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Environmental Cleanup Site Information (ECSI) Database Site Summary Report - Details for Site ID 317, United Chrome Products Inc. (UCP)

This report shows data entered as of February 27, 2024 at 10:16:12 PM

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 317, United Chrome Products Inc. (UCP)

General Site Information

Site ID: 317 Site Name: United Chrome Products Inc. (UCP) CERCLIS No: 009043001
Address: 2000 SW Airport Rd. Corvallis 97333
  County: Benton Region: Western
Other location information: Located at the Corvallis Airport Industrial Park
Investigation Status: Listed on CRL or Inventory
Brownfield Site: No NPL Site: Yes Orphan Site: No Study Area: No
Property: Twnshp/Range/Sect: 12S , 5W , 22 Tax Lots: 1100,500
  Latitude: 44.5063 deg. Longitude: -123.2861 deg.  Site Size: 1.5 acres
Other Site Names:
  United Saw Service
  Brand S Corp.

Site Characteristics

General Site Description:
Site History:
Contamination Information: (3/17/2003 NHG/SRS) United Chrome Products (UCP) operated at the site from 1956 to 1985. UCP discharged liquid electroplating wastes to an on-site drywell. The wastes were reportedly neutralized with sodium hydroxide and/or soda ash prior to disposal. The indoor plating tanks leaked hexavalent chromium to soil and groundwater beneath the building, contaminating a shallow aquifer and a deeper drinking water aquifer. Chromium was found in surface water up to 2 miles from the site and in sediments up to 1.5 miles from the site, in drainage ditches leading to the Willamette River. EPA listed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in September 1984 and took the lead in investigating and cleaning up the site.
Manner and Time of Release: Leaking plating tanks and disposal of wastes to "dry well" from approximately 1956 to 1985 are considered the primary contributors to the contamination.
Hazardous Substances/Waste Types: Hexavalent chromium (Cr VI)
Pathways: The local subsurface is characterized by 2 saturated zones separated by an aquitard. The upper, unconfined zone is the primary zone of contamination. The lower zone is a deep aquifer that, until recently, provided potable water for the airport complex and nearby businesses. A contaminant plume in the uppper zone extends about 300 feet downgradient (northeast) of the site (and has measured as high as 19,000 mg/l of hexavalent chromium in the dry well area). The plume has some discharge into the surface drainage ditch. The extent of deep aquifer contamination is much lower. The deep aquifer investigation in 1990 resulted in 12 new deep wells, with concentrations in many wells below 1 mg/l (the current federal drinking water standard for Cr VI is 0.05 mg/l). Abandoned city water supply wells, about 700 feet downgradient from the site, have not been impacted (3/87). 23 wells originally impacted by Cr VI. (3/13/03 NHG) 3-4 wells currently impacted.
Environmental/Health Threats: Hexavalent chromium was released to a drinking water aquifer beneath the site. Chromium was also released (via drainage ditches) to the Willamette River. The City of Corvallis obtains some of its drinking water from the Willamette. The city also has two wells approximately 3,000 ft NE of the site; however, these wells are not being used.
Status of Investigative or Remedial Action: (3/17/2003 NHG/SRS) A CERCLA RI/FS was completed in 1985, and EPA signed a Record of Decision for the site on 9/12/86. (The groundwater goal in the ROD was set at 10 mg/l of Cr VI in the upper aquifer groundwater. This was estimated to provide groundwater of drinking water quality 3,000 feet downgradient of the site in the deep aquifer). The remedy included the installation of 15 shallow and 5 deep groundwater extraction wells. An on-site treatment system was built to remove the chromium before the groundwater was discharged to the City of Corvallis' municipal wastewater treatment facility. In addition, approximately 350 tons of contaminated soil from the drywell area and beneath the plating tanks was excavated disposed of at a RCRA-permitted disposal facility. The excavation pits were then used as percolation basins to flush chromium contamination from the remaining soils. Buildings at the now abandoned site were torn down. The groundwater extraction and treatment was implemented