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Court settlement funds cleanup and reuse of Virginia Superfund site


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May 15, 2017 by hazmat management editor

The Hidden Lane Superfund Site was formerly a landfill that accepted construction and demolition (C&D) debris, land clearing wastes and other materials.

A recently announced U.S. federal court settlement between Persimmon Lane LLC and the Commonwealth of Virginia and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will help fund the cleanup of the Hidden Lane Superfund Site, and encourage the reuse of the 150-acre property in Sterling, Loudon County, Va.

The agreement, filed in federal court in Richmond, requires Persimmon Lane to reimburse the federal and state governments for cleanup costs with proceeds from the future sale of the property.  Persimmon Lane LLC, was established by the estate of the former property owner, to facilitate the sale or transfer of the property.

The former waste disposal landfill, located north of Virginia Route 7 and adjacent to the Potomac River, was added to the U.S. EPA’s Superfund list of the nation’s most contaminated sites in 2008.

Hidden Lake Superfund Site – groundwater extraction wells

Beginning in 1971, the private landfill accepted a variety of wastes including construction and demolition wastes, land clearing wastes and other items. Loudon County closed the facility in 1984 pursuant to a state court order after testing of groundwater and drinking wells revealed the presence of several landfill-related contaminants including a common degreasing solvent trichloroethylene (TCE).

As part of the settlement, Persimmon Lane must make good faith efforts to generate proceeds from the transfer of the property for potential development and/or wetlands mitigation credits, which can be used by purchasers to compensate for the impact of lost wetlands on other locations.  Persimmon Lane must then pay a portion of those proceeds to EPA and Virginia to cover cleanup costs.

The agreement settles a case filed under the federal “Superfund” law — formally known as the Comprehensive Environmental Responsibility, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) — which requires landowners, waste generators and waste transporters responsible for site contamination to either clean up the site, or reimburse the government or other parties for cleanup costs.