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Motiva to Spend $15 Million Plus to Clean Groundwater Contamination at Pickett Road Site

Release Date: 2/24/1999
Contact Information: Ruth Podems, (215) 814-5540

FAIRFAX, Va. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  has selected the long-term cleanup technologies to rid the groundwater of petroleum contamination at the Motiva Enterprises LLC’s Pickett Road Terminal, formerly Star Enterprise, site in Fairfax.  The cleanup will cost Motive more than $15 million to carry out.

The cleanup plan calls for continued operation of the interim pump-and-treat system, plus two new components: groundwater flushing using wells along Pickett Road, the Stockbridge Common Area, and Tovito Drive; and vacuum-enhanced recovery on selected, high productivity wells in non-residential areas.  The vacuum is a mobile unit that is moved from well to well suctioning out contaminated groundwater in troublesome spots.

These treatment technologies are necessary to address an underground plume of between 100,000 and 200,000 gallons of petroleum products, mainly diesel fuel, jet fuel and gasoline, which was discovered beneath the Star Terminal in the fall of 1990.  The plume had spread beyond the Star Terminal into the Mantua/Stockbridge residential area and harmed a local stream, Crook Branch.  

"I would like to acknowledge the leadership of Mayor John Mason and other community leaders whose cooperation led to a quick selection of the cleanup technologies," said John Armstead, EPA Director for the Waste and Chemicals Management Division.

EPA’s goal at the Motive site is to restore the site groundwater to drinking water standards.  Motive must continue to operate the treatment technologies until this goal is achieved, or until the technological limits of the selected methods have been reached. In the latter case, Motive must demonstrate that termination of the treatment system will not lead to spreading of the oil plume or adversely impact public health or the environment.

The well construction for flushing is scheduled to begin in the spring of 1999 and will be operational this summer.  Vacuum-enhanced recovery will take place shortly thereafter.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will assist EPA in monitoring the construction until the end of 1999.  The EPA will continue to monitor the operation after completion of the construction.

The EPA held a public meeting in Fairfax on April 22, 1998 to discuss the cleanup plan in detail and solicited public comments on the plan until June 7, 1998.  The EPA received comments unanimously supportive of the cleanup methods.

The cleanup plan, called a Record of Decision, is available in the Fairfax Regional Library and on the Internet at http: