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MW Manufacturing

Current Site Information

EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)

Pennsylvania
Montour County
Valley Township
2 miles north of Danville

EPA ID# PAD980691372

10th Congressional District

Last Update: February 2014

Other Names


Domino Salvage Yard
Domino Salvage Warehouse #81

Current Site Status

As summarized below, the remaining cleanup actions to be conducted at MW Manufacturing Site consist of the groundwater remedy and "fluff" soil stabilization. The groundwater remedy involves pumping contaminated water out of the ground and treating to remove contaminates. The fluff is pieces of shredded telephone wires which will be solidified using cement. The solidified mass will be used to surface a portion of the site. Finally, the solidified fluff will be covered with top soil and vegetated.

In September 2004, EPA issued Explanation Of Significant Deference (ESD) #1 to modify the requirement of excavating 2 feet of soil under the fluff pile and mixing with the stabilization mass. The change required excavating only the soils where core samples of the soils underneath fluff indicated presence of fluff.

In January of 2005, a Groundwater Treatment System (GWST) was commissioned to extract and to treat contaminated groundwater.

In May of 2005, fluff waste stabilization construction activities were completed which included 2 feet of vegetative support layer and 6 inch of top soil and seeding.

On May 26, 2005, the third Five-Year Review inspection of the site was conducted. On the same day a public availability session was conducted from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. A local cable television network CCN News 8 came to the session and asked general questions. A representative from the Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce and Montour County commissioner, Mr. Harold H. Hurst, attended the session. Most of the questions were directed towards reuse of the site. The first-five year review concluded that the implemented remedy was protective in short term and would achieve long term protection once the groundwater cleanup is completed.

The second Five-Year Review was completed in August 2010. The Site has been determined to be protective of human health and the environment because direct exposure pathways have been eliminated by RAs under OU-3 and OU-5. The OU-3 groundwater system is effectively capturing and treating the contaminant plume, and an public water supply has been provided to nearby users. Exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks are being controlled, and ICs are preventing exposure to, or the ingestion of, contaminated groundwater. Placing the CD and Section 512 Order (filed July 31, 2006) with the current MW Manufacturing property owner's deed record provides notice of potential risks and describes what would constitute unacceptable future use of the property.

Threats at the former MW Manufacturing property have been addressed through treatment and off-site disposal of highly contaminated materials including carbon waste and NAPL-impacted soils, stabilization/backfill of fluff/sediment/soils and cover of the area. Containment of the VOC plume and removal of VOC mass from overburden and bedrock are being achieved through groundwater extraction and treatment, which began in January 2005.

Vapor intrusion is not a current issue, since there is no residential housing on-site or within the groundwater plume area. ICs are in place for the MW Manufacturing property and future development in the wetland overlying the plume is unlikely, due to existing wetland protection regulations.

Protectiveness of the RA will continue to be verified by the OU-5 O&M Plan/ Site Controls and OU-3 O&M Plan/Performance Evaluation Plan until the groundwater cleanup goals are achieved.
Groundwater cleanup and optimization monitoring is continue. The second Five-Year Review (FYR) was completed by September 2010. The second Five-Year review found the Site to be protective in short term and the remedy is expected to be fully protective of human health and the environment upon attainment of groundwater cleanup goals. While long term groundwater cleanup continue and to increase extraction rates one extraction well was cleaned resulting in 3 fold increase in flow. The optimization study is on going. Evaluation of enhanced bio attenuation of contaminated groundwater did not show any promising results all though some areas near the carbon waste pile promising results. So the alternate remedy of enhanced bio attenuation was discarded. As part of optimization it was decided to increase pumping rate five fold of well Dunn 8 which is most contaminated.

In 2012 a comfort letter was issued to the Valley Township. The Township has acquired the property and planning to used it for storage and possible office space.

Site Description

The 15-acre MW Manufacturing site in Valley Township, Pennsylvania, was a recovery operation for scrap wire. The main building was being used as a storage facility, and a smaller building was occupied by a metal fabrication operation by a caretaker resident who was evicted by the land owner in 1993. Since 1993, no commercial activities have occurred at the site. The recovery process, which changed the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) insulation around the wire into granular black carbon sludge, also helped dissolve heavy metals such as lead, zinc, and copper into the waste materials. Workers then treated the copper wire with chlorinated solvents. The spent solvent apparently was dumped on the site.