in 1988. In December 1991, EPA modified the ROD and sent extracted groundwater directly to the Corvallis POTW without pre-treatment. In 1992, the City of Corvallis signed a Consent Decree with EPA, agreeing to operate the groundwater extraction system and reimburse some past response costs. (Consent decree documents were signed and recorded in federal court on 6/29/92, were published in the Federal Register on 7/14/92, and following a public comment period were logged in federal court on 9/21/92). The City now reports pumping and treatment plant data on a quarterly basis. In November 1994, EPA/DEQ approved a City proposal to terminate chromium reduction on seasonal basis until additional testing of sewer line integrity could be completed. Sewer line testing was completed in June 1995, and some repairs made. In September 1995, EPA/DEQ approved permanent termination of chromium reduction prior to discharge to POTW. The city removed approx. 1000 cu. yds Cr contaminated soils in the upper water-bearing zone during September 2000. These soils act as an ongoing source of groundwater contamination, and it is hoped their removal will expedite the groundwater cleanup. In September 2000, chromium-contaminated soil acting as a source of groundwater contamination was removed. (7/23/02 NHG) DEQ prepared and submitted to EPA and United Chrome "Recommendations For Evaluating Ecological Risk." (08/02/02 NHG) Human health and ecological risk workplans implemented. (4/14/03 NHG) Draft EPA 3rd Five Year Review received by EPA for review in 2/03. Five Year Review completed and approved 03.03. Groundwater remediation progress is being monitored to evaluate the effectiveness of the September 2000 removal. Review of the ROD, site data, and 5-year site status review identified two outstanding issues that need to be addressed prior to site closeout: a) determine if residual contamination in surface water and sediments presents an unacceptable risk, and b) determine eventual site use and whether residual soil contamination would present an unacceptable risk for that use. Decision is made to move forward and assess ecological risk issues. Future site use and residual soil contamination assessment put on hold. (6/6/03 NHG) Draft United Chrome surface water and sediment ecological deliverable submitted to EPA and DEQ. (6/27/03 NHG) DEQ comments submitted and revisions requested on ecological deliverables. (3/01/04 NHG) United Chrome ERA Level I Scoping and Level II Screening submitted to DEQ and EPA (04/12/04 NHG) DEQ comments submitted and revisions requested on ERA Level I & II. (07/20/04 NHG) 3rd Qtr progress report received. Cumulative groundwater treatment data through June 2004 indicates more 31K pounds of chrome have been extracted over the past 16 years of operation. All but 3 of the 23 upper wells have met cleanup goals. All but 2 of the lower 8 wells have met cleanup goals. Revised ERA Level I & II deliverables submitted with the 3rd Qtr progress report. DEQ will review and submit comments on the ERA Level I & II 4th Qtr 2004. (10/21/04 NHG) ERA Level I approved as final. ERA Level II Indicates chromium in on-site ditch above ecolgical screening levels, and supplemental sampling should be conducted to establish background of chromium. DEQ concurs with Level II recommendation to evaluate rsponse actions for elevated chromium in the on-site ditch. (12/6/04 NHG) Notice of intent submitted to EPA to discontinue groundwater extraction operations at UCP and begin one year compliance monitoring. (1/18/05 NHG) Notification and receipt of last UCP quarterly groundwater monitoring and extraction operations report (16 years of reporting).
(1/25/05 NHG) City of Corvallis initiated development of a response action to the ERA Level II findings pertaining to chromium in on-site ditch.(3/9/05 NHG) City of Corvallis submits UCP ERA closure strategy, which includes bioassay study and supplemental ditch sampling (3/28/05 NHG) City of Corvallis and DEQ meet at UCP site to discuss bioassay study and ERA closure strategy. (4/14/05 NHG) City of Corvallis and DEQ concur on ERA closure strategy for contaminated ditch sediments. Implementation of sampling for bioassay study planned for April 2005. City of Corvallis submits 1st qtr(Jan-Mar 05) 1 year compliance monitoring results for extraction operations shutdown to EPA.

