U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division

Phytotechnology Project Profiles

Phytoremediation at Crozet Township Orchard in Virginia
Last Updated: November 2007
Site Information                                                      
Site Name, Location:   Crozet Township Orchard, Crozet, VA, United States
Site Type:   Agriculture Applications
Is this a Federal
Superfund Site?
Is this a Federal or
Military Site?

Project Information                                                      
Project Name:   Phytoremediation at Crozet Township Orchard in Virginia
Site History and Background:   The Crozet Township site is located west of the town of Crozet, Virginia. The site includes a former orchard area that was used during the 1940s and 1950s, during which time various pesticides (4,4’-DDT, 4,4’-DDD and 4,4’-DDE) and arsenic containing compounds were applied. Use of the organochloride pesticides found on site has been illegal in the United States since 1972. The area surrounding the Site is a combination of agricultural and residential populations. Residential developments are growing rapidly throughout the area. Approximately 3,000 residents live in the Crozet area.
Scale:   Full
Project Status:   Ongoing
Project Start Date:   2007
Media Treated:  
Media Qty. Geology Comments
Contaminants Treated:  
Contaminant Initial
Depth Media Comments
Arsenic 50.4 - 111 ppm Soil
Phytotechnology Mechanism(s):   Phytoremediation
Plants and other Vegetation Used:   Ferns
Planting Description:   20,000 ferns were planted and maintained on property covering about 20 acres on a densely forested hillside. There are 24 separate plots that total about one acre, mainly along a creek that runs through the property.
Planting Area:   1 acre
O & M Requirements:   The irrigation for the arsenic absorbing ferns is run by two systems. The first uses a spring at the top of the hill that feeds into a 4,000 gallon tank and delivers gravity fed, drip irrigation to the ferns. This system services 17 of the plots requiring irrigation. The second system uses a solar powered, low flow pump to pump water from the bottom of the hill to the storage tank that feeds the gravity fed, drip irrigation system. The solar powered pumps feed the irrigation system for 7 of the plots.
Performance Data:   Depending on weather and soil conditions, and the length of the growing season, each fern can extract up to 40-50 mg/kg arsenic from a square foot of soil. The arsenic is absorbed through the roots and concentrated in the fern leaves. At the end of the growing season, the ferns will be mowed, tested, and disposed of according to RCRA regulations. The result is significantly less waste, perhaps one or two truckloads of waste, rather than 60 or 70 truckloads of soil.
Cost of the Phytotechnology Project:   In 2005, EPA Region 3 approved an Action Memorandum in the amount of $197,520 for the site to address 2 residential properties with contaminated soil in their yards. In 2006, EPA approved a Request for Ceiling Increase for a Removal Action for $238,690. Direct Extramural Cost: $1,345,090 Direct Intramural Cost: $50,000 Indirect Costs (62.93%): $877,930 Estimated EPA Costs for the Removal Action: $2,273,020
Lessons Learned:   Use moisture meters to determine how the moisture level in soil affected growth of the ferns. Collect "sun/shade" readings to determine the effect on fern growth.
Comments:   For the phytoremediation, arsenic absorbing ferns will be planted and maintained for the growing season, after which they will be removed and disposed of off site. The soils will be tested and ferns replanted for three growing seasons, aiming to reduce arsenic concentrations below the risk based removal action level of 58ppm.

Point(s) of Contact                                                                      
    Myles Bartos
EPA Region 3 Removal Response Section
United States
Telephone: (215) 814-3342

Information Source(s):   Dellens, Amanda D. August 2007. Green Remediation and the Use of Renewable Energy Sources for Remediation Projects

Bartos, Myles. Request for a Ceiling Increase, Change in Scope, and an Exemption from the 12-month Statutory Limit, for a Removal Action at the Crozet Township Orchard Site, Crozet Township, Albemarle County, Virginia

Bartos, Myles. 2007. The Hearty Fern: Tough Survivor and Humble Servant. 2007. From Land Revitalization Update, EPA Region 3, Mid-Atlantic States.

Associated Vendor(s) or Consultant(s):   Edenspace, Inc.
Kemron Environmental Services
Tetra Tech


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