Metal Wire (MW) Manufacturing, the first owner, used both mechanical and chemical processes and went bankrupt in the early 1970s. The current owner, Warehouse 81, Inc., used a mechanical process. Waste accumulation on the site consists of an 86,000-gallon surface impoundment, 32,000 cubic yards of finely divided scrap wire called "fluff," a buried underground tank, and 13,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil. While the mechanical process generated the most fluff, the chemical processes were responsible for the biggest environmental impact.

The area is agricultural and residential. Within one mile of the site are homes, motels, gas stations, restaurants, and a school. About 5,200 people live within a three-mile radius; 1,500 live within one mile. Area residents used groundwater wells for drinking; about 320 wells lay within 3 miles of the site. Mauses Creek, a trout stream, flows to the south of the site.

Site Responsibility

Cleanup of this site is the responsibility of Federal and State governments, and parties responsible for site contamination.

NPL Listing History

The site was proposed to the National Priorities List of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites requiring long term remedial action on October 15, 1984. The site was formally added to the list June 10, 1986, making it eligible for federal cleanup funds.

Threats and Contaminants

The groundwater, sediments, surface water, and soil are contaminated with various VOCs. Possible health risks include direct contact with the carbon waste pile, inhalation of contaminated dusts or VOCs from the waste pile, or ingestion of the contaminated groundwater. Fish in Mauses Creek also are threatened by site contaminants.

Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.

Cleanup Progress

EPA, as a precaution, temporarily provided bottled drinking water to a former, local school in 1985. When additional sampling confirmed that the local well was not contaminated, the supply of bottled water was discontinued. In February 1987, a removal consent order was signed by EPA and the current owners of the site, Michael G. Sabia and Michael G. Sabia Jr., doing business as Warehouse 81 Limited Partnership, to supply water to the person living on site and to keep records of the water supply for five years. On February 8, 1989, a special notice letter was sent to Michael G. Sabia and Michael G. Sabia, Jr. to perform a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS), but they did not agree to perform the studies. A special notice letter for the Remedial Design and Remedial Action (RD/RA), for operable unit one was sent to Warehouse 81 on March 6, 1989. Warehouse 81 again declined to participate. The EPA considered the cleanup of carbon waste to be of primary urgency. In 1990 and 1992, the carbon waste pile was excavated and incinerated at an off-site incinerator. Approximately 800 drums of Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contaminated waste were also transported off site for incineration in 1992. Additionally, demolition of unsafe portions of the main plant building by the property owner under a Consent Decree was subsequently conducted.

In 1990, the EPA selected a remedy for the cleanup of the fluff pile, which entailed excavation of the fluff pile wastes and underlying soils, on-site burning of the wastes and soils, and disposing of the incinerator ash in an EPA-approved hazardous waste landfill. Engineering designs began in 1990. The treatability study for burning of fluff and soil was completed and the results indicated that burning of fluff could cause a potential threat to the public due to emissions of dioxin, which is a possible by-product of burning of fluff. Therefore, EPA made a decision not to implement the selected remedy. Additional Potentially Responsible Party (PRP) searches in 1992 identified records that led to Nassau Metals and Pennsylvania Power & Light (PP&L) as PRPs.

One of the PRPs, Nassau Metals, proposed alternate remedies and conducted a focused feasibility and treatability study to demonstrate the viability of other remedies. EPA reviewed this work and issued a ROD on December 22, 1997, revising the 1990 decision document. This new ROD called for the ex-situ (outside of the immediate area) stabilization of the fluff, lagoon sediment and surface soils and the backfilling of the excavated areas with the stabilized material. These areas will then be covered with two feet of clean topsoil, regraded and vegetated to prevent ponding and to control erosion. Unsaturated soils contaminated with Non-Aqueous-Phase Liquids (NAPLs) will be excavated, characterized and disposed off-site at a permitted facility. Tank and drum contents and other debris remaining at the site will be transported off site to an appropriate facility. Institutional controls such as deed restrictions and fencing, as well as continued monitoring and an Operation and Maintenance program, will provide for site security and protectiveness.

In 1992, the EPA selected a remedy for the groundwater contamination (OU-3), which included providing public water to the affected residences and businesses, pumping and treating the groundwater, and discharging the treated water to nearby Mauses Creek. Under a Unilateral Administrative Order, Nassau Metals completed the public water line installation in the summer of 1996. This consisted of the construction of a 17,400-foot water transmission main throughout Valley Township in 1995-1996 to provide water to 39 residences and 13 commercial establishments.

