EPA Approves Final Design For Site Cleanup
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has approved the Final Design for the Tonolli Corporation Superfund Site cleanup. Contractors for the Tonolli Site Steering Committee (TSSC), working under EPA and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PaDEP) oversight, have been working on the design of a site remedy since 1996.
The TSSC is composed of a group of Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) at the Tonolli Site. More than 50 of these PRPs recently signed a Consent Decree with EPA and PaDEP to implement the design and perform the remedial action to clean up the site. EPA will soon announce a 30-day public comment period on the proposed Consent Decree in the Federal Register. EPA will address any public input at the close of the comment period. The Consent Decree can then be lodged and entered by the Federal Court.
The TSSC has selected Mactec, Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia, as the supervising remedial action contractor for the cleanup. Mactec is preparing construction work plans and a detailed schedule for the cleanup.
On February 2, 1998, EPA granted contingent approval of the Remedial Design, provided the TSSC addressed certain minor items in the final document.
Removal Action Largely Completed
In 1997, under a consent order with EPA, contractors for the TSSC excavated and removed more than 3.5 million pounds of battery casing and other recyclable materials from the site. The Removal Action, which was required to reach soils contaminated with lead beneath the recyclable materials, is now largely complete. The battery casings were taken for treatment, recycling and disposal at approved facilities in Reading, Pennsylvania, and Ontario, Canada. The last loads should be removed in late February or March 1998.
The EPA Project Manager has scheduled a briefing about the final cleanup plan for the Tonolli Corporation Superfund Site for local officials and residents. The meeting is scheduled for:
Wednesday, February 25
Nesquehoning Borough Offices
127 W. Catawissa Street
Nesquehoning, PA 18240
The target date for onsite construction activities to start is mid-March 1998. The main tasks required for the site cleanup include:
- Constructing a water treatment system.
- Pumping and treating water currently in a pond on the landfill.
- Stabilizing and expanding the side slopes of the landfill.
- Constructing a groundwater treatment trench along the southern site boundary.
- Removing contamination and demolishing site buildings and tanks.
- Excavating all lead contaminated soil (soil with more than 1,000 mg/kg of lead onsite and more than 500 mg/kg offsite).
- Stabilizing excavated soil (soil with more than 10,000 mg/kg of lead).
- Removing sediments with more than 300 mg/kg of lead from Nesquehoning Creek.
- Placing soil, sediment and debris in the onsite landfill.
- Constructing a multilayered cap and closing the onsite landfill.
- Backfilling, restoring and vegetating the site.
These actions, and actions already taken, will address all sources of contamination present in soils, battery wastes, the onsite landfill, sediment and surface water so that the site can be used for industrial use in the future.
For More Information on the Tonolli Site, Please Contact One of these EPA Representatives:
Remedial Project Manager
Community Involvement Coordinator
USEPA Region III
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
From 1972 until 1986, Tonolli Corporation operated a lead acid battery recycling and secondary lead reclamation facility at the site.
In 1989, a group of PRPs began a remedial investigation and feasibility study to assess the contamination and evaluate cleanup options for the site. Also in 1989, EPA began a removal action to address a wastewater lagoon and 500,000 gallon storage tank at the site. EPA constructed a wastewater treatment plant to treat water in the lagoon and tank. The system continues to treat storm water collected at the site.
In 1993, EPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD), which selected a cleanup plan for the site. In 1994 and 1995, EPA worked to resolve issues that arose during the public comment period for a Consent Decree with the PRPs.
In 1996, a contractor for the TSSC began the Remedial Design for the site cleanup and plans for removing the battery casings from the site. EPA has given contingent approval of the Final Design for the cleanup.
- Potentially Responsible Parties
- are the companies or people responsible for the cleanup of contamination at the site.
- Consent Decree
- is a legal document, issued by a state or federal district court, that formalizes an agreement between EPA, PaDEP and the PRPs, requiring the PRPs to perform the site cleanup.
- is a measurement that represents milligrams per kilogram.
- is a layer of clay or other dense material built over the top of waste to prevent rainwater from filtering through the waste into the groundwater. The cap at the Tonolli Site is made of layers of limestone, a synthetic clay liner, a heavy sheet of plastic, a drainage layer, and two feet of fill and topsoil.
- Remedial Investigation
- identifies the types, amounts and extent of contamination at a site and the effects those contaminants might have on the environment.
- Feasibility Study
- describes and compares different methods for site cleanup based on information in the remedial investigation. A focused feasibility study examines different cleanup methods for a specific area of contamination at a site.
- Record of Decision
- is an EPA legal document that officially announces and outlines the selected plan to cleanup contamination at a site.
- is contaminated water generated during operation of the Tonolli facility and disposed of onsite in a lagoon and a 500,000 gallon storage tank.
Similar to a mini reference library, an Information Repository contains technical and legal information about the site. Any document EPA uses in making a decision about the site and its cleanup will be placed in this public file.
Copies of the approved design and the construction work plans will be periodically placed in the Information Repository. EPA will continue to place copies of documents related to the site in the Information Repository for public review and comment.
The Information Repository for this site is located at:
Nesquehoning Borough Building
127 W. Catawissa Street
Nesquehoning, PA 18240
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
This information is also available for review at the EPA, Region III office at the address on page 2. You can arrange an appointment to review this information by contacting Anna Butch at 215-814-3157.