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Environmental Cleanup Site Information (ECSI) Database Site Summary Report - Details for Site ID 315, Teledyne Wah Chang Albany (TWCA)

This report shows data entered as of September 19, 2021 at 6:16:46 AM

This report contains site details, organized into the following sections: 1) Site Photos (appears only if the site has photos); 2) General Site Information; 3) Site Characteristics; 4) Substance Contamination Information; 5) Investigative, Remedial and Administrative Actions; and 6) Site Environmental Controls (i.e., institutional or engineering controls; appears only if DEQ has applied one or more such controls to the site).  A key to certain acronyms and terms used in the report appears at the bottom of the page.

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Environmental Cleanup Site Information (ECSI) Database Site Summary Report - Details for Site ID 315, Teledyne Wah Chang Albany (TWCA)

General Site Information

Site ID: 315 Site Name: Teledyne Wah Chang Albany (TWCA) CERCLIS No: 050955848
Address: 1600 NE Old Salem Rd. Albany 97321
  County: Linn Region: Western
Other location information:
Investigation Status: Listed on CRL or Inventory
Brownfield Site: No NPL Site: Yes Orphan Site: No Study Area: No
Property: Twnshp/Range/Sect: 10S , 3W , 33 Tax Lots: 300,401,5&6&700,1001,1400,4700
  Latitude: 44.6546 deg. Longitude: -123.0632 deg.  Site Size: 285 acres
Other Site Names:
  TDY Industries, Inc. dba Wah Chang
  Wah Chang Millersburg
  Wah Chang North Plant
  Oremet-Wah Chang
  Fredrickson Property

Site Characteristics

General Site Description:
Site History: The Wah Chang Albany (WCA) site is located in Millersburg, Oregon, an industrial-based community 3 miles north of Albany. TWCA has operated at this site continuously for over 30 years, producing zirconium and other nonferrous metals - resulting in substantial amounts of wastewater, solid waste, and gaseous emissions. Some of these wastes contain low levels of hazardous substances and potentially toxic and/or radioactive constituents. Past inspections, investigations, and reports related to the disposition of these wastes led to EPA's addition of TWCA to the National Priorities List (NPL) in December 1982. TWCA and EPA signed an Order on Consent in May 1987; it required TWCA to perform a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS) at the site.
Contamination Information: (10/1/1995 PSR/SRS) Teledyne Wah Chang owns and operates a 110-acre facility in the City of Millersburg that extracts and refines zirconium and hafnium metals from zircon sand, and produces other specialty metals such as titanium, vanadium, and niobium. In May 1987, EPA Superfund and TWCA entered into a Consent Order to conduct an RI/FS to investigate the presence of heavy metals, organic solvents and low levels of radioactive substances at the site. The RI was conducted in two phases. The Revised Draft Final RI/FS report was accepted by DEQ and EPA in May 1993. The Proposed Plan was released to the public for comment 8/25/93.
The site contains Operable Units 1, 2, and 3, described separately in this narrative.

Operable Unit 1 - 1989 Sludge Ponds

In the Summer of 1988, an investigation of contamination at the Lower River Solids Ponds and Schmidt Lake was initiated. An RI/FS for the Sludge Ponds was completed and a remedy was selected by EPA in December 1989, which called for solidification and off-site disposal of the sludge. Prior to 1980, sludges from the on-site wastewater treatment system were disposed of in seven unlined storage ponds adjacent to the Willamette River, including the Lower River Solids Pond and Schmidt Lake. In 1979, Wah Chang implemented a process to reduce the amount of radiation in the wastewater and sludges.

Between 1979 and 1993, Wah Chang placed lime solids generated from the central wastewater treatment system in four 2.5-acre lined dewatering ponds in the Farm Ponds area located 0.75 mile north of the plant. This material has subsequently been dried and removed to a Subtitle D Landfill. The EPA and DEQ gave permission in 1991 to level and cap the ponds, which should inhibit future groundwater infiltration in the area.

A Unilateral Order for the Lower River Solids Pond and Schmidt Lake cleanup was issued in February 1991. The cleanup began in July 1991. Approximately 85,000 cubic yards of sludge from the Lower River Solids Pond and 15,000 cubic yards from Schmidt Lake were removed by November 1991. An additional 2,016 cubic yards of material were removed from Schmidt Lake in December 1992. The cleanup was completed in June 1993.

Operable Unit 2 - 1994 Groundwater and Sediment

The Record of Decision (ROD) for the groundwater and sediments unit was signed in June 1994. The selected remedy called for pumping and treating contaminated groundwater, and excavating and disposing of 3,600 cubic yards of contaminated sediments from Truax Creek, which bisects the main industrial portion of the site. Removal of contaminated creek sediments was completed in 1998. EPA approved the completion of the Truax Sediment Remediation in December 2002.