(8/1/05 NHG) In June 2005, the site bypass ditch and culvert were backfilled to preclude exposure to chromium contaminated sediment. It was determined that residual contamination in the ditch and culvert would not adversely impact the upper zone of groundwater, but the backfill was necessary to reduce human and ecological contact to levels of chromium above riskbased levels. In July 2005, DEQ preliminary concluded no further action for the ERA. This decision was based on the following:1)Sediments in the Booneville channel are not a hazard to benthic invertebrate populations. 2)Bioassay results indicate that significant effects on benthic invertebrates start above ~650 mg/kg total chromium concentrations in sediment. Bypass ditch and culvert with high concentrations was backfilled to preclude exposure 3) Sediment loading to the Slough is unlikely because flow is minimal in these ditches and the ditch contains a vegetative mat reducing scouring.

(1/6/06) DEQ is planning to receive 3 reports in January for review: (1) Revised Draft Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) (2) Remedial Action Completion report for upper zone of groundwater
(3) Review proposal to conduct semi-annual monitoring for deep zone of groundwater.

(12/03/12 - NWR) Additional Cr-contaminated soils removed in September of 2011. The project included removal of 545.3 tons (390 cubic yards) of soil from six defined areas at the Site during a Phase 1 excavation effort and an additional 310 tons (220 cubic yards) during Phase 2. All excavated soil was transported to a local Subtitle D landfill (Coffin Butte) where it was disposed as non-hazardous material in accordance with a Republic Waste Services waste decision. The special waste decision was based on Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) chromium analysis performed on a composite sample of material prepared from grab samples collected from the Phase 1 excavation areas. An Institutional Control in the form of an Easement and Equitable Servitude (EES) was placed on the site on 9/28/2011. The EES restricts land and groundwater use to reduce risk to acceptable levels.

(7/22/19 DEH) EPA conducted its 5th 5-year review in April 2017. This review concluded that the groundwater remedial action continues to function as intended by the ROD and associated decision documents. The review specified that an Operation and Maintenance Plan (O&M PLan) should be prepared. It also recommended investigating whether perfluorylakyl (PFAS) were used at the site and thus if they could be contaminants of concern at the stie.

In July 2019 EPA completed an Optimization Review of the remedial action for the site. The review report recommended 1) re-evaluating the remedial goal for the upper aquifer, 2) Monitoring the unconfined upper aquifer; 3) sampling groundwater for PFAS; 4)delineating the plume in the deep aquifer; 5) demolishing the remaining concrete building foundation and sampling soils; 6) consider options for an in-situ reduction remedy for Cr(VI); 7) and improved data management and reporting

4/28/22 DEH. EPA completed its 6th 5-year review of the site on April 24, 2022. The review recommends further delineation of the gruondwater contamination in the deeper aquifer, re-evaluation of the shallow groundwater remedial goal, re-initiate grundwater remediation in the shallow aquifer, evaluate if other actions are needed to achieve the cleanup goals in a reasonable timeframe, sample shallow zone and lower zone for PFAS, improve cap inspections per O&M Plan, and evaluate cap integrity to determine if it is adequate or needs repairs/replacement
Data Sources: Five Year Review (3rd) Five Year Review, United Chrome Products Sites, Corvallis, OR, March 2003;
ODEQ Recommended Actions for Evaluating Ecological Risk at the United Chrome Superfund Site, Corvallis, OR, July 23, 2002, A. Obery & M. Rosenberg;
Draft: United Chrome Ditch Surface Water Sediment COPC Deliverable, June 6, 2003, E&S Inc.;
United Chrome Contaminants of Concern Site Ecology Scoping Report Level I & II Deliverable, received March 01, 2004, E&S Inc.;
Revised United Chrome Contaminants of Concern Site Ecology Scoping Report Level I & II Deliverable, April 29, 2004, E&S, Inc.

Substance Contamination Information

Substance Media Contaminated Concentration Level Date Recorded
CHROMIUM, HEXAVALENT Groundwater up to 19,000 ppm  
CHROMIUM, HEXAVALENT Sediment 1,200 ppm  
CHROMIUM, HEXAVALENT Soil 64,500 ppm  
CHROMIUM, HEXAVALENT Surface Water 8,000 ppm  

Investigative, Remedial and Administrative Actions

Action Start Date Compl. Date Resp. Staff Lead Pgm
Periodic Review  (Primary Action) 04/14/1992 04/16/1992 Donald Hanson SAS
View Full Report Showing Action History

Site Environmental Controls

Control Description Begin Date End Date Last Reviewed By Last Review Date
Deed Notice 08/07/1989   Nancy Gramlich 07/03/2003
  Comments: Deed on upper zone and deep aquifer groundwater use and well pumping. Groundwater exceeds chromium MCL. Evaluated in monthly and annual progress reports. Evaluated March 2003 (5 year review).
Fencing or other access barriers 08/07/1989   Nancy Gramlich 03/28/2005
  Comments: Security gate and fencing. Evaluated in monthly and annual progress reports. Evaluated March 2003 (5 year review). Evaluated during site visit 3/28/05.
Long-term groundwater treatment 01/01/1992   Nancy Gramlich 04/14/2005
  Comments: O&M is dictated in Scope of Work. Compliance with procedures is assessed through quarterly meetings and progress reports. EPA 5 year confirmed compliance in March 2003. 1yr compliance monitoring, post treatment shutdown, initiated in Dec. 04(as dictated in EPA Decree). Compliance monitoring results for system shutdown received in April 2005.
Easement Equitable Servitude 08/28/2011   Don Hanson 04/27/2017
  Comments: Groundwater use restrictions, Soil use restrictions, access restrictions.

Key to Certain Acronyms and Terms in this Report:

You may be able to obtain more information about this site by contacting Donald Hanson 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.