The EPA was involved in a negotiation with the current property owner and other responsible parties to donate the site to Valley Township to be used for the township building and storage of equipment. However, Valley Township declined the offer. Nassau Metals signed a consent decree to perform design work and cleanup on February 15, 2000.

An Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) was issued in October 2000. The ESD is a public document that EPA is required to publish if cleanup actions performed at a site are significantly different from the activities selected in the Record of Decision (ROD). The ESD explains why these changes were made, and required the use of a ground water collection system to extract overburden contaminated groundwater along with the pumping of shallow bedrock wells in the areas of heavy contamination. Information developed from the Preliminary Design Investigation in 2001 and the 2002 IGWE Program provided additional critical data required for the development of the OU-3 Pre-Final (90%) Design, which incorporates ground water removal via overburden and shallow bedrock extraction wells. Contaminated groundwater collected by the extraction wells will be treated for contaminants before it is discharged via pipeline across Old Valley School Road into Mauses Creek, under equivalency approval by the PADEP. The ESD also changed the acceptable groundwater cleanup levels at the site from the background levels to the Maximum Concentration Levels given in the EPA drinking water standard or the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protections (PADEP) Medium Specific Concentrations established by the Land Recycling Program, whichever level is more stringent. The ROD required that the contaminants in the groundwater be cleaned up to a level that occurs naturally and is not the result of previous site activities. The ESD requires that the groundwater be cleaned to the level EPA allows in public drinking water.

The demolition of the unsafe part of the defunct plant building was completed in December 2000 and the collected debris and asbestos waste were disposed off-site. The remainder of the plant building was razed and disposed of off-site by the property owner Mr. Michael Sabia.

EPA believes that the revised actions, along with the other cleanup methods detailed in the June 1992 ROD, are protective of human health and the environment, comply with all Pennsylvania State and Federal requirements, and are cost effective. PADEP has reviewed and concurred with EPA's ESD for the MW Manufacturing Site.

The long-term ground water cleanup began with commissioning of GWTS in January 2005. Remedial actions for Fluff waste were completed in May of 2005. The GWTS was started in January of 2005.

In July 2006, PRP submitted the first year groundwater monitoring report. The report findings indicated that the groundwater cleanup is performing as expected. The first five-year review was completed in September 2005. The first-five year review concluded that the implemented remedy was protective in short term and would achieve long term protection once the groundwater cleanup is completed. In April 2008, PRP submitted year two groundwater monitoring report findings recommends further groundwater modeling to further refine the cleanup.

The second Five-Year Review was completed in August 2010. The Site has been determined to be protective of human health and the environment because direct exposure pathways have been eliminated by RAs under OU-3 and OU-5. The OU-3 groundwater system is effectively capturing and treating the contaminant plume, and an public water supply has been provided to nearby users. Exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks are being controlled, and ICs are preventing exposure to, or the ingestion of, contaminated groundwater. Placing the CD and Section 512 Order (filed July 31, 2006) with the current MW Manufacturing property owner's deed record provides notice of potential risks and describes what would constitute unacceptable future use of the property.

Threats at the former MW Manufacturing property have been addressed through treatment and off-site disposal of highly contaminated materials including carbon waste and NAPL-impacted soils, stabilization/backfill of fluff/sediment/soils and cover of the area. Containment of the VOC plume and removal of VOC mass from overburden and bedrock are being achieved through groundwater extraction and treatment, which began in January 2005.

Vapor intrusion is not a current issue, since there is no residential housing on-site or within the groundwater plume area. ICs are in place for the MW Manufacturing property and future development in the wetland overlying the plume is unlikely, due to existing wetland protection regulations.

Protectiveness of the RA will continue to be verified by the OU-5 O&M Plan/ Site Controls and OU-3 O&M Plan/Performance Evaluation Plan until the groundwater cleanup goals are achieved.

The second Five-Year Review (FYR) was completed by September 2010. The second Five-Year review found the Site to be protective in short term and the remedy is expected to be fully protective of human health and the environment upon attainment of groundwater cleanup goals. While long term groundwater cleanup continue and being optimized to be more efficient and options for alternate treatment methods such as enhanced bio attenuation should be evaluated which could be more greener and efficient.

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