A pump & treat system to remove VOCs from groundwater south of the Extraction Area of the main plant began operating in October 2000. A second pump & treat system to remove metals, low pH and radionucleides from groundwater in the Feed Make-Up Area was started Summer 2002. Extraction wells to remove contaminated groundwater have been installed throughout the Fabrication Area of the site and off-site at one residential location along the East Perimeter of the site. To reduce risks to residents in some areas of the East Perimeter, Wah Chang has purchased several of the properties and razed the houses. Deed restrictions have been placed on the Wah Chang and surrounding Linn County property requiring the property to remain in industrial use.

Operable Unit 3 - 1995 Surface and Subsurface Soils

The ROD for the soils unit was signed in September 1995. The ROD focused on the Soil Amendment Area (a 50-acre field in the Farm Ponds area where radium-contaminated sludge had been spread prior to 1976) and two areas on the main plant site (Sand Unloading and the Front Parking Lot). The remedy called for disposing of radium-contaminated soils, and imposing institutional controls to mitigate the risk of radon gas from any residual radium contamination. Cleanup of radium-contaminated soil was done in 1999; however more radioactive materials were found to be present than previously believed. In September 2001, EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences for the Soil Unit ROD. The ROD was amended to include compliance with OHD’s Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) license upon plant decommissioning.
Manner and Time of Release: Leaks and spills. On-site landfills and surface impoundments. Time of release unknown. Radioactive sludges from wastewater treatment were placed in unlined ponds (Lower River Solids Pond & Schmidt Lake) adjacent to the Willamette River prior to 1980. Between 1979 and 1993, Wah Chang placed lime solids from their wastewater treatment plant in lined dewatering ponds (Farm Ponds). Groundwater in the vicinity of the Farm Ponds has been impacted with volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Hazardous Substances/Waste Types: Radionuclides, PCBs, metals, VOCs.
Environmental/Health Threats: Contaminated groundwater, sediments, soils, and wastewater treatment sludges. Several surface water releases have resulted in fish kills in Truax Creek, which bisects the site and is a tributary of the Willamette River. VOC-contaminated groundwater has migrated off-site to the east beneath private residences. Wah Chang purchased several of these properties and razed the houses to eliminate the risk pathway.
Status of Investigative or Remedial Action: (10/1/1995 PSR/SRS) Efforts in this quarter were directed mostly to Remedial Design/Remedial Action Consent Decree Negotiations.

(5/16/00 DEH) Wah Chang currently implementing RD/RA workplan activities for cleanup of contaminated groundwater. Ongoing RD/RA activities include additional groundwater investigation (including off-site to the east), aquifer testing and pump and treat design.

(6/27/00 DEH) Treatment of VOCs in groundwater in extraction & fabrication areas to be initiated in fall 2000.

(10/20/00 DEH) Groundwater pump & treat (P&T) in south extraction area initiated 10/17/00 to treat VOCs. Groundwater P&T to be initiated in the Feed Make-Up area to treat metals, radionuclides, low pH in October/November 2000. Six extraction wells have been installed across multiple locations in the Fabrication area. These wells will be developed and P&T will begin before 2001. Additional pumping wells may be installed in all areas pending analysis of the initial performance monitoring results.

(4/6/01 DH) Groundwater extraction in feed make-up area postponed due to elevated rad. levels in the well-head barium co-precipitate process being studied. Groundwater P & T systems throughout fabrication and east perimeter off-site areas are being installed spring 2001.

(6/27/01 DH) Approx. 85,000 cubic yards of sludge were removed from the Lower River Solids Ponds between 1991 & 1993. Approx. 15,000 cubic yards of sludge were removed from Schmidt Lake between 1991 and 1993. 3,600 cubic yards of contaminated sediments were removed from Truax Creek in 1998. Materials deposited in the Farm Ponds were removed to a RCRA Subtitle D landfill. This work was completed 10/99.

(10/15/01 DH) Groundwater remediation (P&T) will be initiated in fall 2001. Barium precipitation treatment will be initiated if rad. levels exceed 20 peile. Wah Chang pushed down/leveled farm pond dikes in summer 2001 in an attempt to decrease infiltration of rainwater. NPDES wells on the dikes were protected by pieces of dike left intact. Fabrication and east perimeter groundwater P&T systems (6) were completed in summer/fall 2001. Wah Chang is continuing to operate and maintain groundwater remediation (pump and treat) at numerous locations across the site and at one off-site location to remove contaminants from the groundwater. In September 2001, EPA amended the Soils ROD for Operable Unit 1 by issuing the ESD for compliance with OHD’s Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) license upon plant decommissioning.

(8/1/02 NHG) The second pump and treat system (for the feed-makeup area) for Operable Unit 2 was started in July 2002.

