PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WRIC) — The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking comment on a proposal that would remove the C&R Battery Company, Inc. Superfund Site, located in Chesterfield County near the James River, from the National Priorities List.
The list includes the most contaminated hazardous waste sites in the country, according to the EPA. Locations are removed from the list when no further cleanup is needed to protect human or environmental health.
The Chesterfield site is an 11-acre plot near the James River where, from the early 1970s to 1985, the company dismantled batteries from cars, trucks and commercial applications in order to salvage lead and lead oxide from the batteries.
Dismantling the batteries involved cutting them open and draining acid into ponds on the site. This operation contaminated soil, sediment and surface water with lead and other hazardous chemicals.
According to an EPA press release, getting sites to the point where they can be taken off this list takes years of complex investigation and cleanup work. This can sometimes take decades.
“Deletions from the list can revitalize communities, raise property values, and promote economic growth by signaling to potential developers and financial institutions that cleanup is complete,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz.
“This can be especially impactful for communities with environmental justice concerns. We’re happy to propose this site to be deleted from the National Priorities List because it means that EPA has followed through with its promise to clean up this site and protect human health and the environment.”
The EPA has overseen the cleanup of the C&R Battery Company site, including excavation of contaminated soil, disposal of material into landfills, site grading, placement of clean topsoil and planting of greenery.
The James River and surrounding wetlands were determined to be free of contaminants from the site.
The EPA determined in 2017 that the groundwater conditions no longer require monitoring. They have restricted land use at the site to ensure the remedy remains effective.
The Chesterfield site is one of 10 sites that the EPA has deemed ready to delete from the list. Comments from the community can be submitted to the EPA here, where you can also read the full proposal.