites to be cleaned up under the Superfund program. Beginning in 1986,
Avtex, and later FMC, conducted certain investigations and clean-up
actions at the Site. Since 1989, EPA has been conducting various removal
and remedial actions.
In 1997, EPA began conducting a Removal Action to demolish approximately
17 acres of buildings. As each building was demolished, EPA placed the
debris into piles. The piles include recyclable materials (like copper
piping, aluminum, and steel), potentially unaffected materials that
may be available for use as fill on Site (like brick and concrete),
and materials mixed with compounds (such as lead) regulated by the
Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
removal actions are continuing with building debris being trucked off
site for disposal at EPA approved landfills. The remaining buildings
are being inspected before demolition to record and document potentially
hazardous building areas and materials. Areas found to be potentially
hazardous will be demolished and disposed of in accordance with EPA
guidelines. Sampling and removal of waste material (stockpiles, sludge,
and former manufacturing by-products) is proceeding in accordance with
the site Consent Decree. Basin closure activities include the design of
passive recreation areas to occupy the current area of the former Wastewater
Treatment, Sulfate and Viscose Basins.