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Metal Bank

July 1995: FACT SHEET & PRESS RELEASE

EPA RELEASES PROPOSED REMEDIAL ACTION PLAN

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") has completed a study of the Metal Bank Site ("Site"), located at 7301 Milnor Avenue, in Northeast Philadelphia next to the Delaware River. The results of this study are presented in a report called the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study ("RI/FS"). The RI/FS investigated contamination at the Site and ways to clean it up. By law, EPA must get the public's opinion before it can make a decision on the appropriate remedy to clean up the Site. To do this, EPA will issue a document called the Proposed Remedial Action Plan ("Proposed Plan") which briefly describes (a) the contamination at the Site; (b) the risks posed by this contamination to human health and the environment; (c) the alternative remedies considered; and (d) EPA's proposed remedy. The public is asked to comment on EPA's findings and the proposed remedy. Inside EPA's Proposed Plan, you will find results of samples taken at the Site, suggested methods of cleanup, different costs associated with the cleanup, and EPA's determination of which method would have the most overall benefit.

From late 1968 until early 1973, Site owners recycled electrical transformers. Transformer oil containing polychlorinated biphenyls ("PCBs") was drained into an Underground Storage Tank ("UST"). Unfortunately, there were transformer oil spills associated with the recycling operation. EPA has found that the spills and other historical activities caused contamination by PCBs and other chemicals throughout the Site. PCBs are present in the soil and the groundwater, and have spread through the groundwater to the Mudflat and sediments in the Delaware River. Oil containing PCBs has formed concentrated areas of contamination in the groundwater that do not mix with water, called non-aqueous phase liquids ("NAPLs"). EPA has identified the areas affected by the contamination as follows:

  1. The Building Area (including the Site Boundary)
  2. The Courtyard
  3. The River Sediment Areas (including the Mudflat, Riprap, and Delaware River Sediment Areas)
  4. The Southern Portion of the Site (including the NAPL Area, the Hot Spots, and the UST)
  5. The Groundwater

The Proposed Plan considered six (6) alternative remedies, including a "No Action" alternative. Similar components of each alternative, except the "No Action" alternative, include: access and deed restrictions at the Site; excavation and off-site disposal of surface soils in the Courtyard; off-site disposal of the Underground Storage Tank; use of Oil-water Separators to remove oil from groundwater; and off-site disposal of the extracted oil. The six alternatives considered by EPA differ with regard to the remedy for contaminated soils within the NAPL area. The alternatives range from no action, to treatments using Solidification/Stabilization or Soil Washing technologies, to off-site disposal of contaminated soils.

Major components of EPA's preferred remedy include the excavation and off-site disposal of the UST and highly contaminated soils and sediments, the installation of Oil-water Separators to remove oil and PCBs from the groundwater before it enters the Delaware River, and the placement of a clean soil cover over the Southern Portion of the Site. Specific details of the proposed remedy for each of the affected areas will be provided in the Proposed Plan. The public is encouraged to review the RI/FS, the Proposed Plan, and other site-related documents in the Administrative Record since they may contain details of particular interest to individuals not discussed in this notice.

Public comment on the Proposed Plan will be accepted from July 20, 1995, to August 19, 1995. EPA is also planning a public meeting during this period to address questions and receive comments on the Proposed Plan. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 27, 1995, at 7:30 pm at the Disston Recreation Center, 4511 Disston Street, Philadelphia, PA; (215) 335-8750. EPA will choose the final alternative after the public comment period and may select any one of the options after taking the public's comments into consideration.

The RI/FS, the Proposed Plan, and other site-related documents are available for the public to review at the site repository, located at the Northeast Branch of the Philadelphia Free Library, 2228 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19149; (215) 685-0522. Comments or questions on the Proposed Plan should be addressed to:

Community Involvement Coordinator
Lisa Brown
215-814-5528
brown.lisa@epa.gov

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