During the Special Use Permit public hearing regarding Julie and Gary Wagner’s expansion of their borrow pit to accept 700,000 cubic yards of dredge spoils from the CBBT expansion, Robert Meyers asked the Board to table the matter until all information presented in the hydrological study was accurate and complete. The Eastern Shore Groundwater Committee shares Meyer’s concerns.
The hydrogeological study of the Wagner location found that the Columbia Aquifer, which sources the Eastern Shore with water, could potentially be contaminated by dredge materials deposited at the pit site. According to the Ground Water Committee of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, there has “potentially been burning of creosote and CCA treated wood on the property.” The Groundwater Committee suggests that sampling and testing of the water currently in Wagner Pit be completed to ensure that when it is displaced it will not result in damages to the Columbia aquifer.
James R. Reed & Associates has formulated an analytical testing methodology for the spoil site which would test for heavy metals by EPA Method 200.7 to include Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Beryllium, Cadmium, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Lead, Nickel, Selenium, Silver, Thallium, Vanadium, and Zinc. Others would test for volatile organic contaminants by EPA Method 624 and for the extended list for semi-volatile organic contaminants by EPA Method 625. These tests should provide a baseline on what may already be present at the site.
Northampton County has the option to rescind or modify the Special Use Permit to include installation of monitoring wells and the testing of the Wagner site when dredge spoils are deposited.
The Eastern Shore of Virginia Ground Water Committee has contacted the Department of Mines Minerals and Energy – Division of Geology and Mineral Resources and the DEQ Tidewater Regional Office about the Wagner spoils site.
Note: The study conducted for Thimble Shoal Tunnel Project “Data Compilation Report – Upland Placement Evaluation” (January 2016) found the Port Tobacco at Weanack suitable for a dredge spoil site. Port Tobacco has been permitted to receive contaminated sediments and has the ability to monitor groundwater.