Current Site Information
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)Pennsylvania
South Branch of Bear Creek
EPA ID# PAD980712855
3rd Congressional District
Last Update: March 2014
No future updates planned
AH-RS Coal Corporation
Current Site StatusThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency completed all cleanup activities at this site in mid-1991. Following the first five-year review of the site in 1993, EPA determined that the remedy remained protective of public health and the environment. The site was deleted from the National Priorities List (NPL) in September 1997. The second Five-Year Review was performed on November 19, 1998. The third Five-Year Review was completed in July 2004.The fourth Five-Year Review was completed in August 2009. The finding of the fourth Five-Year Review were confirmed that the implemented remedy is protective of human health and environment. The fourth Five-Year Review recommended reducing the frequency of the Post Closure sampling from quarterly to annual. EPA and the state agreed to cut down frequency of Post Closure sampling from quarterly to annual. EPA is currently conducting a Five Year Review to further evaluate the protectiveness of the remedy at the Site. The Fifth Five Year Review will be completed by September 2014.
Site DescriptionThe Bruin Lagoon site occupies six fenced acres along the western bank of the South Branch of Bear Creek in Bruin Borough, Butler County, Pennsylvania. Route 268 runs along the western side of the site. The site is partially situated in the 100 year flood plain of the South Branch of Bear Creek. Operation at the site began in the 1930's when the Bruin Oil Company, located on adjacent property to the south, used the lagoon for disposal of wastes resulting from the production of white oil (mineral oil). Disposal operations continued for over 40 years. Material deposited in the lagoon included bottom residues from crude oil storage tanks and spent refining agents containing highly acidic sludge. In 1983, the Bruin Lagoon site was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL), EPA's roster of the worst hazardous waste sites, and was ranked number three. The Site was deleted from the NPL on September 8, 1997.
Site ResponsibilityCleanup of this site was completed in July 1991.
NPL Listing HistoryOur country's most serious, uncontrolled, or abandoned hazardous waste sites can be cleaned using federal money. To be eligible for federal cleanup money, a site must be put on the National Priorities List. This site was proposed to the list on December 30, 1982 and formally added to the list on September 8, 1983. The site was deleted from the list on September 18, 1997.
Threats and ContaminantsThe ground water and surface water contain sulfuric acid, heavy metals, and hydrogen sulfide. The soil on an adjacent private property was contaminated with hydrogen sulfide and sulfuric acid in a 1980 flood. Direct contact with or accidental ingestion of contaminated soil, surface water, or drinking water posed a potential health risk. The first evidence of site contamination occurred when a large fish kill in the Allegheny River was reported in 1968. The site is located within a 100-year flood plain and subject to periodic flooding that could spread contaminants from the site to nearby surface waters.
Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.