(1/7/03 NHG) EPA approved (NFA) the Truax Creek Sediment remediation for Operable Unit 2 in December 2002. The 2nd 5 Year Review Report for Wah Chang was approved January 2003. The remedial actions have been implemented in accordance with the ROD and modifications were made via a ESD in September 2001. The remedial actions are functioning as designed, and O&M is proceeding accordingly. The remedy was deemed protective.

(9/1/03 NHG) The effectiveness of the GW extraction treatment systems were evaluated April 2003 through August 2003 by Wah Chang. Continuation of monitoring was recommended. The Solids Area GW Three-year Review was submitted by Wah Chang in August 2003. Continuation and streamlining of monitoring was recommended. Wah Chang submitted the 2001-2003 Biennial Report of Environmental Evaluations for excavations. EPA and DEQ requested a revised report and additional sampling for areas where PCBs above 50 mg/kg were identified during excavations.

(12/31/04 NHG) Groundwater extraction systems operated continuously throughout 2004. O&M and monitoring of groundwater pump and treat systems continued accordingly throughout the year. Wah Chang, EPA, and DEQ are cooperatively working to revise the 2001 Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) for purposes of minimizing duplication between the Oregon Department of Human Services(ODHS) radiation protection license and decommissioning plan with the EPA ESD. The revised biennial report was received in April 2004. Wah Chang, EPA, and DEQ are working on formalizing the environmental evaluation protocol for future excavations. Wah Chang's proposed revisions to the protocol were received in December 2004, and need to be reviewed and approved by EPA and DEQ prior to the next biennial submittal (September 2005).

(1/24/05 NHG) Meeting held with ODHS to incorporate reference to EPA documents in the decommissioning plan for radioactive materials.

(2/11/05 NHG) Continuation of the review and approval of the revised ESD and protocol for excavations. NPL progress report submittal changed to bimonthly from monthly.

(4/28/05 NHG) Reviewed NPL bimonthly progress report for Jan-Feb 2005. Pump-and-treat systems continue to operate effectively, with routine O&M in place.

(8/1/05 NHG) Reviewed NPL bimonthly progress reports for Mar-Apr and May-Jun 2005. Pump-and-treat systems continue to operate effectively, with routine O&M in place. Three-year review for fabrication pump-and-treat system effectiveness received and reviewed, with comments forwarded to EPA. Based on the 3-year review, cleanup goals will be met by the 15-year timeframe established under the NPL Decree.
Data Sources: 1) December 1990 RI/FS Phase 1 Report.
2) June 1991 RI/FS Study for Sludge Ponds Operable Unit.
3) December 1991 RI/FS Phase 2 Workplan.
4) April 1992 Biota Investigation Report.
5) August 1992 NEIC "Multi-Media Compliance Investigation".
6) March 1993 RI Report, Baseline HH&E Risk Assess., FS Report.
7) May 1993 Remedial Action Report, Lime Solids Operable Unit #1.
8) August 1994 Remedial Action Disposal Plan for Operable Unit #1. 9) 1995 RI/FS Addendum No. 1 - Radiological Survey.
10) US EPA Record of Decision for the Final Remedial Action for Surface and Subsurface Soil Operable Unit;1997, Consent Decree, United States of America and the State of Oregon, vs. Teledyne Wah Chang, Albany; Scope of Work for Remedial Design /Remedial Action, Groundwater, Sediments, Surface Soil and Subsurface Soil, Teledyne Wah Chang Albany, September 19, 1996; Teledyne Wah Chang Albany Consent Decree Appendix E, Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) and Explanation of Insignificant Differences (EID) from the RODs;
September 1996 RD/RA Scope of Work.
11) August 1997 Evaluation Protocol for Uninvestigated Areas.
12) August 1997 Feed Makeup Area RD Work Plan.
13) November 1998 Groundwater RD Report for Feed Makeup Area. 14) January 1999 Groundwater Predesign Report for the Main Plant. 15) July 1999 Extraction Area RD Report and RA Work Plan.
16) July 1999 GW Design Investigation Workplan - Fabrication Area. 17) August 1999 Surface and Subsurface Soil RD/RA Status Report.
18) October 1999 Solids Area RD/RA Work Plan.
19) December 1999 Phase 5 East Perimeter GW Investigation Rpt. 20) January 2000 Fabrication Area GW Design Investigation Report. 21) January 2000 Farm Ponds Groundwater - 1999 Data Summary. 22) May 2000 Extraction Area RA Implementation Design Memo #2.
23) June 2000 Construction Plan 90% Design Re-Extraction.
24) June 2000 Fabrication Area RD/RA Workplan.
25) June 2000 Extraction Area 90% Design Report.
26) October 2000 Truax Creek Sediment Remediation Report.
27) October 2000 Farm Ponds Confirmation Sampling Report.
28) October 2000 Solids Area May 2000 Groundwater Summary.
29) Farm Ponds 2000 GW Monitoring Review.
30) January 2001 Year 2000 Farm Ponds Data Summary.
31) January 2001 Fabrication Area 70% RD/RA Design Report.
32) February 2001 South Extraction RD/RA Construction Report.
33) February 2001 RA Construction Report - South Extraction Area. 34) February 2001 South Extraction 1st Qtr. Monitoring Report.
35) June 2001 South Extraction Spring 2001 Qtr Monitoring Rpt.
36) September 2001 Feed Make-up Radium Pre-treat 70% Design.
37) September 2001 South Extraction 3rd Qtr. Monitoring Rpt.
38) September 2001 Truax Creek Sed. Confirmation Sampling Rpt. 39) September 2001 Extraction Area GW RD/RA 70% Design Plan.
40) Fabrication Area Groundwater RA Construction Report.
41) 2002 Truax Creek Sediment Remedial Action, Oct. 2002.
42) 2nd Five year review, January 2003.
43) 3 Year Eval. for Farm Ponds, May 2003
44) Fabrication Area RA Progress Report Jan-Jun 2003
45) Extraction Area RA Progress Report Jan-Jun 2003
46) Soilds Area GW three-Year Review Aug 2003
47) Wah Chang Facility Biennial Report of Enviornmental Evaluations, 9/01-9/03, November 2003
48) Wah Chang Facility Biennial Report of Enviornmental Evaluations, 9/01-9/03, April 2004

