Current Site Information
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)Pennsylvania
1/2 miles east of Grove City
EPA ID# PAD980712673
3rd Congressional District
Last Update: January 2015
Cooper Bessmer Landfill
Current Site StatusThe site status is "Construction Complete", with continued groundwater analysis of monitoring wells placed around the slurry wall and in the mine voids. As determined during three Five-Year Reviews, the remedial actions constructed for this site remain protective of human health and the environment. The constructed remedies are functioning as intended, and there are no current exposure pathways. The remedies, which included the landfill leachate collection system, the landfill cap and slurry wall, the groundwater monitoring plan, and the institutional controls, are in place and include prohibitions on the use or disturbance of groundwater until cleanup levels are achieved. The landfill leachate collection system and treatment system are no longer in operation as the cleanup levels for this portion of the remedy have been achieved. Additionally, prohibitions on new wells, within the property containing the landfill, continue to achieve the Remedial Action Objective for the Site, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection‘s Oil and Gas Program is reviewing all drilling permits to require a restriction on mining or mineral removal within one-half-mile of the site.
Site DescriptionThe 15-acre Osborne Landfill is located on an abandoned strip mine in Pine Township, Pennsylvania. The landfill was used for waste disposal from the 1950s until 1978, when the State closed it for accepting industrial wastes without a permit. These waste materials included spent paint, asbestos, solvents, waste coolants, waste sand, waste acid, scrap metal, cooling system sludge, slag, and waste oils. More than 500 drums had been left at the site; many were crushed, rusted, or bulging. Site contaminants in the fill included high levels of lead, benzene, trichloroethene, PCBs and carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Nearby Grove City has approximately 8,100 residents. Site ground water contained vinyl chloride which is a very carcinogenic organic compound. Municipal wells are within one mile of the site. One resident was drinking water contaminated with vinyl chloride at about 15 parts per billion, while the drinking water standard only allows 2 parts per billion. The property is surrounded by woods, wetlands, light residential development, and farmland.
Site ResponsibilityThis site is being addressed through federal, state, and potentially responsible parties' actions.
NPL Listing HistoryThis site was proposed to the National Priorities List of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites requiring long-term remedial action on December 30, 1982. The site was formally added to the list September 8, 1983, making it eligible for federal cleanup funds.
Threats and ContaminantsOn-site ground water and leachate were contaminated with various heavy metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and pentachlorophenol (PCP) from the former waste disposal practices. The soil contained heavy metals including arsenic and lead, VOCs, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). On-site surface water was contaminated with VOCs. Possible health hazards included accidental ingestion or coming in direct contact with contaminated groundwater, soil, or surface water. Wetlands and a swamp near the site were contaminated with very low levels of PCBs.
Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.
Cooper Industries, a potentially responsible party, built a security fence around the site and posted it with warnings to prevent unauthorized access in 1983. They also removed and disposed of 83 filled drums, 460 empty drums, and 45 cubic yards of contaminated soil. In 1994, Cooper Industries extended a public water line on the east side of the site in reaction to high levels of contamination found in a resident's well. This virtually completed a loop which now supplies residents at risk near the perimeter of the site with municipal water.
Under a Consent Order with Pennsylvania, Cooper Industries conducted a Remedial Investigation of the site, but was unwilling to comply with all of the conditions required by the state. In 1988, at the request of the State, the EPA took over the investigation and completed an intensive study of site conditions and other required reports. On September 28, 1990, the EPA chose a remedy (Record of Decision) for the fill material, the on-site water table, and the shallow aquifer. After long negotiations, EPA was unable to obtain an agreement with the Responsible Parties. EPA issued a Unilateral Order to Cooper Industries in March 1991 to install a slurry wall, clay cap, and leachate treatment system. General Electric contributed a cash settlement to reimburse EPA for past costs. A slurry wall has been constructed around the perimeter of the fill area to a depth of forty feet, and a clay cap has been installed over the fill to reduce leaching of contaminants. In addition, leachate is being extracted from the fill area, treated, and reinjected into the on-site mine pool. The construction of the remedy for the fill area was completed during the summer of 1997. The leachate treatment system has operated for several years.
The third Five Year Review was completed April of 2010. As determined during the previous Five Year Reviews, the remedial actions constructed for this site remain protective of human health and the environment. The constructed remedies are functioning as intended and there are no current exposure pathways. The fourth Five-Year Review will be completed in 2015.