Substance Contamination Information

Substance Media Contaminated Concentration Level Date Recorded
AMMONIA Groundwater 7510 mg/L 9/15/1999
BARIUM Groundwater 8,160 ppb  
BARIUM Sediment 619 ppm  
CADMIUM Groundwater 0.0465 mg/L 7/15/2000
CHLORIDE (AS ION) Groundwater 19,030 mg/L 7/15/2000
CHROMIUM Groundwater 9.98 mg/L 7/15/2000
CHROMIUM Sediment 231 ppm  
CYANIDE (AS ION) Groundwater 0.668 mg/L 7/15/2000
DICHLOROETHANE,1,1- Groundwater 3,900 ppb  
DICHLOROETHYLENE,1,1- Groundwater 9,000 ppb  
FLUORIDE (AS ION) Groundwater 19.6 mg/L 9/15/1999
LEAD Groundwater 3,060 ppb  
METHYL-2-PENTANONE,4- Groundwater 344.3 ug/l 7/15/2000
NICKEL Groundwater 5.65 mg/L 7/15/2000
NICKEL Sediment 95.3 ppm  
NITRATE (AS ION) Groundwater 10 mg/L 7/15/2000
RADIUM Groundwater 650 pCi/L  
TETRACHLOROETHANE,1,1,2,2- Groundwater 2.56 ug/L 9/15/1999
THIOCYANATE (AS ION) Groundwater 9.98 mg/L 7/15/2000
TITANIUM Groundwater 21.6 mg/L 7/15/2000
TRICHLOROETHANE,1,1,1- Groundwater 20,000 ppb  
TRICHLOROETHYLENE Groundwater 240 ppb  
VINYL CHLORIDE Groundwater 45 ppb  
ZIRCONIUM Groundwater 3,950 mg/L 7/15/2000

Investigative, Remedial and Administrative Actions

Action Start Date Compl. Date Resp. Staff Lead Pgm
REMEDIAL ACTION  (Primary Action) 09/07/2021   MARGARET OSCILIA
View Full Report Showing Action History

Site Environmental Controls

Control Description Begin Date End Date Last Reviewed By Last Review Date
Deed Notice 03/29/2001   EPA w/DEQ Support 01/01/2003
  Comments: Easement & Equitable Servitude - east perimeter to ensure land remains industrial. Deed on adjacent property on west perimeter to preclude groundwater use for drinking water. Institutional controls assessed in January 2003 (EPA 5-year review applies). RCRA Corrective Action proceeding per interim status statutes and rules. No formal order or decree. CA action being conducted on a voluntary basis. Utilized SUPEFUND investigative data and network of GW pump and treat systems to demonstrate GW Migration EI.
Long-term groundwater treatment 10/03/2000   EPA w/DEQ Support 01/01/2003
  Comments: 3 active groundwater pump and treat systems.
Periodic montioring & reporting, groundwater quality 12/03/2004   EPA w/DEQ support 12/21/2005

Key to Certain Acronyms and Terms in this Report:

You may be able to obtain more information about this site by contacting MARGARET OSCILIA at the Western regional office or via email at If this does not work, you may contact Ximena Cruz Cuevas (503) 229-6811, or via email at or contact the Western regional office.